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shared3's avatar

Best way to memorize graphs of circular functions? ex. sin?

Asked by shared3 (921points) April 13th, 2008

I’m trying to find the best way to memorize how they look. I can do all that vertical translation and amplitude stuff, but I can never remember how to graph the basic graphs of sin, cos, tan, sec, csc, and cot.

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3 Answers

Allie's avatar

sin and cos are pretty much the same except that cos has a y-int of 1.
tan: pretend you know a kid named TANner who is on life support. the graph kind of looks like a heart monitor.
cot: just put tan the other direction
heres some links so you can see what they look like::
sin cos tan
sec csc cot

jdvanderk's avatar

for sin and cos you know the general shape, just remember where the y-intercept is and which way it goes from there
tan you might just have to memorize, but intercepts and asymptotes are helpful
once you know these three, the inverses are just 1/f(x)
and if you know amplitudes, you can do that

also, you can always fall back on plugging in numbers to the function to generate y-values

roundsquare's avatar

You know sin(0) = 0 so you start there. If you imagine going around the circle, see what sine does. It increases till you get to pi/2, then it decreases back down to 0 at pi. Then it goes negative until 3pi/2 then it comes back to 0 at 2pi.

Just draw that.

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