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How to Create Bar and Line Graphs
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How to Create Bar and Line Graphs

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  • 1. How to Create Bar and Line Graphs
  • 2. Draw the Axes
  • 3. Identify the Axes Y- Axis X- Axis
  • 4. Identify the Axes Y- Axis X- Axis Dependent Variable (what is observed and measured) Independent Variable (what is changed by the scientist)
  • 5.
    • One way to remember which data goes on which axis is the acronym DRY MIX .
    • D.R.Y. M.I.X .
    • D - Dependent M - Manipulated
    • R - Responding I - Independent
    • Y - Y-axis X - X-axis
  • 6.
    • Write an appropriate title for the graph at the top.
    • The title should contain both the independent and dependent variables.
  • 7.
    • Decide on an appropriate scale for each axis.
    • The scale refers to the min and max numbers used on each axis. They may or may not begin at zero.
    • The min and max numbers used for the scale should be a little lower than the lowest value and a little higher than the highest value.
    • This allows you to have a smaller range which emphasizes the comparisons/trends in the data.
  • 8. Scale
    • The Y-axis scale is from 0-100.
    • The largest value though is only 35.
  • 9. Scale
    • The Y-axis scale is now from 0-40.
    • This does a better job emphasizing the comparisons between coins.
  • 10.
    • Look at your minimum and maximum values you set up for both the Y and X-axis. (For most bar graphs, the X-axis will not have numerical values.)
    • Decide on an appropriate interval for the scale you have chosen. The interval is the amount between one value and the next.
    • It is highly recommended to use a common number for an interval such as 2, 5, 10, 25, 100, etc.
  • 11. Intervals The interval for the Y-axis is 20. The X-axis does not have numerical data and does not need an interval.
  • 12.
    • Both axes need to be labeled so the reader knows exactly what the independent and dependent variables are.
    • The dependent variable must be specific and include the units used to measure the data (such as “number of drops”).
  • 13. Labels DV label IV label
  • 14.
    • Another handy acronym to help you remember everything you need to create your graphs…..
    • T.A.I.L.S.
    • T itle
    • A xis
    • I nterval
    • L abels
    • S cale
  • 15. TAILS Title: Includes both variables Axis: IV on X-axis and DV on Y-axis Interval: The interval (4) is appropriate for this scale. Label : Both axes are labeled. Scale: Min and max values are appropriate.
  • 16. Bar Graphs vs Line Graphs
  • 17. Bar Graphs
    • Bar graphs are descriptive.
    • They compare groups of data such as amounts and categories.
    • They help us make generalizations and see differences in the data.
  • 18. Example
  • 19. Another example
  • 20. Line Graphs
    • Line graphs show a relationship between the two variables. They show how/if the IV affects the DV.
    • Many times, the IV plotted on the X-axis is time.
    • They are useful for showing trends in data and for making predictions.
  • 21. Example
  • 22. Another example
  • 23. Create-a-Graph Online!
    • Click here to use the online tool!