The slope of a line describes its steepness. When you find the slope of a straight line, the slope is constant throughout the entire function. When we start dealing with functions that are not straight lines we will discuss other ways to calculate the slope.

To calculate the slope, m, of a linear equation (straight line), you will use two points on the line and the following formula.


Let's take a look at an example where a linear equation passes through (0,0) and (6,3).

  • First fill in your equation: slope = ((3-0)/(6-0))
  • Subtract and divide out to get slope = 1/2

Once you find the slope and have one point on the line you can find the line's equation.

To do this you will be using the equation:


Using our example from before we can plug in one of our points on the line (I'll use 0,0 but they both will work).

  • y - 0 = 1/2 ( x - 0 )

So our equation ends up being: y = 1/2 x

Watch the math video below for a detailed explanation!