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Option 1: Just fill in the form with your homework question, and someone will respond shortly with an answer.

Option 2: Take a photo (or link) of your question, and email or text it to us.

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What is a Parabola?

Q: What are parabolas?

A: Parabolas are conic sections. The standard form is y=a(x-p)^2+q

  • The vertex is located at (p,q)

♦  Note that (x-p) means that the x-coordinate of the vertex is p
♦  Conversely, (x+p) means that the x-coordinate of the vertex is at -p

  • a is the ‘slope’ of the parabola, determining if the parabola is ‘fat or skinny’, and if it opens downwards or upwards.

♦  If a is positive, the parabola opens upwards
♦  If a is negative, the parabola opens downwards

Take a look at the graph of y=x^2 for example. Note that in this case, a=1 and the vertex is located at (p,q)=(0,0).

eg. y=1(x-0)^2+0


The graph of y=x^2


Try making your own parabola by using the Equation Solver on the right. I generated this picture by simply typing in y=x^2. Try typing something like y=3(x+4)^2-5.