The Basics of Graphs and Charts

Graphs and charts communicate information visually. They can show patterns, help scientists identify correlations, and get the point of the experiment across quickly.

  • Typically, the independent variable is plotted on the x-axis

  • The dependent variable is plotted on the y-axis.

The mnemonic DRY MIX, for “dependent, responding, y-axis” and “manipulated, independent, x-axis,” can help students remember this point.

Let’s look at the different types of graphs and which types of data are best represented by each.

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