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EQUATIONS OF LINES

CALCULATING SLOPE
Any point on the xy-plane can be written as an ordered pair in the form ( x, y ) . Taking
two different points ( x1 , y1 ) and ( x2 , y 2 ) on the line, the slope is
change in y y y 2 y1
m=
=
=
change in x x x2 x1

where x1 x2 .
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Example: Find the slope of the line through the points (2,5) and (3,7).

Solution:
m=

y 2 y1
x2 x1

75
3 2
2
m=
1
m=2
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m=

EQUATION OF A LINE: POINT-SLOPE FORM


There are two common ways to represent a line. The point-slope form of the equation of
a line is given by y y1 = m( x x1 ) , where the line has a slope m and passes through the
point ( x1 , y1 ) .
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Example: Write the equation of the line using point-slope form, given that the line
passes through the point (-3,8) and has a slope of 2. Also, graph the line.

Solution:
y y1 = m( x x1 )
y 8 = 2( x + 3)

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EQUATION OF A LINE: SLOPE-INTERCEPT FORM


Slope-intercept form of the equation of a line is given by y = mx + b , where the line has
a slope m and a y-intercept b. The y-intercept is simply the place where the line crosses
the y-axis. The corresponding ordered pair denoting the y-intercept is (0, y1 ) .
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Example: Write the equation of the line with slope -3 and y-intercept 13 using the slopeintercept form.

Solution:

y = mx + b
y = 3 x + 13
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Example: Find the equation of the line through the point (5,3) and (0,0).
Solution:

y2 y1
x2 x1
30
=
50
3
=
5
Next, we find the equation of the line:
y y1 = m( x x1 )
First, we find the slope:

m=

3
y 0 = ( x 0)
5
3
y= x
5

3
x.
5
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Therefore, the equation of the line is y =