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Designing Graphics
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  1. Designing Graphics Strategic Planning for Visual Information in your Formal Report

  2. Preplanning Your Graphics • Choose the type of graphic and know why that type was chosen • Know how it will benefit your document (be as specific as possible) • Know how it will be helpful to readers • Describe the data it will present • Know how you plan to prepare it or otherwise obtain it

  3. Common Misuses of Graphics • Distorting charts by varying the grid scale or skipping intervals • Misusing statistics by using inappropriate ones or too small a data base • Omitting relevant data • Using them to pad a skimpy report

  4. Major Types of Graphics • Tables • Line Graphs • Bar Graphs • Pie Charts • Diagrams • Photos or Drawings

  5. display numbers or words arranged in a grid. They are good for situations where exact numbers need to be presented. Some examples are Describing the components of a program's implementation.  Displaying attrition.  Displaying pre- and post-test results.  Presenting correlations or comparisons.  Tables

  6. Sample Table

  7. Line graphs show sets of data points plotted over a time period and connected by straight lines. Line graphs are useful for displaying Any set of figures that needs to be shown over time. Results from two or more groups compared over time. Data trends over time. Line Graphs

  8. Sample Line Chart

  9. Bar graphs show quantities represented by horizontal or vertical bars and are useful for displaying The activity of one thing through time. Several categories of results at once. Data sets with few observations. Bar Graphs

  10. Sample Vertical Bar Chart

  11. Sample Horizontal Bar Chart

  12. Pictorial Bar Chart (difficult!)

  13. Pie charts show proportions in relation to a whole, with each wedge representing a percentage of the total. Pie charts are useful for displaying The component parts of a whole in percentages. Budget, geographic or population analysis. Pie Charts

  14. Sample Pie Chart

  15. Exploded Pie Chart

  16. Diagrams show complex processes and projects; relative positions, roles and responsibilities within organizations; historical perspectives; future plans; and parts and details that are usually hidden. In general, diagrams are used for Ideas, facts, priorities and processes. Where things are located or how they work. Relationships when quantitative information is not the primary focus. Diagrams

  17. Sample Diagram Diagram Example(Not actual data)

  18. Sample Organizational Chart

  19. Photographs or drawings can enhance a report by making concrete the images and facts conveyed in your words. Photos emphasize accuracy; drawings suggest possibilities. They can Document exact conditions Highlight relevant information while excluding the irrelevant Photographs or Drawings

  20. Sample Use of Photo

  21. Sample Use of Drawing

  22. Checklist for Effective Graphics-1 • Have you noted in your document outline the approximate location of your graphics? • Does the text preceding a table or figure make clear why the visual is there and what it shows? • Is the language in the text describing the graphic consistent with the language in the graphic? • Do all graphics have clear, concise captions?

  23. Checklist (cont.) • Is the graphic located as close as possible to the text describing it? • Does the text following the graphic analyze and use its contents to further your argument? • Have you allowed adequate white space around and within the graphics in your documents? • Do the layout and design of your finished document highlight the organization and hierarchy of your information?

  24. Making Graphics Readable—Not this….

  25. But this

  26. Remember • Graphics are part of your persuasive strategy. They should be used for a specific argumentative reason. • A bad graphic is worse than no graphic at all. • Not everybody loves USA Today.

  27. Sources • http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/fcs/beyonddata/index.htm • www.bobvila.com • www.diynet.com • Markel, Writing in the Workplace (1997)