Quadratic graphs

A quadratic graph is produced when you have an equation of the form y = ax^2 + bx + c, where b and c can be zero but a cannot be zero.

All quadratic graphs have a line of symmetry.

Positive quadratic graphs (where a \textgreater 0) are U-shaped and have a turning point at the bottom of the curve. Negative quadratic graphs (where  a \textless) are ∩-shaped and have a turning point at the top of the curve.

A graph showing the turning point when a > 0 and turning point when a < 0. The turning point lies on the line of symmetry.

Plotting a quadratic graph


Draw the graph of y = x^2 – x – 4


First we need to complete a table of values:


Then plot these points and join them with a smooth curve.

Graphic of plotting points on a graph sketch from a table of values