How to Create Bar and Line Graphs. Draw the Axes
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How to Create Barand Line Graphs
Draw the Axes
Identify the AxesY- AxisX- Axis
Identify the AxesY- AxisX- AxisDependent Variable(what is observed and measured)Independent Variable(what is changed by the scientist)
One way to remember which data goes on which axis is the acronym DRY MIX.
D.R.Y. M.I.X. D- DependentM- Manipulated R- Responding I- Independent Y- Y-axisX- X-axisDRY MIX
Write an appropriate title for the graph at the top. The title should contain both the independent and dependent variables.Title
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.Scale
ScaleThe Y-axis scale is from 0-100. The largest value though is only 35.
ScaleThe Y-axis scale is now from 0-40. This does a better job emphasizing the comparisons between coins.
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.Intervals
IntervalsThe interval for the Y-axis is 20.The X-axis does not have numerical data and does not need an interval.
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).Labels
LabelsDV labelIV label
Another handy acronym to help you remember everything you need to create your graphs..
TitleAxis Interval LabelsScaleTAILS
TAILSTitle: Includes both variablesAxis: IV on X-axis and DV on Y-axisInterval: The interval (4) is appropriate for this scale.Label: Both axes are labeled.Scale: Min and max values are appropriate.
Bar Graphs vs Line Graphs
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.
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.
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