# Equation for Curved Lines in Algebra

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Algebra students often have a difficult time understanding the relationship between a graph of a straight or a curved line and an equation. Because most algebra classes teach equations before graphs, it is not always clear that the equation describes the shape of the line. Therefore, curved lines are a special case in algebra; their equations may take on one of many forms, depending on the curved line you are dealing with.

In high school algebra, the kinds of curved lines that students are most likely to see are the graphs of quadratic equations. These equations take the form of f(x) = ax^2 + bx + c, and can be solved a variety of ways; students will often be asked to find the solutions, or the zeros, of these graphs, which are the points at which the graph crosses the x-axis. Before working with the graphs, however, students should be comfortable with the format of quadratic equations and may work on factoring them as well.