Whether you're doing your math homework or trying to figure out how steep a mountain is, the slope of a line is simple to calculate and has many practical uses.
You will need
- Graph paper
- A pencil
- Basic math skills
Step 1 Graph the line whose slope you are measuring Use graph paper to graph the line whose slope you are measuring. Draw the line on standard x-and y-axis.
Step 2 Select two points on the line Select two points on the line. Calculate where each point falls on the x- and y-axis to determine the exact points.
Write these points as ordered pairs – two numbers inside parentheses. First the x point, and then the y.
Step 3 Subtract the y-axis locations of the two points Subtract the y-axis location of the first point from the y-axis location of the second point. The difference is called the “rise.”
Step 4 Subtract the x-axis locations of the two points Subtract the x-axis location of the first point from the x-axis location of the second point. This difference is called the “run.”
Pay attention to negative and positive numbers. A negative slope means the line travels downward, while a positive slope means it rises.
Step 5 Divide the rise by the run to find the slope Divide the rise in the y-axis by the run in the x-axis to find the slope of your line, an exact measurement of just how steep it is.
Did You Know:
Did you know? Mount Everest was named after Sir George Everest, the surveyor who used mathematical equations to calculate the location and height of the world’s tallest mountain.