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Basic Math and Pre-Algebra For Dummies, 2nd Edition by Mark Zegarelli

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Chapter 17

Seeing Is Believing: Graphing as a Visual Tool

In This Chapter

arrow Making comparisons with a bar graph

arrow Dividing things up with a pie chart

arrow Charting change over time with a line graph

arrow Plotting points and lines on an xy-graph

A graph is a visual tool for organizing and presenting information about numbers. Most students find graphs relatively easy because they provide a picture to work with rather than just a bunch of numbers. Their simplicity makes graphs show up in newspapers, magazines, business reports, and anywhere clear visual communication is important.

In this chapter, I introduce you to four common styles of graphs: the bar graph, the pie chart, the line graph, and the xy-graph. I show you how to read each of these styles of graphs to obtain information. I also show you how to answer the types of questions people may ask when they want to check your understanding.

Looking at Three Important Graph Styles

In this section, I show you how to read and understand three styles of graphs:

  • The bar graph is best for representing numbers that are independent of each other.

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