What Are the Parts of a Graph?

The Parts of a Graph

A graph is used to plot points, lines and curves.

The most common type of graph has 2 axes at right angles to each other.

For example, a Cartesian coordinate graph has an x-axis and a y-axis.

The main parts of the graph are:

The X-Axis

The x-axis is the horizontal axis on a graph.

The image below shows what we mean by the x-axis:

The x-axis is labelled with numbers (0, 1, 2, 3...) so you can measure how far across the x-axis a point is.

The Y-Axis

The y-axis is the vertical axis on a graph.

The image below shows what we mean by the y-axis:

The y-axis is labelled with numbers (0, 1, 2, 3...) so you can measure how far up the y-axis a point is.

The Origin

The x-axis and the y-axis are at right angles to one another and cross at a point called the origin.

The image below shows what we mean by the origin:

At this point the value along the x-axis is 0 and the value along the y-axis is 0. The Cartesian co-ordinate of the origin is (0,0).

The origin is often denoted by the letter O.

Slider

The slider below shows how to draw a graph by putting the parts of a graph together.

Open the slider in a new tab

See Also

What are Cartesian coordinates? Create a graph ( interactive widget)