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# Unit I1 Real functions and graphs

2 Graph sketching
After working through this section, you should be able to:
(a) determine the x-intercepts and y-intercept of a given function f;
(b) determine the intervals on which a given function f is positive or
negative;
(c) determine the intervals on which a given function f is increasing or
decreasing, and any points at which f has a local maximum or local
minimum;
(d) describe the asymptotic behaviour (if any) of a given function f;
(e) sketch the graph of a given function.
In this section we consider the problem of sketching the graphs of functions
that are rather more complicated than the basic functions. We develop the
ideas introduced in the previous section, and give a general strategy that
will enable you to sketch many graphs.
The aim of sketching the graph of a function is to provide a visual
summary of the main properties of the function. Consider, for example,
the function
f(x) =
1
1 x
2
.
By our convention, the domain of this function is the set of all real
numbers excluding 1 and 1; it consists of the three intervals (, 1),
(1, 1) and (1, ).
A sketch of the graph of this function is shown below.
Several key properties of the function f can be seen from this graph.
1. The domain of f consists of the three intervals
(, 1), (1, 1), (1, ).
2. The graph is symmetric about the y-axis, so f is even.
3. The graph of f crosses the y-axis when y = f(0) = 1;
The graph of f does not cross the x-axis.
18
Section 2 Graph sketching
4. f takes positive values on the interval (1, 1);
f takes negative values on the intervals (, 1) and (1, ).
5. f is increasing on the intervals (0, 1) and (1, );
f is decreasing on the intervals (, 1) and (1, 0);
f has a local minimum at 0.
6. As x approaches 1 from the left or 1 from the right, f(x) becomes
very large and positive;
as x approaches 1 from the right or 1 from the left, f(x) becomes
very large and negative;
as x becomes large and positive or large and negative, f(x) gets closer
and closer to 0.
When sketching a graph, we do not aim to achieve the detailed accuracy of
a computer plot, but instead to represent important features such as those
listed above. But how do we identify these features?
2.1 Determining features of a graph
We discuss how to determine the possible features of a graph in turn.
Domain
When the domain of a function is not given, we use our convention and
take the domain to be the set of all real numbers for which the given rule
is applicable. So the domain is the set of all real numbers, excluding any
numbers which give an expression which is not denedfor example, a
zero in the denominator of a rational function, or the square root of a
negative number.
Symmetry features
In the audio section, we saw that a graph may possess certain types of
symmetry:
For a periodic function, such as a trigonometric function, the graph
is unchanged by a translation along the x-axis through the period,
p say:
f(x + p) = f(x).
For an even function, the graph is unchanged by reection in the
y-axis:
f(x) = f(x).
For an odd function, the graph is unchanged by rotation through an
angle about the origin:
f(x) = f(x).
Intercepts
An intercept is a value of x or y at which the graph y = f(x) of a
function f meets the x- or y-axis, respectively. The x-intercepts are the
solutions (if any) of the equation f(x) = 0 and are also known as the zeros
of f. The y-intercept is the value f(0), if this exists.
19
Unit I1 Real functions and graphs
It is usually straightforward to nd the y-intercept, but harder to nd the
x-intercepts, since this involves solving the equation f(x) = 0. This
equation is not always possible to solve algebraically, but it is usually
possible to obtain estimates for the solutions by nding intervals of the
domain in which the values of the function f change sign.
Intervals on which a function has constant sign
We now consider how to determine the intervals on which the values of a
function have constant sign. We make the following denitions.
Denitions Let f be a real function with domain A. Then
f is positive on an interval I in A if f(x) > 0 for all x in I;
f is negative on an interval I in A if f(x) < 0 for all x in I;
f has a zero at the point a in A if f(a) = 0.
Sometimes we can nd the intervals on which a polynomial or rational
function has constant sign by constructing a sign table for f(x).
For example, consider the function
f(x) =
1
1 x
2
.
We can factorise f(x):
f(x) =
1
(1 x)(1 + x)
,
and construct the following sign table. In the left-hand column of the table
are the factors that appear in f(x). In the top row are the key values of x
at which the factors change sign, and the intervals on either side of these
key values. The signs of the various factors are shown in the table by +,
or 0, from which the sign of f(x) may be deduced.
x (, 1) 1 (1, 1) 1 (1, )
1 x + + + 0
1 + x 0 + + +
f(x) +
We use the symbol to indicate
a point which is not in the
domain.
We deduce that
f has no zeros;
f is positive on the interval (1, 1);
f is negative on the intervals (, 1) and (1, ).
20
Section 2 Graph sketching
For quadratic functions, if we cannot factorise the function we can
sometimes nd out whether it always has the same sign by completing the Frame 2 of the audio section sets
this out as
a(x )
2
+ , where
=
b
2a
, =
4ac b
2
4a
.
You may, of course, use either
formulation as you prefer.
square. If the quadratic function is ax
2
+ bx + c, we can rewrite it as
follows.
ax
2
+ bx + c = a

