# Creating and Interpreting Graphs Charts Tables What are

- Slides: 37

Creating and Interpreting Graphs, Charts, & Tables

What are graphs, charts, and tables? • Graphs, charts, and tables are visual representations of your data. • They are used to display numbers, measurements, percentages, and frequencies, so they are generally used in quantitative research more than qualitative research although tables may be used in both types of research. • You have to understand how to effectively use graphs, charts, and tables as a researcher, and you have to understand how to read (and then interpret) graphs, charts, and tables as a consumer of research.

Why should you use graphs, charts, and tables? • They help your readers to visualize your data and your results because… – our brains can process images much faster than they can process text. – people remember what they see much more than they remember what they read (or hear). – We remember about 10% of what we hear. – We remember about 20% of what we read. – We remember about 30% (+) of what we see. • Visuals help the researcher as well because… – it is easier to detect patterns and trends in data using a visual representation of the data. • Data visualization helps us understand process large amounts of complex data easily. Simply put, a picture is worth a thousand words!

I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand. - Confucius

Types of Graphs & Charts • There are many types of graphs and charts that can be used to visually summarize your results. – Pie charts – Bar charts (or bar graphs) – Histograms – Line graphs – Diagrams – Pictograms (or pictographs) – Flowcharts – And others!

How do you choose the right one? • Choose the chart or graph that best represents the data you have and what you are trying to show your reader. – Pie charts – show a whole is divided into parts (or categories) – Bar charts (or bar graphs) – show and compare different categories of discrete (separate or disconnected) data (note that gaps appear between bars) – Histograms - show and compare measurements of continuous (connected) data (note that no gaps appear between bars) – Line graphs – show data have changed over time – Diagrams – show different parts work separately and overlap at a certain point – Pictograms (or pictographs) – show the meaning of simple statistical data using repeated pictures or icons – Flowcharts – show workflow or a process (usually with steps)

Important Note! • Just because a picture is worth a thousand words does NOT mean that you can just use graphs, charts, and tables in your paper without any text describing and explaining these visual representations of data. • Graphs, charts, and tables are meant to help summarize and clarify your results. They are NOT meant to replace your writing. • In other words, graphs, charts, and tables are meant to help your readers understand what you actually wrote.

Pie Chart

Bar Chart

Histogram Source of image: https: //me. me/i/tomer-owns-a-daycare-center-called-kidz-kare-one-afternoon-866 d 520 df 8684572 a 9 a 464 bc 351 c 725 d

Line Graph

Diagram

Pictogram Source of image: https: //www. pinterest. com/saleatherland/pictograms/

Flowchart

In Summary… • Watch this video about the basics of data visualization: https: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=h. EWY 6 kk. Bdpo

Reading and Understanding Visual Data • First, read the title of the chart, graph, or table. The title tells you what information is shown. • If available, read the key (or the legend), which usually appears in a box next to the graph or chart. The key explains colors, abbreviations, numbers, or symbols used in the chart or graph. • Read the labels on the chart or graph itself. These usually explain the variables or categories that are shown in the graph or chart. • Pay attention to numbers and scales. Is the scale too big or too small? Does the scale not start at zero? Are some numbers “skipped” in the chart or graph or table? If the answer is YES to any of these questions, the bar, graph, or table may have been manipulated to display desired results rather than actual results. • In other words, just like statistics can lie, so can visual data lie and deceive consumers/readers, so don’t be fooled by a good looking graph!

Example from real life… • Let’s say you want to buy a new cell phone on Souq. com (or amazon. ae). • You find a cell phone that’s within your price range and has the features that you are looking for. • You look up the reviews and see this pictogram: • Would you buy the cell phone without hesitation?

What about now? 1 customer rating

What about now? 284 customer ratings

What about now? 50 K+ customer ratings

Analysis of Example • Your answer should change based on two factors (at least): – The number of reviews: – The higher the number of customer ratings or reviews, the more you can trust the average (overall) rating represented in the pictogram. – The type/price of the product: – For a cheap and/or simple product, you may accept a smaller number of ratings before you trust the overall rating. – For an expensive or technically complex product, you will probably prefer a much higher number of ratings before you trust the overall rating. – This is because the cheaper and simpler the product, the less risk there is. The rating isn’t technically more trustworthy; you are simply taking a smaller risk with this type of product. – So an average rating of 4/5 stars with 5 customer reviews of a pencil may be more trustworthy for a consumer than an average rating of 4/5 stars with 150 customer reviews of an expensive laptop.

Reading and Understanding Visual Data Cont’d • Watch these two videos on misleading graphs and charts: – Sci. Toons video by Brown University on how visual data can be manipulated: https: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=x-r. DVXVw. W 9 s – TED-Ed talk on how to spot a misleading graph: https: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=E 91 b. GT 9 Bj. Yk

Important Note! • Just like you don’t want to be tricked by misleading graphs and charts, you have to make sure that YOUR graphs, charts, and tables accurately represent and reflect your real data. So, do NOT violate the principles of ethical research by fudging your visual data to deceive your readers in any way.

