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Week 8 Creating effective graphs

# Week 8 Creating effective graphs - BioNB 2210 Fall 2011...

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BioNB 2210, Fall 2011 Creating effective graphs Effective graphs enable viewers to quickly and easily comprehend the main trends or patterns exhibited by the data, and present “the greatest number of ideas in the shortest time with the least ink in the smallest space” (Tufte, 1983). The best graphs are efficient , clear , and accurate . Accuracy Use the type of graph that is most appropriate for your data: Column (vertical) and bar (horizontal) charts are used to present discrete, grouped data. They present data at a single point in time, and are often used to represent average values. A column chart should be used for data where the categories have some natural sequence (time, rank, etc.), whereas a bar chart should be used for data where the categories have no natural sequence (e.g. a list of animal species). Line graphs are used to represent the relationship between two independent variables when you are interested in the changes that occur from one point to the next. Scatter graphs are used to represent the overall strength of the relationship that exists between two variables. Data points are not connected with a line, but a regression, or trend, line is often included to help emphasize the relationship between the variables. If you are plotting data points that represent the average of a set of values, you should include

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Week 8 Creating effective graphs - BioNB 2210 Fall 2011...

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