The general equation for straight line graphs is given by

y = mx + c

Where m is the gradient of the line, and c is the y-intercept (where it cuts the y-axis)

The main distinction in a straight line graph is that you do not have x to the power of anything e.g xis not linear. 

Examples:

y = 2x is linear. There is no 'c' but that just means c = 0 and the line cuts the y-axis at y=0.

y = 2x3 + 1 is not linear. 

2y = x + 1 is linear. You can rewrite this equation to get in a more familiar notation as  y = 0.5x + 0.5, which is linear.

To work out the equation of any straight line graph you just need to find those two things, the gradient (m) and the y-intercept (c).

Now when you work through your next algebra worksheet you should be able to confidently recognise the equations of straight line graphs.

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AQA Unit 2 November 2010 (H) - Page 11, Question 16

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