x
2
+
b
a
x

+ c = a

x +
b
2a

2
a

b
2a

2
+ c
So, for example,
2x
2
+ 12x + 19 = 2(x
2
+ 6x) + 19
= 2(x + 3)
2
2 3
2
+ 19
= 2(x + 3)
2
+ 1.
From this, we can see that, whatever the value of x,
2x
2
+ 12x + 19 = 2(x + 3)
2
+ 1
is always positive.
Exercise 2.1 Complete the square on the following quadratic
functions.
(a) x
2
6x + 11 (b) 3x
2
+ 12x 1
Intervals on which a function is increasing or decreasing
We referred to functions which are increasing or decreasing on a particular
interval in Section 1, but did not give a denition. We now do this.
Denitions
A function f is increasing on an interval I, if for all x
1
, x
2
I,
if x
1
< x
2
, then f(x
1
) f(x
2
).
A function f is strictly increasing on an interval I, if for all
x
1
, x
2
I,
if x
1
< x
2
, then f(x
1
) < f(x
2
).
A function f is decreasing on an interval I, if for all x
1
, x
2
I,
if x
1
< x
2
, then f(x
1
) f(x
2
).
A function f is strictly decreasing on an interval I, if for all
x
1
, x
2
I,
if x
1
< x
2
, then f(x
1
) > f(x
2
).
We can sometimes determine the intervals on which a function is increasing What it means to be
dierentiable will be dened in
the analysis blocks. For the
moment you can assume that a
function is dierentiable if it can
be dierentiated by the usual
methods.
or decreasing by inspection of the rule of the function. For example, the
function f(x) = x
3
is increasing on R because x
3
increases as x increases.
For a dierentiable function, however, we can use the derivative of the
function to identify these intervals.
Increasing/decreasing criterion
1. If f

on I.
2. If f

## (x) < 0 for all x in an interval I, then f is (strictly)

decreasing on I.
21
Unit I1 Real functions and graphs
f is (strictly) increasing on the
intervals (a, b) and (c, d).
f is (strictly) decreasing on the
interval (b, c).
f

(b) = f

(c) = 0.
We can determine the intervals on which f is increasing or decreasing by
drawing up a sign table for f

which f

## (a) = 0. Such a point is called a stationary point of f; it is a

value a such that the tangent to the graph is horizontal at the point
(a, f(a)).
A stationary point need not be a local maximum or a local minimum. For
example, f(x) = x
3
has a stationary point at 0, with f(0) = 0, but has
neither a local maximum nor a local minimum at 0. In fact, it has what we
call a horizontal point of inection.
f has a local maximum at b.
f has a local minimum at c.
f has a horizontal point of
inection at d.
We can check whether a stationary point is a local maximum, a local
minimum or a horizontal point of inection by using the following test.
First Derivative Test Suppose that a is a stationary point of a
dierentiable function f; that is, f

