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**5.3 Graphs of Rational Functions**

MAT FALL 2008 5.3 Graphs of Rational Functions In this section, we will study the following topics: Identifying ‘holes’ in the graph of rational functions Analyzing and sketching graphs of rational functions

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MAT FALL 2008 Graphing a Rational Function Defined by an Expression That is Not in Lowest Terms is a “Hole” lot of Fun! Example Consider the function We know that the domain cannot include ________. We’ll start by writing the expression in lowest terms.

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**A “HOLE” appears in the graph at this point.**

MAT FALL 2008 Example (cont) Therefore, the graph of the function will be the same as the graph of ______________ (a straight line), with the EXCEPTION of the point with x-coordinate ____. A “HOLE” appears in the graph at this point.

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**To determine the y-coordinate of the “hole” (point of discontinuity):**

MAT FALL 2008 Example (cont) To determine the y-coordinate of the “hole” (point of discontinuity): SUBSTITUTE THE X-VALUE AT WHICH THE HOLE OCCURS INTO THE REDUCED FORM OF THE RATIONAL EXPRESSION. The hole occurs at x = -3, so we will substitute this value into the reduced expression: A hole appears in the graph at the point __________

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MAT FALL 2008 Now…A Look at the Graph The graph of will look just like the graph of the line with a hole at (-3, -6). hole at (-3, -6)

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**And Now…A Look at the Graph Using the Calculator**

MAT FALL 2008 And Now…A Look at the Graph Using the Calculator The graphing calculator does not show “holes” in the graph well. However, we can use the Value feature or the Table to support the existence of a point of discontinuity.

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**Guidelines for Graphing Rational Functions**

Sketching the Graph of a Rational Function by Hand Guidelines for Graphing Rational Functions Write the rational expression in simplest form, by factoring the numerator and denominator and dividing out common factors. Find the coordinates of any “holes” in the graph. Find and plot the y-intercept, if any, by evaluating f(0). Find and plot the x-intercept(s), if any, by finding the zeros of the numerator. Find the vertical asymptote(s), if any, by finding the zeros of the denominator. Sketch these using dashed lines. Find the horizontal asymptote, if any, by comparing the degrees of the numerator and denominator. Sketch these using dashed lines. Find the oblique asymptote, if any, by dividing the numerator by the denominator using long division. Plot 5-10 additional points, including points close to each x-intercept and vertical asymptote. Use smooth curves to complete the graph.

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**Sketching the Graph of a Rational Function by Hand**

Example Given , State the domain of f in interval form. State the equations of any vertical and horizontal asymptotes. State any x-intercepts of the graph of f. State the y-intercept of the graph of f, if it exists. Sketch the graph of the function using the information in parts a – d and by plotting several additional points.

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**Sketching the Graph of a Rational Function by Hand**

Example (cont)

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**Sketching the Graph of a Rational Function by Hand**

Example Given , Write the expression in simplest form. State the domain of f in interval form. State the coordinates of any “holes” in the graph of f. State the equations of any vertical and horizontal asymptotes. State any x-intercepts of the graph of f. State the y-intercept of the graph of f, if it exists. Sketch the graph of the function using the information in parts a – f and by plotting several additional points.

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**Sketching the Graph of a Rational Function by Hand**

Example (cont)

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**Sketching the Graph of a Rational Function by Hand**

Example Given , State the domain of f in interval form. State the equations of any vertical, horizontal, and oblique asymptotes. State any x-intercepts of the graph of f. State the y-intercept of the graph of f, if it exists. Sketch the graph of the function using the information in parts a – d and by plotting several additional points.

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**Sketching the Graph of a Rational Function by Hand**

Example (cont)

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**Sketching the Graph of a Rational Function by Hand**

One More Example Given , State the domain of f in interval form. State the equations of any vertical, horizontal, and oblique asymptotes. State any x-intercepts of the graph of f. State the y-intercept of the graph of f, if it exists. Sketch the graph of the function using the information in parts a – d and by plotting several additional points.

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**Sketching the Graph of a Rational Function by Hand**

One More Example (cont)

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MAT FALL 2008 End of Section 5.3

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