Introduction to Parabolas
When graphing a quadratic equation, the resulting shape is not a straight line, but instead a shape called a parabola. Parabolas vary in direction and shape. The lowest or highest point in a parabola is called a vertex, which lies on the axis of symmetry. If the leading coefficient of the term to the second degree is positive, the parabola faces up. If it is negative, the parabola faces down.