Your graphs should always be neat and professional looking.

Generally speaking, pie charts, and bar charts give the least information and are not used that much in upper level science. They can be useful in short presentations though. Mostly, we will be using X-Y Line graphs.

  1. Title: All charts and graphs need a title that tells the reader where did the data come from.

  2. Axis Labels: What variable is being plotted on which axis, what is being shown?

  3. Units: Specifically, how is it being shown, are you measuring in cm or meters, or km?

  4. Numbers: Label tick marks on your axis evenly. Put as many numbers on the axis as can be clearly read.

  5. Size: Use as much of the paper as you can. A graph can't be too big.

  6. Straight edge: Whether you "connect the dots" or need to estimate some "best fit" between the data points, use a straight edge.

  7. Graphing software: Don't be afraid to use XL or other graphing software. Show me the output and we can make it work.

Sloppy unkempt graphs will have serious point deductions. Plan ahead and get help. This is the end-product of your work in lab make it look good. : )