 Graph Angles in a Standard Position - dummies

Navigators, surveyors, and carpenters all use the same angle measures, but the angles start out in different positions or places. In trigonometry and most other mathematical disciplines, you draw angles in a standard, universal position, so that mathematicians around the world are drawing and talking about the same thing.

## Positioning initial and terminal sides

An angle in standard position has its vertex at the origin of the coordinate plane. Its initial ray (starting side) lies along the positive x-axis. Its terminal ray (ending side) moves counterclockwise from the initial side. If the terminal ray moves clockwise instead of counterclockwise, then the measure is a negative value. You often name angles in standard position with a Greek letter.

The lengths of the rays that create the angle have nothing to do with the angle size. You can extend rays as long as you need them to be, and the angle measure won’t change. Only the position of the terminal ray determines the angle. 