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Graphs and Properties of the Graphs of Polynomial

Functions
1. Polynomial Functions of Degree Less than 3 (n < 3)
A. Constant Function
Function in Standard Form:

f(x) = c

Degree: 0
Domain(D): {}
line
Slope (m) = 0

Range(R): {c}

Trend: Constant (neither increasing nor decreasing from


Example: f(x) = 2

D = {}

Graph: Horizontal

+ )

R = {2}

Graph

f(x)=2

x
-8

-6

-4

-2

-2

-4

-6

-8

B. Linear Function
Function in Standard Form:
General Form:

f(x) = mx + b

where

ax + by + c = 0 where

m 0

a,b0

Degree: 1

Domain(D): {}

Slope (m) =

Range(R): {}

Graph: Diagonal line

y2 y1
x2 x1

y intercept = b

Trend: increasing from

decreasing from
Example: f(x) = x
x-int. = 0

D = {}

Trend: increasing from

if m > 0

R = {}

if m < 0

m=1

y-int. = 0

since m > 0

Graph
y

f(x)=x

x
-8

-6

-4

-2

-2

-4

-6

-8

Example: f(x) = 5 - 2x
5
x-int. = 2.5
Trend: decreasing from
Graph

D = {}

R = {}

since m < 0

m=-2

y-int. =

f(x)=5-2x

x
-8

-6

-4

-2

-2

-4

-6

-8

C. Quadratic Function
Function in Standard Form:
Vertex Form:

f(x) = ax 2 + bx + c

where

f(x) = a(x h) 2 + k where

a0

, y-intercept = c

a0

Vertex (h,

k)

a0

Factored Form : f(x) = a (x c 1) (x c2) where

, c1 and c2 are

the zeros of the function


or x-intercepts
Degree: 2

Range(R): { y k } if a > 0

Domain(D): {}

Range(R):

{ y k } if a < 0
Graph: Parabola

Direction of Opening: upward if a > 0

Trend: increasing from

decreasing from

if a < 0 and decreasing from

if a > 0 and increasing from

downward if a < 0

h +
h +

Axis of Symmetry = h =

4 acb2
4a

Minimum= k =

Example: f(x) = x2
=0

b
2a

4 acb
4a

Maximum = k =

if a < 0

if a > 0
R = {y 0 }

D = {}

Vertex: (0,0)

y-int.

x-int. = 0

Direction of Opening: upward


Minimum: y = 0
Trend: decreasing from

Axis of symmetry: x = 0

since a > 0 and increasing from

0 +
Graph
y

f(x)=x^2

x
-8

-6

-4

-2

-2

-4

-6

-8

Example: f(x) = - 2x2 + 3x + 2

Factored Form : f(x) = - (2x+1) (x 2)

Vertex Form: f(x) = -

3
25
x 2 +
4
8
2

D = {}

int. = {2,

R = {y

25
8 }

3 25
,
8 )

Vertex: ( 4

y-int. = 2

1
2 }

Direction of Opening: downward

Axis of symmetry: x =

Trend: increasing from

3
4

since a < 0 and deccreasing from

3
+
4
Graph
y

f(x)=-2x^2 + 3x + 2

x
-6

3
4

25
8

Maximum: y =

-8

x-

-4

-2

-2

-4

-6

-8

2. Polynomial Functions of Degree Greater than 3 (n > 3)


Steps in Graphing the Polynomial Function
a. Write the polynomial function in factored form

b. Find the end behaviour of the graph of a given polynomial function with the
use of the
Leading Coefficient Test. The number of turning points: n - 1
Case i: n is odd, an > 0, the graph falls to the left and rises to the right
ii: n is odd, a n < 0, the graph rises to the left and falls to the right
iii: n is even, an > 0, the graph rises to the left and to the right
iv: n is even, an > 0, the graph falls to the left and to the right
c. Find the zeros of the polynomial function and their multiplicities.
Multiplicity of Zero
(c)
Even

