Creating a Line of Best Fit

In order to analyze a line of best fit for a scatter plot, you will first need to make one. You can do this in Sheets through an option in the chart editor. After making a scatter plot, you can add a line of best fit by opening the chart editor by clicking the three dots in the top right corner.

Screenshot showing how to edit a chart by clicking the three dots in the top right corner.

Once the chart editor is open, make sure customize is selected. Under “Series”, there is a checkbox to add a trendline. You can change the color and thickness of the line, display the \(R^{2}\) value, (this is the same as the coefficient of determination), and display the equation of the line.

Screenshot showing how to add trendline.

Once you have added a trendline, it will appear on your graph.

Scatter plot with a trendline.

Now that there is a trendline and equation of a line on the graph, you can use this information to analyze data and predict results given your data. In particular you can use the slope and y-intercept. Don’t worry if you don’t remember how to find this information from the equation of a line, the next section will guide you through this.

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