# How can you find the nature of a graph?

I have a physics project, and I have to develop an argument, but am not allowed to use phrases like "From the graph you can tell..."

How can the nature of the graph be determined manually, e.g. finding that it is expontential rather than quadratic?

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If you are not allowed to use arguments like “from the graph you can tell …”, you should be given another representation of the function, or else you have no chance. Do you have a concrete mapping assignment? – k.stm May 10 '13 at 7:45
Basically, I have conducted an experiment, and I shouldn't rely on software to develop my argument. – DarkLightA May 10 '13 at 7:57
@DarkLightA So you have a table of data points and wish to draw conclusions from them. – Milo Brandt Mar 8 '15 at 23:31

To go along with user21820's answer, if you think your data points fit an exponential curve $$y=ae^{bx}$$ you can use the TI-83/84 to fit an exponential curve to the data. But I am not sure if it will compute any kind of correlation coefficient to help support the idea that an exponential curve is the best fit.
However, you could take logarithms of both sides and get $$\log y=\log a + b\log x$$ and then you can get a linear fit of your logarithmic data. Then the correlation coefficient of this linear model will tell you how well a line fits your logarithmic data and hence how well an exponential equation fits your original data.