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# How do I find the slope of a line?

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Slope is the angle at which a line differs from the horizontal. On a coordinate plane, slope is defined as change in y, divided by change in x, also known as rise over run.

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1. ### Choose two points

A straight line always has the same slope no matter how much of it considered. For convenience, find two points where the line intersects the coordinate plane at easy-to-read points rather than between whole numbers.

2. ### Subtract one y coordinate from the other y coordinate

If you chose the points (0, 3) and (3, -3), for example, begin by finding the difference between the two y coordinates. In this case, the answer is either 6 or -6, depending on which order you perform the operation. As long as you perform the operation in the same order when you find the difference between x coordinates, this difference does not matter.

3. ### Subtract one x coordinate from the other x coordinate

If you subtracted 3 from -3 to find the value for change in y, subtract 0 from 3 to find the change in x. If you originally subtracted -3 from 3 to find the change in y, then subtract 3 from 0 to find the change in x.

4. ### Divide change in y by change in x

Depending on the order you chose, you are either dividing -6 by 3, or 6 by -3. In either case, the answer is -2. This is the slope of the line. In the standard form for a linear equation, y = mx + b, m stands for the slope.

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## Related Questions

• A:

The slope of the line y = 3x + 2 is equal to 3. The slope of a straight line refers to the coefficient in front of the independent variable, x.

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• A:

To find the slope of the tangent line to the graph of a function at a point, find the derivative of the function, then plug in the x-value of the point. Completing the calculation takes just a few minutes by hand, or a calculator can be used.

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• A:

A line that is perpendicular to the x-axis has an undefined slope. All of the points on such a line have the same x-coordinate. If the value of x never changes, then the formula for slope, (y2 - y1)/(x2 - x1), has a denominator of zero, which is mathematically undefined.