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Before we start graphing these things, it would be very helpful to remember what they are!

These are all polynomials:

y = 3

y = 5x - 7

y = x^2 - x - 6

y = x^3 - 6x + 7

y = x^5 - x^4 + 8x - 1

From now on, I'm going to use the official function notation...  Remember that we just replace the y with f(x).

Let's look at the middle guy from above:

f ( x ) = x^2 - x - 6

Yep -- this guy is a quadratic, BUT he's a polynomial too! Specifically, he's a second degree polynomial.

f ( x ) = x^2 - x - 6