There are many options ranging from an photograph to a pie chart to a table. Have you created bar and pie graphs before? Does your research include statistics or other data than can be easily presented as a bar or pie graph? How might a visual element add weight and credibility to your argument?
While APA-style citation and format is required, you do have the flexibility in the design of your Course Project to include a visual element. Review Chapter 17, pp. 382â€“387. How does the use of visual elements enhance or detract from the presentation of research? Will you add graphs, charts, or images to your draft? Why or why not
permission to use the photograph or image from the person or organization that owns it. The easiest way to ask permission is to send an e-mail to the person who manages the Web site on which you found the image. Explain how you want to use the image, where it will appear, and how you will identify its source. If the owner denies you permission, you will not be able to use the photograph or image in any nonacademic way.
Watch the Animation on Using Visuals at mycomplab.com
Labeling a Photograph or Image
You should label each photograph or image by giving it a figure number and a title (Figure 17.7). The figure number should then be mentioned in the written text, so your readers know when to look for the photograph.
Captions are not mandatory, but they can help your readers understand how the image relates to the written text.
Using Graphs and Charts
Graphs and charts can also be helpful additions to your documents, especially if you are presenting data to your readers. Genres like reports and proposals routinely use graphs and charts to illustrate data. These graphics can also be useful in evaluations and position papers to provide support for claims in the written text.
FIGURE 17.7 Labeling a Photograph
Proper labeling will help readers understand how the graphic supports the written text.
Creating a Graph or Chart
Your best option for making a visual might be to use the spreadsheet program, such as Excel or Quattro Pro, that came with your word-processing software (Figure 17.8). Simpler graphs can be made in presentation software, like PowerPoint or Keynote.
These spreadsheet and presentation software packages can help you create quick graphs and charts from a data set. Then you can insert the graphic right into your document. (Your word processor will probably have a Chart feature that will take you to the spreadsheet program.) Once you have created the graph, you should add a title and label the horizontal x-axis and vertical y-axis (Figure 17.8, page 384).
After you have inserted your graph into your document, make sure you have labeled it properly and provided a citation for the source of the data. To label the graph, give it a number or letter and a title. For example, the graph in Figure 17.8 is called â€œFigure A: Obesity Rates (Percentage) By County.â€ After you have labeled the graph, include your source below the graph using a common citation style (e.g., MLA, APA).
In the written part of your document, refer to the graphic by its number, so readers know when to refer to it. When you want the readers to consider the graph, write something like, â€œAs shown in Figure A, the local obesity rate.â€¦â€ Or, you can simply put â€œ(Figure A)â€ at the end of the sentence where you refer to the graph.
Choosing the Appropriate Graph or Chart
You can use various kinds of graphs and charts to display your data. Each graph or chart allows you to tell a different story to your readers.
Analyze the Interactive Document for Using Graphs and Charts at mycomplab.com
FIGURE 17.8 Using Spreadsheet Software to Make a Graph
A spreadsheet is a helpful tool for creating a graph. Enter your data and then click the graphing button to create a graph. Then you can insert the graph into your document.
A line graph is a good way to show measurements or trends over time. In a line graph, the vertical axis (y-axis) displays a measured quantity, such as temperature, sales, growth, and so on. The horizontal axis (x-axis) is usually divided into time increments such as years, months, days, or hours. See Figure 17.9.
Bar charts are used to show quantities, allowing readers to make visual comparisons among different amounts. Like line graphs, bar charts can be used to show fluctuations in quantities over time. See Figure 17.10.
Pie charts are useful for showing how a whole quantity is divided into parts. These charts are a quick way to add a visual element into your document, but you should use them sparingly. They take up a lot of space in a document while usually presenting only a small amount of data. See Figure 17.11.
FIGURE 17.9 Line Graph
A line graph is a good way to show a trend over time. In this graph, the line reveals a trend that would not be apparent from the data alone.
Source: Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Vital Signs, www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns, 2010
FIGURE 17.10 Bar Chart
A bar chart allows you to show quantities, especially quantities changing over time.
Source: Centers for Disease Control, Aug. 2008; 29 Jun. 2009.
FIGURE 17.11 Pie Chart
A pie chart is a good way to show how a whole is divided into parts. When using a pie chart, you should label the slices of the pie and add the numerical information that was used to create the chart.
Source: Schuster et al., 2000.
FIGURE 17.12 Table
A table offers a great way to show data efficiently. This table combines words and data to illustrate differences between boysâ€™ and girlsâ€™ malicious uses of the Internet.
Source: Pew Internet and American Life Project Parents and Teens Survey, 2006.
Tables provide the most efficient way to display data or facts in a small amount of space. In a table, information is placed in horizontal rows and vertical columns, allowing readers to quickly locate specific numbers or words that address their interests (Figure 17.12).
Diagrams are drawings that show features or relationships, which might not be immediately apparent to readers. The diagram in Figure 17.13, for example, shows the parts of the human eye.
With the capabilities of computers to create and add graphs, charts, and diagrams to your documents, you should look for opportunities to use these illustration methods.
FIGURE 17.13 A Diagram
A diagram is only partially realistic. It shows only the most important features and concentrates on relationships instead of showing exactly what the subject looks like.
QUICK START GUIDE
Now itâ€™s time to make your document look better. Here are some basic strategies for designing your document.
REVIEW Your Genre, Purpose, Readers, and Context
Your documentâ€™s design should reflect and reinforce the genre and the overall purpose of your text. Design features should also be appropriate for your readers and the contexts in which your document will be used.
BALANCE the Text
Use design features to balance elements on the left and right as well as on the top and bottom of the page.
ALIGN Items Vertically on the Page
Look for opportunities to vertically align items on the page. Indenting text and aligning graphics with text will help create a sense of hierarchy and structure in your document.
GROUP Related Items Together
Put items together that are meant to be seen together. Photos should be near any text they reinforce. Headings should be close to the paragraphs they lead off. Use white space to frame items you want to be seen as a group.
CHECK the Document for Consistency
Your headings and other design features should be used consistently throughout the document. Make sure you use lists consistently.
ADD Some Contrast
Items on the page that are different should look significantly different. Use color and font size to make written text stand out.
INCLUDE Photographs, Graphs, and Charts
Add your own photographs or images downloaded from the Internet to your document. Create graphs or charts to illustrate data and complex ideas. Number, title, and caption these visuals so readers understand how the images connect to your text.
Talk About This
1. Ask each member in your group to bring a favorite magazine. Discuss the magazineâ€™s full-page advertisements and their use of design features. Pay special attention to the use of balance, alignment, gr (Paine 382-388)
Paine, Richard Johnson-Sheehan C. Writing Today, 2nd Edition. Pearson Learning Solutions, 01/2012. VitalBook file.
The citation provided is a guideline. Please check each citation for accuracy before use.