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Discussion: All Topics in Algebra

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Subject:   RE: PLEASE HELP!
Author: AngieBrock
Date: Nov 15 2005
On May 17 2004, Hugh wrote:
> I am completly lost when it comes to "slope of a line."  Can anybody
> help?

I'm not sure if I know what you're asking for but I can try.  You have probably
heard that slope is defined as "rise over run."  This means that we take the
difference in the y-values and divide them by the difference in the x-values
so the formula for finding slope looks like this:  (y2-y1)/(x2-x1).  For
example lets say that we want to know the slope of the line that contains the
points (0,0) and (4,8).  This line increases as we go from left to right so we
know that we should end up with a positive number for slope.  To find the slope,
we do 8-0/4-0 to get 8/4 and finally 2.  If we switch and go the other way
0-8/0-4 we get -8/-4 which is still 2.  So it really doesn't matter
which point to pick to be 1 or 2.  
When we talk about slope in the equation of a line, that is always the number
that goes in front of x.  So if we have the equation y = mx+b, then m is our
Hope this clears things up at least a little!

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