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8: Graphics and Visual Aids

  • Page ID
    25762
  • \( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \) \( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)\(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)\(\newcommand{\AA}{\unicode[.8,0]{x212B}}\)

    clipboard_eb8dbede978fdd96b04dcfc9fee172114.png

    “Statistic” by JuralMin is in the Public Domain, CC0

    Oftentimes, authors include charts, graphs, pictures and other visual aids in their writing. Listed below are various types of data found on most graphics, whether a pie chart, bar graph, line chart, or other type. The key to comprehending graphics and using them to get more meaning from a textbook chapter or an article, or to answer study questions, is to pay close attention to the typical elements of the graphic. Not every graphic includes all of the elements listed.

    1. Title
    2. Captions
    3. Legend
    4. Axis information (vertical information, or “Y” data, and horizontal information, or “X” data)
    5. Publication date (important for the most current information)
    6. Publisher (important for credibility)
    7. Labels
    8. Color (used to differentiate and compare data)
    9. Size (also used to represent comparisons)
    10. Spatial positions (helps for comparing and contrasting)
    11. Patterns represented by the content, itself, and
    12. Trends that appear more evident when viewing the visual representation of the data.

    Oftentimes, students become overwhelmed or intimidated by the representation of information. There are several key steps to interpreting and understanding graphics and visual aids within a text selection, and this can be accomplished without feeling overwhelmed or intimidated. 

    Step 1: Read the Title to gain a sense of the subject of the visual.

    Step 2: Read the heading or subheading provided to gain more information about the visual.

    Step 3: Read the source to determine if the information presented is trustworthy, current, and reliable.

    Step 4: Read the categories, legends, or keys to understand how information is labeled or categorized.

    Step 5: Identify what the data is specifically saying in the given visual.

    Step 6: Identify trends or patterns based on the information presented in the visual.

     

    The video below breaks down elements of tables, charts, and graphs. It shows how visual elements can be adjusted to give different impressions of the same information.

     

    Licenses and Attributions:

    CC licensed content, previously shared:

    How to Learn Like a Pro! Authored by Phyllis Nissila. Located at: https://openoregon.pressbooks.pub/co...our-textbooks/ License: CC-BY Attribution.

    Adaptions: Reformatted, some content removed to fit a broader audience.

    “Books” image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images is in the Public Domain, CC0

    “Statistic” image by JuralMin is in the Public Domain, CC0

    Introduction to College Composition. Authored by: Lumen. Located at: https://human.libretexts.org/Bookshelves/Composition/
    Book%3A_Introduction_to_College_Composition_(Lumen)/01%3A_Reading/3%3A_Specialized_Reading_Strategies/3.6%3A_Reading_Tables_and_Graphs#title
      

    License: CC BY: Attribution.

    Adaptions: Reformatted, some content removed to fit a broader audience.

     

    Cross-Library Link: https://socialsci.libretexts.org/Bookshelves/Counseling_and_Guidance/Book%3A_Blueprint_for_Success_in_College_and_Career_(Dillon)/03%3A_Unit_3%3A_College_Level_Critical_Thinking_and_Reading/Chapter_23%3A_Getting_the_Most_Out_of_Your_Textbooks
    source-socialsci-12351


    8: Graphics and Visual Aids is shared under a CC BY license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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