Odd

Graph

Sign of f(x)

Touches (tangent) the x-axis


at c

Does not change from one


side to
the other side of c
Changes from one side to the
other
side of c

Crosses the x-axis at c

d. Make a table of values.


e. Plot the points and draw a smooth continuous curve to connect the points.
f. Make sure that the graph follows the end behaviour in step b.
Example: f(x) = -x3 + 9x
a. Factored form: f(x) = -x (x + 3) (x 3)
b. n is odd, an < 0 , the graph rises to the left and falls to the right. The number
of turning points = 2
c. Zeros: {0, - 3, 3} , crosses the x-axis at 0, - 3, and 3, sign of f(x) changes at x
= 0, x = - 3, and x = 3.
d. Table of Values
x
y

-3
0

-2
-10

e f. Graph and its End Behaviour

-1
-8

0
0

1
8

2
10

3
0

f(x)=-x^3 + 9x

x
-8

-6

-4

-2

-2

-4

-6

-8

Example: f(x) = x4 + x3 6x2 4x + 8


a. Factored form: f(x) = (x + 2)2 (x 1) (x 2)
b. n is even, an > 0 , the graph rises to the left and to the right.
The number of turning points = 3.
c. Zeros: {- 2 of multiplicity 2, 1, 2} , tangent to x-axis at -2, crosses the x-axis at
1 and 2, sign of f(x)
does not change at x = - 2, but changes at x = 1 and x = 2.
d. Table of Values
x
y

-3
20

-2
0

e f. Graph and its End Behaviour

-1
6

0
0

1
0

2
0

3
50

f(x)=x^4 + x^3 - 6x^2 - 4x + 8

x
-8

-6

-4

-2

-2

-4

-6

-8

Example: f(x) = - x6 +3x5 + 3x4 7x3 6x2


a. Factored form: f(x) = - x2 (x + 1)2 (x 2) (x 3)
b. n is even, an < 0 , the graph falls to the left and to the right.
The number of turning points = 5.
c. Zeros: {0 of multiplicity 2, - 1 of multiplicity 2, 2, 3} , tangent to x-axis at -1
and 0, crosses the x-axis
at 2 and 3, sign of f(x) does not change at x = - 1 and x = 0, but changes at x
= 2 and x = 3.

d. Table of Values
x
y

-3
-1080

-2
-80

e f. Graph and its End Behaviour

-1
0

0
0

1
-8

2
0

3
0

f(x)=-x^6 + 3x^5 + 3x^4 - 7x^3 - 6x^2

x
-8

-6

-4

-2

-2

-4

-6

-8

3. Power Functions
A. Even-Powered Functions
Function in Standard Form:

f(x) = ax n where

a0

, n is even

Symmetry : y - axis
Degree: n

Domain(D): {}

Range(R): { y 0 } if a > 0

Range(R): { y 0 } if a < 0
Graph: Parabola

Direction of Opening: upward if a > 0

downward if

a<0
Trend: increasing from
decreasing from

if a < 0 and decreasing from


if a > 0 and increasing from

Common Points of Intersection: (-1,1), (0,0), and (1,1)


Graphs of f(x) = x2 , f(x) = x4 , f(x) = x6 , and f(x) = x10

0 +

0 +

f(x)=x^2
f(x)=x^4
f(x)=x^6

f(x)=x^10

x
-8

-6

-4

-2

-2

-4

-6

-8

B. Odd-Powered Functions
Function in Standard Form:

f(x) = ax n where

a0

, n is odd

Symmetry: origin
Degree: n

Domain(D): {}

Trend: increasing from


decreasing from

if a > 0
if a < 0

Common Points of Intersection: (-1,-1), (0,0), and (1,1)

Range(R): {}

Graphs of f(x) = x3 , f(x) = x5 , f(x) = x7 , and f(x) = x11


y

f(x)=x^3
f(x)=x^5
f(x)=x^7

f(x)=x^11

x
-8

-6

-4

-2

-2

-4

-6

-8