# Line of best fit for maths IA

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Is a line of best fit curved or straight?

I mean I know both of them have to be as close to the points as possible but for my IA I need it to linear but the points are a bit curved. Can I still use it as a linear or do I have to make it exponential?

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Usually, you can compare the lines of best fit using the R2 values (which you can easily get from typical graphing software like Excel). The closer the value is to 1, the better the line of best fit. Of course, it's a dilemma if both the linear line and the curved line have a high value for the R2 (typically higher than 0.8). In that case, I'd recommend you to look at the theoretical relationship between the 2 variables in question. Does the theory from your textbook tell you that the relationship is linear, or does it tell you that the relationship must be exponential? In worst-case scenario, if the theory doesn't tell you anything, then you should choose which ever line that has the higher R2 value.

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