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Section 4.

4 Curve Sketching

2010 Kiryl Tsishchanka

Curve Sketching
GUIDELINES FOR SKETCHING A CURVE:
A. Domain.
B. Intercepts: x- and y-intercepts.
C. Symmetry: even (f (x) = f (x)) or odd (f (x) = f (x)) function or neither, periodic
function.




D. Asymptotes: horizontal
lim f (x) = L and vertical lim f (x) = asymptotes.
x

xa

E. Intervals of Increase or Decrease: Use the I/D Test (first derivative).


F. Local Maximum and Minimum Values: Use critical numbers.
G. Concavity and Points of Inflection: Compute f (x) and use the Concavity Test.
H. Sketch the Curve: Using the information in items A-G, draw the graph.
EXAMPLE: Use the guidelines to sketch the curve f (x) =

x1
.
x+2

Solution:
A. Domain: (, 2) (2, )
B. Intercepts:
(i) x-intercept (y = 0):
x1
=0
x+2

x1=0

x=1

(ii) y-intercept (x = 0):


01
1
y=
=
0+2
2

1
0,
2

C. Symmetry:
(i) This function is not even , since
f (1) =

1 1
11
6=
= f (1)
1 + 2
1+2

(ii) This function is not odd , since


f (1) =

11
1 1
6=
= f (1)
1 + 2
1+2

(iii) This function is not periodic .


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(1,0)

Section 4.4 Curve Sketching

2010 Kiryl Tsishchanka

D. Asymptotes:
(i) Horizontal asymptote:
x1
= lim
x
x x + 2

lim f (x) = lim

x1
x
x+2
x

1
x 1 +

= lim

1
x
2
x

=1

y = 1 is the horizontal asymptote

(ii) Vertical asymptote:

lim f (x) = lim

x2

x2

WORK:

x1

= 2.01 1
=
3.01
NOT
SMALL
x+2
=
=
= +BIG
2.01 + 2
0.01
SMALL

Therefore x = 2 is the vertical asymptote .


E. Intervals of Increase or Decrease: We have


1 (x + 2) (x 1) 1
(x 1) (x + 2) (x 1)(x + 2)
x1

=
f (x) =
=
x+2
(x + 2)2
(x + 2)2
=

-2

x+2x+1
3
=
>0
2
(x + 2)
(x + 2)2
+

It follows that this function increases on (, 2) and (2, ) .


F. Local Maximum and Minimum Values: This function has no critical numbers, therefore
it has no local maximum and minimum values .
G. Concavity and Points of Inflection: We have




3
6

f (x) =
= 3(x + 2)2 = 3 (x + 2)2 = 6(x + 2)3 =
2
(x + 2)
(x + 2)3
+

-2

It follows that f (x) > 0 if x < 2 and f (x) < 0 if x > 2, therefore f (x) is
concave upward on (, 2) and concave downward on (2, )
There are no inflection points , since x = 2 is not in the domain.
H. Sketch the Curve:
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Section 4.4 Curve Sketching

2010 Kiryl Tsishchanka

H. Sketch the Curve: We have

2x2
.
EXAMPLE: Use the guidelines to sketch the curve f (x) = 2
x 1
Solution:

A. Domain:

B. Intercepts:
(i) x-intercepts:

(ii) y-intercepts:

C. Symmetry:
(i) This function is even (?)

(ii) This function is odd (?)

(iii) This function is periodic (?)

Section 4.4 Curve Sketching

2010 Kiryl Tsishchanka

D. Asymptotes:
(i) Horizontal asymptotes:

(ii) Vertical asymptotes:

E. Intervals of Increase or Decrease:

Section 4.4 Curve Sketching

2010 Kiryl Tsishchanka

F. Local Maximum and Minimum Values:

G. Concavity and Points of Inflection:

H. Sketch the Curve:

Section 4.4 Curve Sketching

2010 Kiryl Tsishchanka

EXAMPLE: Use the guidelines to sketch the curve f (x) =


Solution:

2x2
.
x2 1

A. Domain: (, 1) (1, 1) (1, )


B. Intercepts:
(i) x-intercept (y = 0):
2x2
=0
x2 1

2x2 = 0

y=

2 02
=0
02 1

x=0

(0,0)

(ii) y-intercept (x = 0):


=

(0,0)

C. Symmetry:
(i) This function is even , since
f (x) =

2(x)2
2x2
=
= f (x)
(x)2 1
x2 1

(ii) This function is not odd , since it is even.


