Technical writing and basic statistics tutorial

College Policy on Academic Integrity College Policy On Academic Integrity The students and staff of Delaware Technical Community College have an obligation to participate in the academic life of the college in a responsible and intellectually honest manner.

Technical writing and basic statistics tutorial

1 Getting Started with Python

That will determine what you plot and how you plot it. Anatomy of a graph There are many different types of plots, not all of which are used in technical presentations. The most common employs a symbol to plot each data value on an x-y coordinate plane.

This is called a scatter plot, x-y plot, or line plot. Bar charts are also commonly used, particularly for histograms and when the independent variable is categorical.

Examples of these types will be given below.

technical writing and basic statistics tutorial

The elements of a typical graph are shown in figure 1. The vertical y axis the ordinate always represents the dependent variable swhile the horizontal x axis the abscissa always represents the independent variable.

We describe the dependent variable s as plotted versus the independent variable. There are scale markings on the axes, either numbers for parametric variables or names for categorical variables.

Both axes must have an axis label with the name of the variable and units, if applicable. The axes define the plot area, which is usually not enclosed on the other sides. A caption below the axis describes the content and, for a formal publication, identifies the figure by number.

The data are represented with plot symbols or, sometimes, plotbars to make a bar graph. Plot symbols are sometimes identified with a legend in the plot area or, more commonly for technical work, in the caption.

The plot area is indicated by shading, however if this figure was to be published shading would be considered "clutter" and would be removed. A full description and key to variable symbols, etc. The various features of typical graphs are illustrated in figures 2 and 3, which show two different ways of plotting the plant growth data listed in table 1.

Note that in both plots an independent variable goes on the x-axis, while the dependent variable is on the y-axis. In figure 3 the order of the category names is, of course, not significant and could be permuted without changing the meaning of the graph. This fact is reinforced by the choice of a bar graph, rather than symbols that one might be tempted to connect with a meaningless line.

Solid lines are a guide to the eye. Scales, Axes and Proportions The axes are the horizontal and vertical lines that define the plot area. Each axis must have an appropriate scale, either numeric or categorical, that defines the value of the plotted points.

Using figures in technical papes – the basics

Proportion refers to the shape of the plot area, which may be square, wider than it is high, or higher than it is wide. Scales for categorical variables are just a list of names.

The names are usually spaced evenly along the axis, in an arbitrary order. Scales for parametric variables must, of course, be numeric.

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The scale may be linear, logarithmic, or something more elaborate. If the nature of the scale is not obvious it must be defined in the figure caption or axis label. Scale values are usually marked at regular intervals, with the exact location indicated by at tic mark, a short line across the axis.

It is easier to read the graph if the marked values are simple numbers, such as multiples of 1, 2, or 5. The upper and lower limits of the scales should be selected so that there is minimal blank space in the plot area.

There should be at least one data point near each end of each axis, so that the data encompass the full two dimensional range of the plot area.

If there are no data near the origin, it may be preferable to start one or both scales at a non-zero value. The plot area must be properly proportioned.

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Much of the time the purpose of the figure is best served if the plot area is square. Depending on the data you are plotting, you might decide that the figure is more clear if it is wider than it is high, or vice versa.

Regardless, it is your choice to make. Symbols, Error bars and Fit lines Data sets usually consist of pairs of discrete values, and each point should therefore be plotted with a symbol rather than a connect-the-dots line. An exception might be made if the data are effectively continuous, as from a chart recorder.

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guide for use of “I” and “we” in technical papers. 22 Writing Is a Process • Good writing doesn’t happen overnight; it requires planning, drafting, rereading, revising, and editing. • Understand basic qualities of good technical writing; use the examples. Sep 21,  · The content you requested has already been retired.

It is available to download on this page. The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is the only nationally representative assessment of what students know and can do in various subjects, reported in the Nation's Report Card.

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