(a) = 0.
If f

## (x) changes from positive to negative as x increases

through a, then f has a local maximum at a.
If f

## (x) changes from negative to positive as x increases

through a, then f has a local minimum at a.
If f

## (x) remains positive or remains negative as x increases

through a (except at a itself, where f

## (a) = 0), then f has a

horizontal point of inection at a. f

## (x) may do none of these

things.
Let us return to the function f(x) =
1
1 x
2
. To nd the intervals on which
the function is increasing and decreasing we use the quotient rule to give You will nd a table of standard
derivatives in the Handbook,
and also a list of the rules for
dierentiating functions. We
assume that you have met
dierentiation in your previous
mathematical studies.
f

(x) =
2x
(1 x
2
)
2
=
2x
(1 x
2
)
2
.
22
Section 2 Graph sketching
The sign table for f

(x) is as follows.
x (, 1) 1 (1, 0) 0 (0, 1) 1 (1, )
2x 0 + + +
(1 x
2
)
2
+ 0 + + + 0 +
f

(x) 0 + +
In this case there is no need to
factorise (1 x
2
)
2
, since
(1 x
2
)
2
0.
We nd that
f has a stationary point at 0;
f is increasing on the intervals (0, 1) and (1, );
f is decreasing on the intervals (, 1) and (1, 0).
We deduce that f has a local minimum at 0, by the First Derivative Test.
Asymptotic behaviour of functions
For a function f, the term asymptotic behaviour refers to the behaviour
of points on the graph of y = f(x) for which the variable x or the variable
y take arbitrarily large values.
For example, we consider how to determine the features of the graph of the
function f(x) =
1
1 x
2
as x or y approaches .
The computer plot shown on the left below uses a join-the-dots approach
to generate the graph of this function. The computer plot is inaccurate
near the missing points x = 1 and x = 1, since it shows vertical lines at
x = 1 and x = 1 as parts of the graph, whereas we know that the
function is not dened at these points. It is common for computer plots of A computer plot always assumes
that the curve has no breaks,
and tries to join the curve up
accordingly.
graphs to give misleading results near such dicult points. By contrast,
the sketch of this graph on the right indicates the behaviour of the
function f near the points 1 and 1 by the use of broken vertical lines.
The plot on the left was
generated by Mathcad. We have
added axes for clarity.
A broken line is used when the graph of a function has an
asymptotethat is, a straight line which is approached more and more
closely by the graph when the domain variable x or the codomain variable
y (or both) takes very large values.
An asymptote with an equation of the form x = a is a vertical
asymptote. For example, in the above graph, the lines x = 1 and x = 1
are vertical asymptotes.
An asymptote with an equation of the form y = b is a horizontal
asymptote. For example, in the above graph, the line y = 0 is a When one of the axes is an
asymptote, as in this case, it is
not represented by a broken line.
horizontal asymptote.
23
Unit I1 Real functions and graphs
The behaviour of a function f near a vertical asymptote x = a may take
various forms. For the above example, we describe the behaviour near the
vertical asymptote x = 1 as follows.
f(x) takes arbitrarily large positive values
as x tends to 1 from the right;
we write this in symbols as
f(x) as x 1
+
,
and read it as
f(x) tends to innity as x tends to 1 from the right.
Similarly,
f(x) takes arbitrarily large negative values
as x tends to 1 from the left;
we write this in symbols as
f(x) as x 1