(iii) This function is not periodic .
D. Asymptotes:
(i) Horizontal asymptote:
2x2
lim 2
= lim
x x 1
x

2x2
x2
x2 1
x2

= lim

2x2
x2

2
x x
x2

= lim

1
x2

2
=2
1 x12

y = 2 is the horizontal asymptote

(ii) Vertical asymptotes:

WORK:
2x2

= 2(1.01)2
lim+ 2
=
2
+NOT SMALL
x1 x 1
=
=
=
+BIG
(1.01)2 1
0.02
+SMALL
so x = 1 is the first vertical asymptote. Similarly,

WORK:
2x2

lim 2
= 2(1.01)2
=

2
+NOT
SMALL
x1 x 1
=
=
=
+BIG
(1.01)2 1
0.02
+SMALL
so x = 1 is the second vertical asymptote.
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Section 4.4 Curve Sketching

2010 Kiryl Tsishchanka

E. Intervals of Increase or Decrease: We have




2x2
(2x2 ) (x2 1) 2x2 (x2 1)
4x(x2 1) 2x2 2x

f (x) =
=
=
x2 1
(x2 1)2
(x2 1)2

-1

4x3 4x 4x3
(x2 1)2

4x
(x2 1)2

It follows that this function


increases on (, 1) and (1, 0) and decreases on (0, 1) and (1, )
F. Local Maximum and Minimum Values: x = 0 is the point of local maximum .
G. Concavity and Points of Inflection: We have


(4x) (x2 1)2 (4x)((x2 1)2 )
4x

=
f (x) =
(x2 1)2
((x2 1)2 )2

4(x2 1)2 (4x) 2(x2 1)21 (x2 1)


(x2 1)4

4(x2 1)2 (4x) 2(x2 1) 2x


(x2 1)4

4(x2 1) (4x) 2 2x
(x2 1)3

4x2 + 4 + 16x2
(x2 1)3

12x2 + 4
(x2 1)3
-1

It follows that f (x) > 0 if x < 1 or x > 1 and f (x) < 0 if 1 < x < 1. Thus f (x) is
concave upward on (, 1) and (1, ) and concave downward on (1, 1)
There are no inflection points , since x = 1 are not in the domain.
H. Sketch the Curve:
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Section 4.4 Curve Sketching

2010 Kiryl Tsishchanka

H. Sketch the Curve: We have

EXAMPLE: Use the guidelines to sketch the curve f (x) = xex


Solution:
A. Domain:

B. Intercepts:
(i) x-intercepts:

(ii) y-intercepts:

C. Symmetry:
(i) This function is even (?)

(ii) This function is odd (?)

(iii) This function is periodic (?)


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2 /2

Section 4.4 Curve Sketching

2010 Kiryl Tsishchanka

D. Asymptotes:
(i) Horizontal asymptotes:

(ii) Vertical asymptotes:

E. Intervals of Increase or Decrease:

F. Local Maximum and Minimum Values:

Section 4.4 Curve Sketching

2010 Kiryl Tsishchanka

G. Concavity and Points of Inflection:

H. Sketch the Curve:

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Section 4.4 Curve Sketching

2010 Kiryl Tsishchanka

EXAMPLE: Use the guidelines to sketch the curve f (x) = xex

2 /2

Solution:
A. Domain: (, )
B. Intercepts:
(i) x-intercept (y = 0):
xex

2 /2

=0

x=0

(0,0)

(ii) y-intercept (x = 0):


2 /2

y = 0 e0

=0

(0,0)

C. Symmetry:
(i) This function is not even , since
f (1) = (1)e(1)

2 /2

2 /2

6= 1 e1

= f (1)

(ii) This function is odd , since


f (x) = (x)e(x)

2 /2

= xex

2 /2

= f (x)

(iii) This function is not periodic .


D. Asymptotes:
(i) Horizontal asymptote:
lim xex

2 /2

= lim

x
e

x2 /2

= lim

x
(e

x2 /2

= lim

x2 /2

1
1
=
lim
=0
2
(x2 /2) x ex /2 x

Therefore y = 0 is the horizontal asymptote .


(ii) No vertical asymptotes .
E. Intervals of Increase or Decrease: We have
 2 


x

x2 /2
x2 /2
x2 /2
x2 /2
x2 /2
f (x) = xe
=xe
+ x(e
) =e
+ xe

2
= ex

-1

2 /2

+ xex
1

2 /2

(x) = (1 x2 )ex

One can see that this function


increases on (1, 1) and decreases on (, 1) and (1, )
F. Local Maximum and Minimum Values:
x = 1 is local minimum and x = 1 is local maximum
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Section 4.4 Curve Sketching

2010 Kiryl Tsishchanka

G. Concavity and Points of Inflection: We have




 2 
2
2
f (x) = (1 x2 )ex /2 = (1 x2 ) ex /2 + (1 x2 ) ex /2
= 2xe

x2 /2

= 2xex

2 /2

+ (1 x )e

x2 /2

x(1 x2 )ex

= (2 1 + x2 )xex
= (x2 3)xex

 2 
x

2

2 /2

2 /2

2 /2

3
3
0
+

It follows that f (x) > 0 if 3 < x < 0 or x > 3 and f (x) < 0 if x < 3 or 0 < x < 3.
Thus f (x) is

concave upward on ( 3, 0) and ( 3, )


and

concave downward on (, 3) and (0, 3)

There are three inflection points x = 0, 3 .

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