# Incorporating Statistics, Graphs, and Illustrations.

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Incorporating Statistics, Graphs, and Illustrations

Statistics, Graphs, and Illustrations  Charts, graphs, statistics, illustrations, and other visuals strengthen and support arguments in your research paper in the following ways:  By presenting data simply and clearly  By presenting numerical relationships visually  By capturing your reader’s attention

Types of Visuals  You may use different types of visuals in a research paper, including the following:  Charts and Graphs  Pie chart: Illustrates the entirety of something divided into parts (pg 513)  Gantt chart: Displays a schedule or timeline as a bar chart  Flow chart: Shows the order of steps in a process (pg 518)  Horizontal bar graph: Uses rectangular bars to compare two or more values  Vertical bar graph: Uses rectangular bars to compare two or more values (pg 515)  Line graph: Uses points to create a line in order to show comparisons (pg 516)

Types of Visuals  Tables  Purpose: Arranges data in rows and columns (pg 514)

Partner Activity!  Please turn to page 516 in McGraw-Hill and complete the writing activity.  You may work with a partner!

Types of Visuals  Illustrations  Timeline: Shows a sequence of events, such as historical or scientific events  Drawings: Conveys information that is better understood visually, for example, a political cartoon, a map, or a drawing to illustrate parts of a tool or a piece of technology  Pictures or art: Visually convey a powerful image

Partner Activity!  Please turn to page 522 in the McGraw-Hill text and complete the writing activity.  You may work with a partner!

Selecting Appropriate Visuals  You must use visuals sparingly to maximize their effect— approximately one to three visuals in appropriate locations in your research paper. To decide the best type of visual to use, consider the following questions:  Can the visual convey information better than words? Showing before and after photos of an area that has been mined could make a powerful effect while a picture of a flower would not make a statement.

Selecting Appropriate Visuals  At what skill level is my audience? Generally, bar charts are easier for the general public to read and understand, whereas line charts are more familiar to scientific audiences.  What is your paper’s purpose and thesis? Consider using information that specifically proves your thesis, supports your purpose, and also affects the reader.  What types of visuals am I able to create? Choose visuals you can easily create (basic visuals, such as pie and bar charts, in Microsoft ® Word and Excel, for example).

Incorporating Visuals  Once you have selected the types of visuals and the kind of information the visuals will convey, decide where and how to incorporate each visual into your paper.

 Place the visual in the most logical place—where your argument in the paper relates directly to the information in the visual.  Do not include too much information in your visual. A bar chart with 15 different bars, for instance, would overwhelm the reader with too many graphic effects (such as lines, colors, and so forth) or with too much data. Effective Use of Visuals

 Use transitional statements to introduce the visual. Consider the following thesis: Schools need to serve more healthful foods.  To support your argument, you might want to include statistics comparing childhood obesity today with figures in the past.  To introduce a visual comparing these statistics, you could write, “Researchers have noted that in every decade for the last 40 years, American children have become more overweight. The following chart illustrates this point.” Then, place your chart in the paper following the transitional statements.

Individual In Class Assignment  Complete the Writing Activity hand out  Begin finding or creating visuals for your final paper  The laptops are available for your use!