,
and read it as
f(x) tends to minus innity as x tends to 1 from the left.
General versions of these statements are illustrated below, together with Intuitive statements of this
nature will be formally dened
in Analysis Block A.
similar statements for vertical and for horizontal asymptotes.
In the second example, the
graph crosses the asymptote.
These diagrams illustrate asymptotic behaviour.
Exercise 2.2 Write down four more statements describing the types
of asymptotic behaviour displayed by the function f(x) =
1
1 x
2
.
There are other types of behaviour that a function may exhibit as the
domain variable x takes large positive or negative values.
24
Section 2 Graph sketching
Exercise 2.3 Describe the asymptotic behaviour of the following
functions.
In general, the behaviour of a polynomial function of degree n,
f(x) = a
n
x
n
+ a
n1
x
n1
+ + a
1
x + a
0
, where a
n
= 0,
for large values of x, is similar to that of the term a
n
x
n
. We call x
n
the It is x
n
rather than a
n
x
n
that
we are calling the dominant
term. Thus, for example, the
expressions 3x
3
2x
2
+ 1 and
4x
3
+ 5x 3 have the same
dominant term, namely x
3
.
dominant term. This behaviour is summarised in the following tables.
a
n
> 0 x x
n even f(x) f(x)
n odd f(x) f(x)
a
n
< 0 x x
n even f(x) f(x)
n odd f(x) f(x)
A rational function is a function dened by a rule of the form The function x
1
1 x
2
is an
example of a rational function,
with p(x) = 1 and q(x) = 1 x
2
.
x
p(x)
q(x)
,
where both p and q are polynomial functions. Locating vertical and
horizontal asymptotes is an important step in sketching the graph of any
rational function. Vertical asymptotes occur at the values of x for which
q(x) = 0 and p(x) = 0, and horizontal asymptotes may occur when x
or x .
To nd the behaviour of a rational function for large values of x, we divide
both the numerator and denominator by the dominant term of the
denominator. If the dominant term of the numerator is a higher power
than that of the denominator, then there will be no horizontal asymptote,
whereas if it is a lower power than that of the denominator, then the line
y = 0 will be the horizontal asymptote. The situation is more complicated
if the numerator and denominator have the same dominant term; this is
illustrated by later examples.
25
Unit I1 Real functions and graphs
2.2 Strategy for graph sketching
We begin this subsection by summarising basic features which a sketch of a
graph should convey, in the form of a strategy, and then we illustrate the
strategy with several worked examples.
Strategy 2.1 Graph-sketching strategy
To sketch the graph of a given function f, determine the following
features of f (where possible), and show these features in your sketch.
1. The domain of f. All the periodic functions that
you will meet in this course will
involve a trigonometric function
(sine, cosine, tangent, cotangent,
secant or cosecant), so there is
no need to investigate whether f
is periodic unless one of these
expressions appears in the rule.
2. Whether f is even, odd or periodic (or none of these).
3. The x-intercepts and y-intercept of f.
4. The intervals on which f is positive or negative.
5. The intervals on which f is increasing or decreasing, the nature of
any stationary points, and the value of f at each of these points.
6. The asymptotic behaviour of f.
Remarks
1. It is important to begin by determining the domain of f. For example,
if the domain is [3, 9], then f is neither even nor odd, and you cannot
nd the behaviour of f as x .
2. We have numbered the features for easy reference, but it is not
necessary to nd them in the order given above. Indeed, for some
graphs, not all the above features are relevant.
For some graphs, we can obtain sucient information without
including all the steps. However, it is useful to obtain information in
more than one way, in order to provide a check.
3. Choose the scales on your axes with care: usually, the scales should be
the same on both axes, but it may be necessary to have unequal scales
in order to display some key features of the graphfor example, when
f(x) is much larger than x.
Our rst example to illustrate Strategy 2.1 is a polynomial function.
Example 2.1 Sketch the graph of the function
f(x) = 4x
3
+ 3x
2
6x + 4.
Solution
1. By our convention, the domain of f is R.
2. The function is neither even nor odd, since, for example,
f(1) = 5, but f(1) = 9.
There is no trigonometric function involved, so it is not periodic. In future, we shall not normally
mention that f is not periodic
unless a trigonometric function
is involved.
3. To nd the x-intercepts of f we need to solve the equation f(x) = 0,
that is
4x
3
+ 3x
2
6x + 4 = 0.
There are no obvious factors for the expression on the left, so we We tried various values of x for
which f(x) was easy to calculate,
and chose these particular values
of x because the values of f are
positive at one value of x and
negative at the other.
cannot easily nd the zeros. However,
f(2) = 4 and f(0) = 4,
26
Section 2 Graph sketching
so f(x) changes from negative to positive as x increases from 2 to 0.
Thus there is an x-intercept in the interval (2, 0). The y-intercept is
f(0) = 4.
4. Because we cannot nd the zeros of f, we cannot nd the intervals on
which f is positive or negative. However, we know from step 3 that the
sign of f changes from negative to positive as x increases from 2 to 0.
5. Dierentiating gives
f

