Absolute Value Graph

Absolute value of a number is defined as the number obtained by removing the negative sign if any. Clearly there's no need of any processing for positive numbers. A graph can explain it better. Now if we plot a absolute value graph, the distance of the both negative or positive number from the zero point will be same. The figure below shows graph of absolute value. Suppose we want to find absolute value of |-6| or |6|, this is how we can graph absolute value.
graphing absolute value

If the number is negative, say |-6| here, than just move right ways until zero is reached. Count number of units you have moved- that is the absolute value of a number i.e. 6 here. Similarly if the number is positive, we need to move left side until zero is reached. Counting number of units moved gets you the absolute value which is same as the number in case of positive numbers.

Graphing absolute value of a function:

Suppose we need to plot absolute value graphs for some function, let it be y = |x|. Normally we would get values of 'y' for all positive values of 'x'. But simply plotting for positive value of 'x' is not enough, we need to have some negative numbers possibility for 'x' also.

            Microsoft has provided the absolute value symbol in word. In MS Word 2003, go to the symbol in the Insert tab and you can find a symbol for absolute value. In MS Word 2007, if you go to the Insert tab, you will find symbols and equations somewhere at the bottom. Just click on symbols and select the required symbol. You can also go in the equation editor and select absolute value symbol from the templates located in left corner of the menu. The absolute value finds its application in our day-to-day life also. The word problems can be converted and absolute value property can be applied to get expected output.


By graphing absolute value for above equation, we get 2 lines meeting at a point as shown. We have plotted 4 points on the graph with 2 on each side to get the equation plotted on it. The part on right hand side is for negative values of 'x' whereas the one on left hand side is for positive values. So we have the clear picture of how to plot graph for absolute values as well as absolute value functions.

Let's check for video lesson of Graphing Absolute Value

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