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Graphing Types of Graphs Pie Charts XY Graphs Bar Charts What type of graph to use? Pie Charts Limited in their applicability Can only be used when you have a quantitative variable associated with a list of categories where BOTH the categories and the quantities each add up to a WHOLE

Graphing

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Graphing

- Pie Charts
- XY Graphs
- Bar Charts

- Pie Charts
- Limited in their applicability
- Can only be used when you have a quantitative variable associated with a list of categories where BOTH the categories and the quantities each add up to a WHOLE
- The categories must be disjoint
- Most common error – using a pie chart on a set of categories that do not make a whole & to use a pie chart when the categories overlap
- Do not include the total in your pie chart
- Add percentage data labels

- XY Graphs
- Should be used when you have “a lot” of data points and the categories along the x-axis are numerical
- Use the XY Scatter type and then choose a graph option with connected data points, usually
- What Excel calls a “line graph” is very confusing and should essentially never be used (Excel “line graph” always treats the x-axis categorically)

- Bar Charts
- Very flexible
- Can be used whenever there is a quantitative variable associated with the categorical variable
- Great when you have a limited amount of data or when you want to compare more than one series
- If you do use a bar chart and have years along the x-axis, be sure the years are consecutive

- ../../Excel_Files/EnergyConsumption2005.xls
- Select both the categories and the values
- The graph needs a descriptive title
- The percentages might need to be “increased” to show one or two decimals

- http://qrc.depaul.edu/Excel_Files/HomeHeating.xls
- Advantages and disadvantages with bar charts
- Main advantage is their succinctness and the ability they afford to make comparisons within categories and across categories
- Best used in printed works so that a view can study them carefully
- Disadvantage is that they sometimes present far too much information to view as part of a presentation
- It is hard to make a single, clear point with them, and presenters tend not to leave them up long enough to absorb the information fully
- People often make bar charts with quantitative data on the x-axis, but they are not careful about the fact that bar charts treats the x-axis categorically

- http://qrc.depaul.edu/Excel_Files/LakeMichiganLevels1988-2000.xls
- Vocabulary: increasing/decreasing, absolute minimum/maximum, relative minimum/maximum, increasing at an increasing rate, decreasing at a decreasing rate, periodic
- Be able to write paragraphs which describe what the graph is saying, generally going from left to right, telling the “story” of the graph

- What is the purpose of making a graph from this data?
- What type of graph should you make?
- Pie
- Bar
- XY scatter (line)

- Decide on a title and consider the Ws (who, what, where, and when)
- Legend: yes or no?
- Descriptive x-axis label (if applicable)
- Descriptive y-axis label (if applicable)
- Scale (if applicable)
- Source

- The graph should be able to stand alone without any words to tell the reader what they are looking at
- If the reader doesn’t understand the graph without a caption (or story) then the graph isn’t very good
- In a paragraph describing the graph, you should point out what you want the reader to know about the graph

- One of the most common ways graphs can be misleading
- It has become more and more accepted in the media to adjust the y-axis