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How to Create a Coordinate Plane

Instructor: Laura Pennington

Laura has taught collegiate mathematics and holds a master's degree in pure mathematics.

In this lesson, we'll first learn the various elements of a coordinate plane, after which we'll learn how to create a coordinate plane. We will also look at how to locate points on the coordinate plane and where the coordinate plane came from.

Steps To Solve

Creating a coordinate plane is a pretty simple task as long as we're familiar with the various parts of a coordinate plane. So let's first take a look at the different parts and characteristics of a coordinate plane. After that, we will look at how to arrange them to create a coordinate plane.

In mathematics, the coordinate plane is a plane that consists of two number lines arranged in such a way so that we can use the two number lines to locate any point on the plane. The two number lines in a coordinate plane are called the x-axis and the y-axis. They are perpendicular to one another, meaning they create a 90 degree angle with one another. The horizontal number line is the x-axis and the vertical number line is the y-axis. These two axes intersect at the point 0 on both of the number lines.

Okay, now you may already be picturing in your head what a coordinate plane looks like simply from the description we just saw. Since we are now familiar with the different characteristics of a coordinate plane, we can learn how to create one. To create a coordinate plane, we follow these steps:

  1. Draw two number lines perpendicular to one another, intersecting at the point 0 on both lines.
  2. Label the horizontal number line as the x-axis and label the vertical number line as the y-axis.

That's pretty easy! First, we draw two number lines perpendicular to one another, intersecting at the point 0 on both lines.


Step One
coordplan1


Then, we simply label the horizontal number line as the x-axis and label the vertical number line as the y-axis.


Step Two
coordplan2


There we have it! Our coordinate plane has been created!

Solution

To create a coordinate plane, we follow these steps.

  1. Draw two number lines perpendicular to one another, intersecting at the point 0 on both lines.
  2. Label the horizontal number line as the x-axis and label the vertical number line as the y-axis.


coordpan3


Where Did the Coordinate Plane Come From?

As we said, the coordinate plane allows us to locate any point on the plane from its axes. Basically, any point (x,y) can be found on the coordinate plane by locating x on the x-axis, then going up or down to where y is on the y-axis. For example, consider the point (2,4). In this point, x = 2 and y = 4. To locate this point on the coordinate plane, we locate 2 on the x-axis and then move up four units to where 4 is on the y-axis. This is our point!


Locating a Point
coordplan4


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