Which Graph Do I Use?

 

The type of graph you use to represent your data depends on what you want to show.  The following are examples of when you would use a bar and/or a line graph.

 

You would use a BAR GRAPH when…

  • You want to show the final comparison between two or more sets of data.

  • You want to show the final growth of plants.

  • You want to show the average value of two or more sets of data.  For example, if you conducted an experiment using three plants (A, B, and C) and repeated the experiment 5 times.  You could get the average height of plants A1, A2, A3, A4, and A5.  You could do the same with all the B's and all the C's.

  • Most of the time, the values on the X-axis of bar graphs represent the subjects used during the experiment.

 

You would use a LINE GRAPH when…

  • You want to show daily and progressive growth of plants.

  • You want to show distance over time.

  • Both y- and x-axis have numerical values (or have been measured using an instrument).

 

FOR BOTH BAR AND LINE GRAPHS

  • Always label the Y-axis using the values of the dependent variable.  The dependent variable is what you measure to see the effects of the independent variable.

 

 

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