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We've got all the pieces, now let's put it together:

 

y = a ( x - h )^2 + k

a: opens up or down
     taller or shorter

h: the horizontal shift
k: the vertical shift

Let's do some graphing!

Here's our plan of attack:

1Identify what's going on.  ( and write it down )
2Do the shifting and set the vertex ( the starting point ).
3Pretend you're at (0, 0).
4Deal with any flips or taller/shorter issues.
5Label the points to be a polite math geek!

And remember...

PLOTTING POINTS IS FOR SISSIES!