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Using Charts Effectively

This guide is a general overview of creating and using charts including best practices in chart design.

Why Use a Chart?

 

Adding charts to your research paper or PowerPoint presentation helps you succinctly communicate new information or interrelated information. You have heard the adage that a picture is worth a thousand words. A chart of graph can summarize a complex topic or a large amount of data and give emphasis to your analysis.

 

Which is easier to comprehend-- the Excel spreadsheet or the bar chart shown below?

 

Number of international students in the U.S.
 in the academic year 2017/18, by institution type

Doctorate-granting universities

762311

Master's colleges and universities

160580

Associate's colleges

94562

Baccalaureate colleges

37090

Special focus institutions

40249


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