(x) = 12x
2
+ 6x 6 = 6(2x
2
+ x 1) = 6(2x 1)(x + 1).
We construct a sign table for f

(x).
x (, 1) 1 (1,
1
2
)
1
2
(
1
2
, )
6(2x 1) 0 +
x + 1 0 + + +
f

(x) + 0 0 +
From the sign table we see that
f is increasing on the intervals (, 1) and (
1
2
, );
f is decreasing on the interval (1,
1
2
);
f has stationary points at 1 and
1
2
.
By the First Derivative Test, we deduce that
there is a local maximum at x = 1 with f(1) = 9;
there is a local minimum at x =
1
2
with f

1
2

=
9
4
.
6. The degree of the polynomial function is odd and the coecient of x
3
is positive, so the rst table for the asymptotic behaviour of
polynomial functions on page 25 gives
f(x) as x and f(x) as x .
This information enables us to sketch the graph.
The results of steps 4 and 5 show that the graph of f crosses the x-axis at
only one point.
Exercise 2.4 Sketch the graph of the polynomial function Hint: Putting t = x
2
, the
expression becomes t
2
2t + 3.
f(x) = x
4
2x
2
+ 3.
Next, we sketch the graph of a linear rational function.
27
Unit I1 Real functions and graphs
Example 2.2 Sketch the graph of the function
f(x) =
2x 3
x 1
.
Solution
1. By our convention, the domain of f is R, excluding 1; that is, it
consists of the intervals (, 1) and (1, ).
2. The function is neither even nor odd, since its domain is not
symmetric about 0; for example,
f(1) =
5
2
, but f is not dened at x = 1.
3. f(x) = 0 when 2x 3 = 0, so the x-intercept is
3
2
.
f(0) = 3/(1) = 3, so the y-intercept is 3.
4. We construct a sign table for f(x).
x (, 1) 1 (1,
3
2
)
3
2
(
3
2
, )
2x 3 0 +
x 1 0 + + +
f(x) + 0 +
So
f is positive on the intervals (, 1) and (
3
2
, );
f is negative on the interval (1,
3
2
).
5. Using the rule for dierentiating a quotient, we obtain
f

(x) =
(x 1)2 (2x 3)1
(x 1)
2
=
1
(x 1)
2
.
The derivative f

is undened at 1, and f

## (x) > 0 for x < 1 and x > 1.

Thus
f is increasing on the intervals (, 1) and (1, );
f has no stationary points.
6. The denominator is 0 when x = 1, so
the line x = 1 is a vertical asymptote.
Thus, by the results of step 4 (or step 5), From step 4, f(x) is positive as
x tends to 1

