# Design a Graph

Once you have your data, you may want to present it to the science fair judges in the form of a graph. You can choose between the different types of graphs below:

**Type of graphs:** Your first choice is to determine which type of graph would best communicate your findings. Your basic choices are bar graph, line graph, pie chart, or scatter plot.

**BAR GRAPH **– This is the most common type for science fair projects. You may select a bar graph when your independent variable is qualitative (categories) or quantitative (numbers).

Look closely and make sure your bar graph has all the highlighted parts:

**LINE GRAPH** – This is the second most common, but frequently used incorrectly, so be careful here. You should only select a line graph if your independent variable is quantitative (numbers) and you hypothesized that the changes in the independent variable would result in changes in the dependent one. For example, line graphs are great for showing changes in the dependent variable over time or distance along a transect.

Again double check the axes:

**PIE CHART** – Pie charts are good for projects that have qualitative independent variables and have generated data that can be expressed as percentages of the total. For example, if your data were counts (i.e. the number of times something happened), then this might be your best choice to compare different treatments.

**SCATTER PLOT** – If the purpose is to see if the variables are related (common in environmental projects), but there was not a clear choice for independent and dependent variables (for example wind speed and water temperature), then a scatter plot would be your best choice. This option typically requires much more data than the others to observe a trend.