for values of a between -3 and 3.
Note that the graph of f is, in general, in two pieces: a part of a parabola and a part of a line. At x = a, LiveMath draws an additional line segment from the end of parabola to the beginning of the other line; this additional line is not a part of the graph. The correct graph would have a break instead of the addtional line. In a later section, we'll see why this line is drawn.
With this exploration you should become familiar with graphing a piecewise defined function when you know the graphs of the two functions which are used to define f.