How To Construct a Bar Graph

Helpful Hints for Constructing a Bar Graph
What To Do
How To Do It
a. Identify the Independent Variable (controlled by the experimenter)
 Place on the X axis (horizontal)
b. Identify the Dependent Variable (changes as a result of the independent variable)
 Place on the Y axis (vertical)
Identify the variables
Draw axis lines
a. Use a ruler to draw lines for the X and Y axis
b. Do not label axis as X or Y. You will label each axis later.
Determine the
variable range
a. Subtract the lowest data value from the highest data value.
b. Do each variable separately.
c. Scale typically begins at zero
Determine the scale
of the graph
Number and label
each axis
Plot the data points
Create data bars
Title the graph
a. Determine a scale (the numerical value for each square)
that best fits the range of each variable.
b. Spread the graph to use MOST of the available space.
a. Label each axis and variable.
b. Include units of measure (for example, cm, N, g)
a. Plot each data value on the graph with a dot.
b. You can put the data number above the dot if it does not
clutter your graph.
a. Use a ruler to create a bar for each data point
b. Bars should be kept apart.
c. Be sure to keep the space equal between each bar.
a. Your title should clearly tell what the graph is about.
b. A good title should be something like "The effect of...."
 Always use graph paper to create a graph. Graphs done on plain or notebook paper will
not be accepted. You may turn in a graph created with a computer on plain paper.
 Always create a graph with a regular pencil so that you can correct errors.
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