How To Graph Fractions?

To graph a fraction as a part of a coordinate pair, place your point between whole numbers on the axis. For example, if your y coordinate is 1/2, go up to the halfway point between 0 and 1. If you are graphing a fraction as m in a linear equation, the numerator tells you where to go on the y-axis, and the denominator tells you where to go on the x-axis.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The first step in graphing fractions is to reduce them to their lowest term. For example, consider the coordinate pair (2, 2/4). Here you would want to reduce the fraction to 1/2. Now the coordinate pair will be (2, 1/2).

The next step is to plot the points as you would a whole number point. For example, let’s say you are plotting (2, 1/2). First you would go to (0, 2) on the x axis (the horizontal axis). Then you would go up to the halfway point between 0 and 1 and plot your point.

If you are making the graph yourself, you should use a simple scale so that your point is easy to graph. For example, in the above case you know that you will have to graph a number between 0 and 1. Therefore you should draw the graph with adequate space between 0 and 1.

Note that if you are graphing slope, the process is different. Slope is represented as a fraction that means rise/run. Slope will be used if you are graphing a linear equation in the form of y = mx + b. In this equation the m is the slope.

To graph slope, you should start at 0 and go up or down the y axis depending on the value in your numerator. Then you should go right or left on the x axis depending on the value in your denominator.

For example, let’s say you have to graph the linear equation y = 2/3x. Here you should graph the fraction 2/3 in rise/run form. You should go up to 2 on the y axis, to the point (0, 2). From there you should go over 3, to the point (2,3). This is where you should plot your first point. You have essentially “risen” 2 points and “ran” 3 points.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team