Tips for Creating Visual Data • Pie Charts – Remember that pie charts are used to represent how parts add up to a whole. So, if your data categories overlap or are not part of whole, using a pie chart can confuse your readers. – Order the “slices” from smallest to largest. – Label the “slices” clearly and/or provide a simple key. – Limit the number of “slices” to less than 7. Too many can confuse your readers and make it more difficult to understand your results. – Don’t forget to give your pie chart a clear and accurate title. – Keep in mind that the data in most pie charts can be easily represented in a regular table. – See slide #29 on how to set up figures in APA style.

What’s wrong with this pie chart? What applications do teenagres use each week? Snapchat Whats. App Instagram Twitter

Tips for Creating Visual Data Cont’d • Bar Graphs – Remember that bar graphs are used to represent and compare categories of separate data. – Label the categories on the horizontal axis (or the X-axis). And give the axis a title. – If you are comparing categories within categories, provide a clear legend or key (see example on next slide). – If your X-axis labels are long, use a horizontal bar graph – The vertical axis (or the Y-axis) has numbers, frequencies, or quantities. You have to give this axis a title as well. Make sure that you start the Y-axis at zero. – Arrange the bars or columns in a logical order (alphabetical, chronological, etc. ) to make them easier to read. – Don’t forget to give your bar graph a clear and accurate title. – See slide #29 on how to set up figures in APA style.

Example Bar Graph Source of image: https: //www. chicagobooth. edu/research/rustandy/blog/2020/how-are-americans-coping-with-the-covid 19 -crisis-7 -key-findings

Example Horizontal Bar Graph Source of image: https: //www. le. ac. uk/oerresources/ssds/numeracyskills/page_47. htm

Tips for Creating Visual Data Cont’d • General Tips: – Don’t use 3 -D effects in your graphs and charts because 3 -D effects usually make graphs and charts harder to read as they skew the perspective of the reader. – Use vivid colors to help show contrast between categories of data. – Don’t overload your chart with unnecessary data. – Don’t overload your chart with too many colors (6 or less is best). – Keep your charts and graphs as simple as possible. – MS Word (and even PPT) can help you create simple graphs, charts, and tables (you don’t have to use Excel). For help, contact the IT team).

APA Figures • APA considers (and labels) all types of visual data as “figures” with the exception of tables. • Each figure must be numbered (Figure 1, Figure 2, etc. ) in the order in which the figure appears in your paper. This should appear above the figure title in bold. The same applies to tables, but tables must be called Table 1, Table 2, etc. • The title of your graph or chart or table should appear 1 double-spaced line below the figure/table number. The title should be in italics and capitalized (except small function words). • The text on a figure (including labels and legends) must be in a sans serif font (such as Calibri or Arial). The font size can be anywhere from 8 to 14 point. • Include lines and borders only when they are needed for clarity. • See the Owl at Purdue website for more APA guidelines https: //owl. purdue. edu/owl/research_and_citation/apa_style/apa_formatting_and_style_guide/apa_ta bles_and_figures. html

Example APA Bar Graph Figure 1 Framing Scores for Different Reward Sizes Source of image: https: //apastyle. apa. org/style-grammar-guidelines/tables-figures/sample-figures

Example APA Table Source of image: https: //www. scribbr. com/apa-style/tables-and-figures/

Describing Visual Data • First, describe the graph in general (using wording that is slightly different from the title of the graph or table). • Then, write a sentence with no numbers to describe a general trend or pattern (you can use phrases like most, the majority, a minority, a small number, etc. ). – Example: Most of the participants’ motivation to study decreased after the switch to distance learning. • Follow this with a sentence with numbers or percentages. – Example: Twenty out of 100 participants agreed that their motivation lowered once their classes moved online. • Note that you do not have to comment on EVERY piece of information in a graph/chart/table. Choose your key and most important findings to explain. • Don’t describe bars or lines or slices. Talk about the categories or number instead. – So for example, don’t write: The line went down or the bar is smaller. Write: The motivation of participants continued to decrease as the closure continued.

Describing Visual Data Cont’d • Use simple present tense when referring to the graphs/charts/ tables. For example, – The pie chart shows… – The chart is divided into … parts – The table highlights… – The graph illustrates… – The bar graph compares… – The vertical axis represents… – The curve explains why…

Activities • Complete these two online activities on describing and interpreting graphs and charts. – https: //www. elanguages. ac. uk/los/eap/introduction_to_describing_g raphs_and_tables. html – Click on Show feedback below each question for feedback on your answers. – http: //assets. cengage. com/training/HS_06 ws_graphs. pdf – See the answer key on the last page for sample correct answers (although answers may vary).

Remember! Don’t do this! Source of image: https: //www. pinterest. com/pin/281334307957083992/

…or this! Source of image: https: //www. memecenter. com/fun/205684/my-first-pie-graph-meme

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