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Succeed with maths: part 2
Succeed with maths: part 2

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3.1 Drawing a bar chart

The same basic guidelines apply to drawing a bar chart as they do to drawing a line graph. There are a few differences though. So, the steps to follow are:

  • Choose an appropriate scale for both axes.
  • Label both axes, including a brief description of the data and any units.
  • Give your graph a suitable title.
  • State the source of data.
  • Draw the bars for each category accurately.

Use the skills that you have already gained when drawing a line graph to complete this activity.

Activity 6 Drawing a bar chart

Timing: Allow approximately 10 minutes

Last week you created the following table showing information about hotel guests:

Table 3 Origin and age categories of hotel guests
Nationality Child Adult Senior Total
Irish  8  5  4 17
British  4  6  4 14
Mainland European  0  3  1  4
Rest of the world  6  4  2 12
Total 18 18 11 47
Source: hotel accommodation records

Use the table to draw a vertical bar chart that shows the total number of guests in each of the nationality categories. Mark the nationality categories on the horizontal axis and the number of guests on the vertical axis.


Your bar chart should look like this:

This shows a vertical bar chart entitled ‘Origin of guests at hotel’.
Figure 15 Origin of guests at hotel

Notice how this bar chart stresses the total number of tourists in each category. You can see easily that there were more tourists from Ireland than any of the other groups.

Another way of showing data on a bar chart is using a component bar chart, which can give more detail than the basic examples that have already been looked at. This will be the subject of the next section.