How To: Find the slope of a line

Find the slope of a line

Learn how to find the slope of a line in this math tutorial. 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
• 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. Tip: 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." Tip: 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.


FACT: 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.

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