the first derivative yields a formula for the slope of the function at any given point.
So take the derivative, then plug in a for x and you will have the slope of the function at x = a.
then for the other part, plug in 1 for x.
I really just don't understand the whole idea of this topic in general but here is one sample problem that I needed help with, and if you can provide any help with the topic in general, it would be greatly appreciated.
y=1/(square root of x)
I am asked to find the slope of the tangent line at the point where x=a
as well as the point (1,1)