Just as there space rules the grammar in composition,there room rules that graphing that aid to visualize data because that youraudience. A well-designed graph should not need lot explanation becausethe graph itself have to make the trends in the data visually apparent. A well-designed graph likewise doesn"t need any type of unnecessary decoration that doesn"t convey advantageous information, such as depth ~ above bars in a 2-D plot. Each of the following terms carries animportant meaning.

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Dependent and Independent Variables

Imagine that we want to do a graph of the amountof rainfall the occurs at different times of year. Rainfall dependson time the year, yet time that year walk not count on rainfall.Therefore, rainfall is the dependence variable and time the yearis the live independence variable. In some graphs, you may have morethan one dependency variable, but never much more than one independentvariable. Because that example, you might overlap plots that rainfall in thedesert and rainfall in the tropics versus time of year, or friend couldgraph inch of rainfall in 2005 and 2006 versus time ofyear.

The Axes

The independent variable belongs top top the x-axis(horizontal line) of the graph and the dependent change belongs onthe y-axis (vertical line). The x and y axes cross at a pointreferred to together the origin, wherein the coordinates are (0,0). Ingraphs with only positive values for x and also y, the origin is in thelower left corner.

The Scale

Each axis demands a scale to present the range of thedata on the axis. The low end of the scale may be zero or a roundnumber value slightly smaller than the the smallest data point. The highend of the range is normally a ring number worth slightly larger thanthe biggest data point. The range is measured turn off in major and minortick marks. Frequently the scale runs from short to high ineasily counted multiples prefer 10s, 50s, 100s, etc. As soon as graphs are contrasted side-by-side, consider scaling them to the same data variety to make comparisons easier.

The Axis Labels

Each axis demands a descriptive axis labelindicating which variable is represented. Because that example, the y-axislabel could read "Total Rainfall" and also the x-axis label can read"Month"

The Units

If you are measuring time, girlfriend must encompass theunits and also the numeric worths so civilization will understand if friend aretalking about seconds, minutes, hours, days, years, etc. If friend aremeasuring rainfall, civilization won"t recognize if you mean inches,millimeters, gallons, etc. Unless you encompass the units. Units shouldbe reported complying with the axis label, as in "Total Rainfall(inches)."

The Data Points

Typically, every independent measurement represents a allude on the graph. If there are multiple data sets gift plotted ~ above the same graph, each collection should be stood for by a distinct symbol.

The Lines

Should you attach the data points v a line? typically the answer is yes if the data clues are component of a series of measurements of the exact same thing over a duration of time, because that example. The implicitly is the the values carry out not drop back to zero in between measurements. However, if you room graphing a scatterplot, you might do a trendline or regression line v the points, however would not connect each one. In part cases, the relationship may not be linear, however exponential or logarithmic, or some various other mathematical function, therefore a curve might be much more appropriate 보다 a line. However, there need to be a factor why a details curve is chosen.

The Legend

The legend becomes important when you are graphingmore 보다 one dependent variable. For example, your legend mightindicate that green lines or bars stand for rainfall in the tropicswhile brown currently or bars represent rainfall in the desertregion.

Use that Color

Colors or patterns must be offered to assist conveyinformation, yet should not be used merely for decoration. In theprevious example, why were green and brown chosen? If the colour werereversed, would certainly this be much better or worse? Why?

Which intuitive Representation?

The kind of data you space presenting might be bettersuited because that one sort of graph 보다 another. Because that example, if yourmeasurements are routine samples the an recurring event, prefer rainfalleach day, climate a line v points help to convey that message. If onthe various other hand, girlfriend are very first averaging across distinct units of timelike months, climate bars could work better. If you room trying tovisually display the piece of a whole, a piechart might be a goodchoice.

Error Bars

Each allude on the graph might represent a solitary data point, or the typical of a repertoire of measurements at that point. In the case, it would certainly be suitable to refer the selection of variation about that point. Frequently the error around the average is expressed together the traditional deviation, yet with tiny sample sizes, the traditional error is occasionally used.

The Title

The title have to be a brief statement describingthe topic of the graph, yet should not explain or translate theresults.

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What no to include

The graph must only include elements that enhance the interpretation, and also there should be a minimum of visual adornment. Because that example, bars must not be 3-D uneven the 3rd dimension adds information.

An example of a properly Formatted Graph


How have the right to a graph be graded? Here"s a sample rubric:

items Rubric points Dependent change 0=absent 1=present but incomplete 2=present and complete Independent change 0=absent 1=present however incomplete 2=present and also complete Axes 0=absent 1=present but incomplete 2=present and complete range 0=absent 1=present but incomplete 2=present and complete Axis brand 0=absent 1=present but incomplete 2=present and also complete units 0=absent 1=present but incomplete 2=present and also complete Legend (if needed) 0=absent 1=present yet incomplete 2=present and also complete usage of shade 0=absent 1=present yet incomplete 2=present and complete Visual depiction 0=absent 1=present but incomplete 2=present and complete location 0=absent 1=present yet incomplete 2=present and complete Resources: just how to make a graph in Microsoft Excel Download this example: rainfall.xls References: