Complete graphing notes

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Introduction
Graphing is used by scientists to display the data that is collected during a controlled
experiment. Some typical types of graphs are: Bar, Line, Pie
Chart, Stem and Leaf, Scatterplot. It’s important to choose the correct
graph that would best display the data of your experiment.
Scale -- Decide on an appropriate scale for each axis. The scale refers to the
min and max numbers used on each axis.
• 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
The graph should contain 5 major parts: the title, the independent variable, the data. It makes your graph easier to read.
dependent variable, the scales for each variable, and a legend.
1.) The title: this shows what the graph is about. Reading the title
should give the reader an idea about the graph. It should be a concise statement
placed above the graph. Consider what your X and Y axis are
when creating your title.
Graph 1 - The Y-axis scale is from 0-100. •The largest value though is
only 35. Graph 2- The Y-axis scale is now from 0-40. •This does a better
job showing the comparisons between coins.
2.) The Independent Variable: the variable (part of the experiment that changes)
that can be controlled or manipulated by the experimenter.
This variable should be placed on the horizontal or x-axis.
(MIX) (Manipulated, Independent, X-axis)
3.) The Dependent Variable: this is the variable directly affected by the
independent variable. It is the result of what happens because of the independent
variable. This variable is placed on the y or vertical axis.
(DRY) (Dependent, Response, Y-Axis)
4.) The Scales for each Variable: In constructing a graph, one needs to know
where to plot the points representing the data. In order to do this a scale must be
employed that will includeall the data points. Each block should have a consistent
amount or increment on a particular axis. Your scale must be plotted on the amount
Intervals • Look at your minimum and maximum values you set up for both
of graph space available, and will be dictated by the data points.
5.) The Legend: this is a short descriptive narrative concerning the
graph's data. It should be short and to the point and placed directly under
the graph. In graphs with more than one line, the legend is where you will assign
colors or patterns to tell the difference between the lines.
6.) Bars and Lines: When creating line graphs, use a ruler to connect data points to
to ensure your graph is neat. When creating a bar graph, color in your empty bars
neatly and fully.
the Y and X-axis.
• Decide on an appropriate interval for the scale you have chosen. It helps
to calculate the span of your data and divide by how many graph lines you
have. For example, if your data spans from 0 to 140, and you have 28 lines,
you will have intervals of 5.
T- Title, A- Axes, I- Increments, L-Label, S-Scale = TAILS
Incorporate MIX, DRY, TAILS for the following:
The data table shows water temperatures at various depths in an
ocean.
Water Depth (meters)
Temperature (°C)
50
18
75
15
100
12
150
5
200
4
Following the steps on the opposite side of the page –
Plot the data on the grid. Surround each point with a
small circle and connect the points.
Example:
Check off each component as you complete it.
 Title
 Axes are correct (Manipulated Independent on the X
and Dependent Respondent on the Y)
 Increments are appropriately spaced
 Labels are correct and complete on both axes
including any unit of measurement
 Scale – Data takes up most of the graphing space
Graphing Assessment
What do the following letters stand for when making a graph?
D ____________________________________
R_____________________________________
Y_____________________________________
M_____________________________________
I______________________________________
X______________________________________
T______________________________________
A______________________________________
I______________________________________
L______________________________________
S______________________________________
Why is it important to have appropriate intervals (even amounts
of space between numbers) and appropriate scale (how much
space your data takes up on the graph)?
___________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________
Why is it important to have a legend or key for your graph?
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________
Experiment Scenario :
A group of students decided to test the effectiveness of different
brands of paper towel. They wanted to see how much water each
paper towel absorbed. They put each paper towel in a cup of
water for ten seconds. Brand W absorbed 15 mL, Brand X
absorbed 15mL of water, Brand Y absorbed 17 mL, and Brand Z
absorbed 16 mL. They decided to graph their results on a bar
graph.
1. On which axis should they put the amount of water
absorbed? ___________________________________________
2. What would be a good label for the X-axis?
_________________________________________________________
3. What would be a good label for the Y-axis?
_________________________________________________________
4. What would be an appropriate title for this graph?
_________________________________________________________
5. What would be an appropriate scale for the Y-axis of this
graph?
_________________________________________________________
6. What would be the appropriate interval for the Y-axis?
_________________________________________________________
7. Use this data to create a bar graph in the space
below.
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