GRAPHING NOTES

 

1. Give your graph a title. The title should describe what the graph represents and include both the manipulated and responding variables.

 

2. Decide which variable is the manipulated variable.  This variable should go along the x-axis.  The responding variable should go along the y-axis.  Both axis should be labeled and include a unit of measurement.

 

3. Decide on the numerical scale to use for each axis and then number each axis.  (The scales do not have to be the same for both axes.) The scales should be consistent for each axis and use up the whole piece of graph paper.

 

 

     HOW TO DECIDE ON A SCALE:

A.  Take the largest and smallest number of your variable and subtract.

 

B.  Count the number of LINES on your graph paper.

 

C. Divide the # in A by the # in B.

 

D. Round up to the nearest whole number then use that number as the scale.  Try to use a number with multiples that are easy to use.  EX: 1, 2, 5, or 10’s

 

4. Start your scale with zero whenever possible. // marks can be used to show a break in the scale.

 

 

5. Plot the data as points on the graph.  This is called a scatterplot graph. Using a straight edge, draw a “best fit line” through the points.

 Title: Distance vs. Time for Freefall           Title: Distance vs. Time Squared for Freefall

d vs. t graphd vs. t^2 graph

Ř          HINT: If you are plotting two sets of data on the same graph, they should each have their own “best fit line” in different colors.

6. When plotting more than one set of data on the same graph, use different colors or different types of lines to distinguish them.  You must include a key or legend.