, and f(x) is
negative as x tends to 1
+
.
f(x) as x 1

and f(x) as x 1
+
.
To nd the behaviour of f(x) for large positive or negative values of x,
we divide both the numerator and denominator of f(x) by the
dominant term of the denominator, x: This division is permitted, since
x = 0.
f(x) =
2x 3
x 1
=
2 3/x
1 1/x
.
Now 1/x 0 as x , so We write as x as
shorthand for as x and
as x .
f(x)
2 (3 0)
1 0
=
2 0
1 0
= 2 as x .
Thus
the line y = 2 is a horizontal asymptote,
and
f(x) 2 as x .
28
Section 2 Graph sketching
This information enables us to sketch the graph.
This function can also be written as f(x) = 2
1
x 1
.
Exercise 2.5 Sketch the graph of the linear rational function
f(x) =
x 3
2 x
.
Exercise 2.6 Sketch the graph of the linear rational function
f(x) =
4x + 1
3x 5
.
Next, we sketch the graph of a more complicated rational function.
Example 2.3 Sketch the graph of the function
f(x) =
x
2
5x + 4
x
2
+ 5x + 4
.
Solution
1. We factorise f(x) as follows.
f(x) =
x
2
5x + 4
x
2
+ 5x + 4
=
(x 1)(x 4)
(x + 1)(x + 4)
Thus the domain of f is R, excluding 1 and 4; it consists of the
intervals (, 4), (4, 1) and (1, ).
2. The function is neither even nor odd, since for example, Alternatively, observe that the
domain is not symmetric
f(2) =
1
9
, but f(2) = 9.
3. f(x) = 0 when (x 1)(x 4) = 0, so the x-intercepts are 1 and 4.
f(0) = 4/4 = 1, so the y-intercept is 1.
4. We construct a sign table for f(x).
x (, 4) 4 (4, 1) 1 (1, 1) 1 (1, 4) 4 (4, )
x 1 0 + + +
x 4 0 +
x + 1 0 + + + + +
x + 4 0 + + + + + + +
f(x) + + 0 0 +
So
f is positive on the intervals (, 4), (1, 1) and (4, );
f is negative on the intervals (4, 1) and (1, 4).
29
Unit I1 Real functions and graphs
5. Using the quotient rule, we dierentiate f(x) as follows.
f

(x) =
(2x 5)(x
2
+ 5x + 4) (x
2
5x + 4)(2x + 5)
(x
2
+ 5x + 4)
2
=
(2x
3
+ 10x
2
+ 8x 5x
2
25x 20) (2x
3
10x
2
+ 8x + 5x
2
25x + 20)
(x
2
+ 5x + 4)
2
=
10(x
2
4)
(x
2
+ 5x + 4)
2
=
10(x 2)(x + 2)
(x + 1)
2
(x + 4)
2
We construct a sign table for f

(x).
x (, 4) 4 (4, 2) 2 (2, 1) 1 (1, 2) 2 (2, )
10(x 2) 0 +
x + 2 0 + + + + +
(x + 1)
2
+ + + + + 0 + + +
(x + 4)
2
+ 0 + + + + + + +
f

(x) + + 0 0 +
So
f is increasing on the intervals (, 4), (4, 2) and (2, );
f is decreasing on the intervals (2, 1) and (1, 2);
f has stationary points at 2 and 2.
By the First Derivative Test, we deduce that
there is a local maximum at x = 2 with f(2) = 9;
there is a local minimum at x = 2 with f(2) =
1
9
.
6. The denominator is 0 when x = 4 and x = 1, so
the line x = 4 is a vertical asymptote;
the line x = 1 is a vertical asymptote.
Thus, by the results of step 4,
f(x) as x 4

and f(x) as x 4
+
;
f(x) as x 1

and f(x) as x 1
+
.
To nd the behaviour of f(x) for large values of x, we divide both the
numerator and denominator of f(x) by the dominant term of the
denominator, x
2
:
f(x) =
1 5/x + 4/x
2
1 + 5/x + 4/x
2
, for x = 0.
Now 1/x 0 as x and 1/x
2
0 as x , so
f(x)
1 (5 0) + (4 0)
1 + (5 0) + (4 0)
=
1 0 + 0
1 + 0 + 0
= 1 as x .
Thus
the line y = 1 is a horizontal asymptote,
and
f(x) 1 as x .
30
Section 2 Graph sketching
This information enables us to sketch the graph.
Exercise 2.7 Sketch the graph of the rational function
f(x) =
1
x(x + 1)
2
.
Finally we use Strategy 2.1 to sketch the graph of a function which is not
rational.
Example 2.4 Sketch the graph of the function
f(x) =
x

x
2
+ 1
.
Solution
1. The domain of f is R, since x
2
+ 1 > 0 for all x in R.
2. f is odd, since
f(x) =
x

(x)
2
+ 1
=
x

x
2
+ 1
= f(x) for all x in R.
3. The solution of f(x) = 0, that is x/

x
2
+ 1 = 0, is x = 0, so the
x-intercept and the y-intercept are both 0. That is, the graph crosses
the axes only at the origin.
4. Since f(x) has the same sign as x,
f is positive on the interval (0, );
f is negative on the interval (, 0).
5. Using the quotient rule, we obtain
f

(x) =

x
2
+ 1 x(
1
2
(x
2
+ 1)
1/2
2x)
x
2
+ 1
=
x
2
+ 1 x
2
(x
2
+ 1)
3/2
=
1
(x
2
+ 1)
3/2
. We have multiplied the
numerator and denominator by
(x
2
+ 1)
1/2
.
So f

## (x) > 0 for all x in R; that is,

f is increasing on R.

