6.3 Tables, charts, and also graphs

Tables

Uses for tables

Tables room rows and columns the numbers and also words (though largely numbers). They allow rapid access to and relatively easy compare of information. If the data is arranged chronologically (for example, sales figures over a ten-year period), the table can show trends—patterns of increasing or fall activity. However, tables space not have to the most vivid or dramatic way of mirroring such fads or relationships between data—for that, you’d desire to usage a line graph, i m sorry is discussed in the next section.

You are watching: Why are tables helpful for displaying data

The best use that tables is because that numerical data. Imagine that you are comparing various models the laser printers in terms of physical features such as height, depth, length, weight, and also so on. This form of data is perfect because that a table.

A special type of table is referred to as a matrix. This is where rather of comparing numerical worths in the rows and columns, you room comparing qualitative data (words). Because that example, imagine the you were comparing number of models of a laser printer and also you desire to represent assorted information, such as cost, print speed, it is provided costs, and warranty terms, because that each printer being considered. This is ideal details for a matrix, and it would certainly be greatly words quite than numbers.

Formatting requirements

In its simplest form, a table is a group of rows and also columns of data. In ~ the height of each column is a shaft heading, which specifies or identifies the components of that shaft (and often it indicates the unit that measurement). On the left sheet of the table room row headings, which specify or recognize the components of the row. Things can gain tricky once rows or columns must be grouped or subdivided. In together cases, you have actually to produce row or shaft subheadings, as presented in number 5.3.1.

*
Figure 5.3.1 layout for tables with grouped or subdivided rows and also columns.

As you deserve to see, the title and number for the table goes above the table. This is in comparison to other varieties of graphics where the title and also number go below the graphic.

Guidelines for making use of tables

As v other types of graphics, you need to refer come the table in the text just preceding the table. You should additionally explain the basic significance the the data in the table; don’t mean readers to number it out completely for themselves.

Don’t overwhelm readers v monster 11-column, 30-row tables! leveling the table data down to just that amount of data the illustrates your point—without of food distorting the data.

Don’t put the word or abbreviation because that the unit of measure in every cabinet of a column. For example, in a pillar of measurements all in millimeters, don’t placed “mm” ~ every number. Placed the abbreviation in parentheses in the pillar or heat heading.

Right- or decimal-align number in the columns. If the 123 and also 4 were in a column, the 4 would certainly be right listed below the 3, not the 1.

Normally, native in columns space left-justified (although you will occasionally see columns of words every centered).

Column headings are focused over the columns of numerical data (forming a T-shape). As soon as the table has text quite than numbers, the column headings are left-aligned.

Just as you would cite and also reference a pictured or a direct quote, for this reason too should you cite and reference any type of tables the you use that were developed by someone else or the were based upon someone else’s data. Show the resource of any type of graphic or data you have borrowed. Whenever girlfriend borrow a graphic or data indigenous some various other source, paper that fact in the figure title utilizing an in-text citation. Friend should also include the reference info in the referral list.

Charts and also graphs

Uses of charts and graphs

Charts and graphs are just another method of presenting the exact same data that is presented in tables. At the same time, however, you get less information or much less precision in a graph or graph than you carry out in the table. Imagine the difference in between a table that sales figures for a ten-year duration and a line graph because that that exact same data. You acquire a much better sense that the overall trend in the graph but not the precise dollar amount. Other species of charts and also graphs are horizontal bar charts, vertical bar charts, and also pie charts.

Formatting requirements

In bar charts and line graphs, don’t forget to show what the x and y axes represent. One axis could indicate millions of dollars; the other, five-year segments from 1960 to the present.

Bar charts, heat graphs, and also pie charts frequently use unique colour, shading, or line style (solid or dashed). Be sure to show what these mean; translate them in a key (a legend) in part unused place in the chart or graph.

Include a title and also numbered brand for your charts and also graphs. Incorporate the title and label listed below the graphic, as shown in number 5.3.2.

*
Figure 5.3.2 instance of a chart

As you deserve to see, over there is text above and below the chart the calls fist to the graphic and briefly indicates its significance.

See more: Fact Check: Red Bull Does Red Bull Have Bull Sperm And Urine In It ?

Just together you would cite and reference a pictured or a straight quote, for this reason too have to you cite and reference any charts or graphs the you use that were created by someone rather or the were based on someone else’s data. Suggest the resource of any type of graphic or data you have actually borrowed. Whenever girlfriend borrow a graphic or data from some other source, record that truth in the number title utilizing an in-text citation. You should additionally include the reference information in the referral list.