Presentation on theme: "Tables, Graphs & Figures. Creating a Table Tables should be arranged so that all the data for a given sample can be read from left to right. A table heading,"— Presentation transcript:
Creating a Table Tables should be arranged so that all the data for a given sample can be read from left to right. A table heading, or caption, must: - have a brief description of what the table shows - explain what is in the table (this may detail how the particular samples were manipulated) - summarize the basic trend - be a self-contained explanation Tables should be clean and logical. Avoid repeating words across the columns or down the rows - subheadings can provide that information.
Figures in Biology In general there are two types: -histograms -scatterplots (point graphs) Other types of graphs are less common for biology papers Each axis must be clearly labeled and units must be noted Have enough tick marks on both axes at intervals frequent enough that the reader can estimate the value of each data point. The meaning of any symbols must be clearly indicated (may be in the legend below)
Figure Caption A figure caption must always accompany a graph It explains what is in the graph (this may detail how the particular samples were manipulated) It summarizes the basic trend It should be self-contained
A Good Caption From the figure caption, the axis labels, and the graph itself, the reader should be able to: 1) determine the question being asked, 2) get a good idea of how the study was done, and 3) be able to interpret the figure without going back to the text.
General Points If you have more than one graph, keep styles consistent. The symbols should be the same, etc. If a simple sentence will convey the meaning of the data and no graph is needed, don't use a graph. Use tables and graphs only if they make your data work for you. If a table or graph fails to help summarize a trend, leave it out.
For Scatterplots By convention, the independent variable is plotted on the x-axis, and the dependent variable is plotted on the y-axis. The axes of the graphs should begin with the number 0. If there's a large break, indicate this with //. Connect the dots when there is a linear relationship (if there isn't a linear relationship, you should probably be using a histogram). When there is clearly a direct relationship draw a smooth curve. Use error bars to indicate SE/SD about the mean: SE standard error – Standard deviation divided by square root of n (sample size) SD – standard deviation
For Histograms Used when the relationships between samples is nonlinear (e.g., the variable is nominal or ordinal) You should insert error bars and ranges (where ranges are far from SE/SD) Do not overembellish (e.g., 3-D, shadowing, and superfluous color)
Fig. 2. A commercial restoration plantation in northeastern Costa Rica. In the foreground are planted individuals of Acacia mangium, a fast-growing tree species native to Asia and Australia, which tolerates poor soils. A fast-growing native species, Vochysia guatemalensis is also planted here among the A. mangium trees. In the background is a fragment of 25-year-old secondary forest. Euterpe oleracea, an exotic palm species from Brazil that was cultivated in a nearby plantation has colonized the restoration site (upper right quadrant) and is now invading secondary forests in this area. [Photograph by R. L. Chazdon]