How to Graph a Vertical Parabola

Deal with negative coefficients in parabolas.

Be aware of negative coefficients in parabolas. If the parabola is vertical, a negative coefficient will make the parabola open downward.

The figure can be referred to as the “martini” of parabolas. The graph looks like a martini glass: The axis of symmetry is the glass stem, the directrix is the base of the glass, and the focus is the olive. You need all those parts to make a good martini and a parabola.

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