## (0) = 1, so the graph has slope 1 at the origin. Although nding f

(0) is not
part of Strategy 2.1, here it is
easy to do and helps with the
sketch.
31
Unit I1 Real functions and graphs
6. To nd the behaviour of f(x) for large positive values of x, we divide
both the numerator and denominator of f(x) by the dominant term of
the denominator, x:
f(x) =
1

1 + 1/x
2
, for x > 0.
So Dividing the denominator by x
implies that, within the
square-root sign, we divide
by x
2
, and this allows us to
determine the limit as x .
Dont worry if you nd this
tricky to follow: you will not be
assessed on such a dicult
graph.
f(x) 1 as x .
Thus
the line y = 1 is a horizontal asymptote.
Since f is odd,
f(x) 1 as x .
Thus
the line y = 1 is a horizontal asymptote.
This information enables us to sketch the graph.
Earlier in this section we introduced the First Derivative Test to determine
whether a given stationary point gives a local maximum, local minimum or
neither. There is an alternative test for a local maximum or local You may have met this test if
you have studied calculus
previously.
minimum, using the second derivative of the function f.
Second Derivative Test Suppose that a is a stationary point of a
dierentiable function f; that is, f

## (a) = 0. To use this test, f has to be a

twice-dierentiable function.
1. If f

2. If f

## (a) > 0, then f has a local minimum at a.

This test can be very ecient as a means of classifying stationary points.
However, for some functions it is too complicated to nd the second
derivative. Moreover, if f

## (a) = 0, then the Second Derivative Test gives

no result; the stationary point may be a local maximum, a local minimum,
or neither in this case. This is why the Strategy 2.1 uses the First
Derivative Test.
Further exercises
Sketch the graph of each of the following functions.
Exercise 2.8 f(x) =
1
5
x
5
x
3
Exercise 2.9 f(x) =
4x + 3
x 7
32
Section 3 New graphs from old
Exercise 2.10 f(x) =
2x
x
2
+ x 2
Exercise 2.11 f(x) =
1

1 + x
2
3 New graphs from old
After working through this section, you should be able to:
(a) sketch the graph of a combination of two functions, one of which is
a trigonometric function;
(b) sketch the graph of a hybrid function, whose rule is dened by
dierent formulas on dierent parts of its domain.
3.1 Further graph-sketching techniques
We rst illustrate some techniques for sketching the graph of a
combination of two functions, one of which is a trigonometric function. As
far as possible, we follow the steps of Strategy 2.1 but in some examples,
part or all of some steps are not necessary. In particular, we try to avoid
dierentiating anything dicult! We can also exploit the known features of
the trigonometric functions, such as the fact that the values of sinx and
cos x oscillate (with period 2) between the values 1 and 1. Because of
this oscillation it is often convenient to use other simple graphs as
construction lines. So, for this subsection, we add another step to
Strategy 2.1 as follows.
Strategy 3.1 Extended graph-sketching strategy
To sketch the graph of a given function f, determine the following
features of f (where possible), and show these features in your sketch.
1. The domain of f.
2. Whether f is even, odd or periodic (or none of these).
3. The x-intercepts and y-intercept of f.
4. The intervals on which f is positive or negative.
5. The intervals on which f is increasing or decreasing, the nature of
any stationary points and the value of f at each of these points.
6. The asymptotic behaviour of f.
7. Any appropriate construction lines, and the points where f meets
these lines.
The following example illustrates Strategy 3.1.
Example 3.1 Sketch the graph of the function
f(x) = xsin x.
33