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

You are watching: Which variable is plotted on the x axis ## Dependent and Independent Variables

Imagine the we desire to make a graph that the amountof rainfall the occurs at different times of year. Rainfall dependson time the year, however time that year go not depend on rainfall.Therefore, rainfall is the dependence variable and also time of yearis the live independence variable. In part graphs, you may have actually morethan one dependence variable, however never an ext than one independentvariable. For example, you might overlap plots of rainfall in thedesert and also rainfall in the tropics versus time of year, or you couldgraph inches of rainfall in 2005 and also 2006 against 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 overcome at a pointreferred to together the origin, whereby the collaborates are (0,0). Ingraphs with just positive worths for x and y, the beginning is in thelower left corner.

## The Scale

Each axis needs a scale to present the selection of thedata on that axis. The low finish of the scale might be zero or a roundnumber value slightly smaller than the the smallest data point. The highend of the range is normally a round number value slightly larger thanthe biggest data point. The scale is measured turn off in significant and minortick marks. Commonly the range runs from short to high ineasily count multiples choose 10s, 50s, 100s, etc. As soon as graphs are contrasted side-by-side, consider scaling them to the same data selection to do comparisons easier.

## The Axis Labels

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

## The Units

If you are measuring time, you must encompass theunits and also the numeric values so human being will understand if you aretalking around seconds, minutes, hours, days, years, etc. If girlfriend aremeasuring rainfall, people won"t know if you mean inches,millimeters, gallons, etc. Uneven you include the units. Systems shouldbe reported following 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 being plotted on the very same graph, each set should be stood for by a unique symbol.

## The Lines

Should you attach the data points with a line? commonly the prize is yes if the data point out are part of a series of dimensions of the very same thing end a duration of time, because that example. The implication is that the values perform not drop ago to zero in between measurements. However, if you are graphing a scatterplot, you can do a trendline or regression line v the points, but would not affix each one. In some cases, the relationship might not be linear, yet exponential or logarithmic, or some various other mathematical function, therefore a curve can be an ext appropriate than a line. However, there must be a reason why a details curve is chosen.

## The Legend

The legend becomes important when you are graphingmore 보다 one dependent variable. For example, her legend mightindicate that eco-friendly lines or bars stand for rainfall in the tropicswhile brown present or bars stand for rainfall in the desertregion.

## Use of Color

Colors or patterns have to be supplied to help conveyinformation, but should no be used simply for decoration. In theprevious example, why to be green and also brown chosen? If the color werereversed, would this be much better or worse? Why?

## Which visual Representation?

The form of data you are presenting might be bettersuited because that one kind of graph than another. For example, if yourmeasurements are periodic samples the an recurring event, favor rainfalleach day, climate a line with points helps to convey the message. If onthe other hand, girlfriend are an initial averaging across distinct systems of timelike months, climate bars could work better. If you are trying tovisually display the piece of a whole, a piechart can be a goodchoice.

## Error Bars

Each suggest on the graph could represent a solitary data point, or the average of a repertoire of measurements at the point. In the case, it would certainly be suitable to express the selection of variation about that point. Commonly the error around the median is expressed as the conventional deviation, yet with small sample sizes, the typical error is sometimes used.

## The Title

The title should be a quick statement describingthe subject of the graph, however should not describe or translate theresults.

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## What no to include

The graph need to only include facets that boost the interpretation, and also there must be a minimum of visual adornment. For example, bars must not be 3-D unless the third dimension adds information.

## How can a graph be graded? Here"s a sample rubric:

item Rubric point out Dependent variable 0=absent 1=present yet incomplete 2=present and complete Independent change 0=absent 1=present however incomplete 2=present and complete Axes 0=absent 1=present yet incomplete 2=present and complete range 0=absent 1=present but incomplete 2=present and also complete Axis brand 0=absent 1=present but incomplete 2=present and also complete systems 0=absent 1=present yet incomplete 2=present and also complete Legend (if needed) 0=absent 1=present however incomplete 2=present and also complete use of color 0=absent 1=present but incomplete 2=present and complete Visual depiction 0=absent 1=present but incomplete 2=present and complete title 0=absent 1=present but incomplete 2=present and complete Resources: exactly how to make a graph in Microsoft Excel Download this example: rainfall.xls References: