Algebra 87  Graphing Polynomial Functions  Part 2  Summary and Q&A
TL;DR
Learn how to graph polynomial functions by finding xintercepts and understanding the relationship between factors and intercepts.
Questions & Answers
Q: What are some common characteristics of polynomial functions?
Polynomial functions are continuous, meaning their graphs have no breaks or jumps. They are also smooth, with no sharp corners. Additionally, their domain includes all real numbers.
Q: How can xintercepts be found for polynomial functions?
Xintercepts are the values of x where the function's value is zero. For polynomial functions, xintercepts can be found by setting each linear factor of the polynomial equal to zero and solving for x.
Q: How does the multiplicity of a factor affect the graph at its corresponding xintercept?
Factors with odd multiplicities result in the graph crossing the xaxis at the intercept and changing signs on either side. Factors with even multiplicities cause the graph to only touch the xaxis at the intercept, keeping the same sign on both sides.
Q: How can end behavior help determine the shape of a polynomial graph?
The leading term of a polynomial, determined by its highest exponent, dictates the end behavior. If the leading term has an even exponent and a positive coefficient, the graph will grow infinitely positive for large positive and negative xvalues. Odd exponents result in the graph growing infinitely positive for large positive xvalues and infinitely negative for large negative xvalues.
Summary & Key Takeaways

Polynomial functions are widely used in various fields and it is important to sketch their approximate graphs to understand their behavior.

Key characteristics of polynomial functions include continuity, smoothness, and their domain consisting of all real numbers.

Xintercepts, or the zeros of a function, provide crucial information about where the graph intersects the xaxis. Factoring the polynomial can help determine the xintercepts.