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Everyday maths 1 (Wales)
Everyday maths 1 (Wales)

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6 Line graphs

Now that you’ve had a look at pie charts and bar charts, let’s take a look at line graphs. These are drawn by marking (or plotting) points and then joining them with a straight line. You might have seen them used in holiday brochures or maybe on the television.

Described image
Figure 16 Interest rates line graph

Hint: It is best to use graph or squared paper when drawing line graphs because it makes it easier to plot the points.

Example: The estate agent

How would you present information as a line graph? Watch the following video to find out.

Download this video clip.Video player: 18_ani_line_graphs.mp4
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Method summary

To draw a line graph you need to:

  • draw the horizontal and vertical axes, and label them
  • divide these axes into suitable scales – to do this, you need to look at the data and find out what the smallest and largest numbers are
  • plot the points from your data, using a pencil to make small crosses
  • join the points using a ruler
  • give your graph a title.

Now try the following activity. Remember to check your answers once you have completed the questions.

Activity 13: Creating a line graph

Line graphs are often used in holiday brochures to show temperatures or hours of sunshine at a particular resort.

The following table shows the hours of sunshine at a holiday resort. Draw a line graph using the data from the table and then answer the questions below.

Month Hours of sunshine
May 6
June 7
July 8
August 9
September 8
October 7
  1. Which month was the sunniest?
  2. Which month had the least sunshine?

Answer

When drawing your line graph you should:

  • draw the horizontal axis, labelling it ‘Months’, and the vertical axis, labelling it ‘Hours of sunshine’
  • divide these axes into suitable scales – your smallest and largest numbers are 6 and 9, so your scale could be one square for one hour
  • plot the points from your data, using a pencil and make small crosses
  • join the points using a ruler
  • give your graph a title such as ‘Hours of sunshine at a holiday resort over a six-month period’.

The finished line graph should look something like this:

Described image
Figure 17 Sunshine line graph

In answer to the questions:

  1. August is the sunniest month.
  2. May is the least sunniest month.

Look at the following line graph. Sometimes it makes sense to create a graph in landscape rather than portrait.

Described image
Figure 18 Temperatures line graph

Summary

In this section you have learned about how to present data in line graphs.