Label the following using the words from the boxes. 

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Label the following using the words from the boxes.

pie chart map bar chart table diagram line graph flow chart plan

dotted line curve fluctuating line vertical axis broken line undulating line horizontal axis solid line

VII Reading

Read the following information about using graphs in presentations and fill in the following table.

Type of graph Definition When to use
Working drawings        
Bar graphs      
Line graphs      
Pie graphs      
Exploded views      
Schematic diagrams    
Timetables or Gantt charts      

Reasons for Using Graphics

Graphics in written and oral reports are invaluable aids to your audience because they condense text, clarify relationships, and highlight patterns. Good graphics display the significance of your data (which may be more exactly displayed in a table) and allow the reader to follow your discussion. Drafting graphics may also be a very effective way to help you draft a long written report or oral presentation.


Common Graphics

Graphics commonly used in technical documents include the following:

Working drawings Diagrams

Tables Photographs

Bar graphs Exploded views

Line graphs Schematic diagrams

Pie graphs Flowcharts

Illustrations Timetables or Gantt charts



Working Drawings

Working drawings may be used to give detailed descriptions of the current state of your experimental apparatus and as common graphics in oral design reviews.

Working drawings may be highly detailed and may present exact specifications for the construction of apparatus. Identify working drawings with an explicit title and the date. Be sure to show tolerances and exact measurements and, if necessary, a scale of measurement on all figures.



Tables present data in a highly condensed form. Tables present data more exactly than a graph, but they do not readily display the trends within your data. (They should rarely be used in an oral presentation – rely on figures instead.)

Every table is identified in a written report by a number and a title, placed above the table. In contrast, the number and title of a figure in a report are usually given below the figure.

The parts of a table include

  • Title and number (above the table).
  • Boxhead, the horizontal region across the top of a table containing column headings with units of measurement clearly identified.
  • Stub, the vertical column to the far left of a table in which you list the various line headings that identify the horizontal rows of data in the body of the table.
  • Body, all the data, presented in columns below the boxhead, describing items in the stub. If you want the reader to see a comparison between any items in a table, then place those items close to one another.

If any table or figure is taken from another source, proper credit must be given in a source note below the table or figure.



Table 1. The volume of solution in ml delivered from a random sample of 1.00 ml capacity tuberculin syringes with Luer slip tips and 9.5 mm 27 gauge needles with intradermal bevels.


  0.05 ml 0.10 ml 0.15 ml 0.20 ml 0.25 ml 1.00 ml
  0.0466 0.0895 0.1405 0.1949 0.2429 1.0012
  0.0474 0.0998 0.1505 0.2033 0.2514 0.9994
  0.0487 0.0972 0.1473 0.1978 0.2451 1.0052
  0.0505 0.0935 0.1472 0.1978 0.2502 1.0016
  0.0442 0.0935 0.1443 0.1982 0.2450 1.0031


--Seth Frisbie, The Determination of Total Dissolved Inorganic Carbon

in Pure Systems



Bar Graphs

Bar graphs display relationships among data by means of vertical or horizontal bars of different lengths. Sometimes a single bar of a set height is used to break down percentages of the whole, in much the same fashion as a pie graph.

Single Bar Graph

Single bar graphs visualize the effects of varying limiting conditions on one particular object of study, as in Figure 5, where heart rate is shown under various burden conditions of exercise.


Multiple Bar Graph

Multiple bar graphs visualize the different objects of study under one particular limiting condition, as in Figure 6, where three items are compared over time.


Stacked Bar Graph

Stacked bar graphs visualize various items as percentages of the whole for ease of comparison and contrast. Figure 7 is a single bar graph showing percentages of one particular object of study. (Compare this figure with Figure 11, a pie graph drawn from the same data.) Figure 2 is an example of a multiple stacked bar graph where various items are broken down into percentages of the whole for comparison.




Line Graphs

Line graphs visualize trends among dense data sets, which are sometimes listed in an accompanying table in a report. Data points are plotted with relation to a vertical axis showing the dependent variable and a horizontal axis showing the independent variable. A line is then drawn through these points to display significant trends, as shown in Figure 8, an example of a single line graph.



The intersection of the x and y axes is always the zero point. Put a break point on the y axis if the data span a range too large to fit in your graph, as shown in Figure 9.



If for some reason zero is not the starting point for your axes (because the values are too high, for example), then state that explicitly in prose within the figure or indicate it on the axes themselves.


To use line graphs effectively, follow these guidelines:

  • Label each axis clearly and show units of measurement by means of regularly spaced ticks.
  • Show significant data points plotted between the x and y axes clearly. If more than one set of data is plotted, you may want to distinguish data points by means of different symbols (circle, square, triangle), which are then identified in an accompanying key or legend.
  • Keep your graph clear of excessive grid lines which may obscure your data points or curves.
  • Clearly label plotted lines.


Multiple Line Graphs

Multiple line graphs show comparison between two (or more) data sets for the same value, as shown in Figure 10, in which data for the item of study in Figure 8 are not compared with data for another item.


Pie Graphs

Pie graphs pictorially represent percentages of the whole by showing these percentages as "slices" of a complete circle (the complete circle represents 100 percent of whatever item or quantity you are discussing). Be sure that the percentages of the whole represented by the slices total 100 percent.

The number of percentage slices drawn on a pie graph may vary. Too many segments may make your graph unreadable; too few segments may make it useless for discussion. A carefully sized and composed pie graph will permit you to include more than the usually recommended five items, affording you greater scope in making comparisons, as shown in Figure 11.



Label all sections clearly with the percentage and the name of the item being depicted.

Pie graphs give a striking and quick representation of simplified data. They are most often used before nonexpert audiences because the relationships of data are not highly detailed.



Illustrations can provide your reader with a large amount of information about an object or topic in a very small space. An illustration can accurately depict the form of an object, help the reader to visualize how the object functions, or show the relationship of one object to another. It allows you to focus your audience's attention precisely on the details that you are describing, as shown in Figure 12.



To use illustrations effectively, follow these guidelines:

  • Choose appropriate objects or topics to illustrate. Illustrations are excellent forms of graphics for situations in which colour distinctions are limited or irrelevant; if colour distinctions are the focus of your graphic, you may find a photograph to be more effective. On the other hand, if you will be printing your document in black and white or photocopying it onto acetates for overhead projection, an illustration may result in a graphic that is clearer and easier to interpret.
  • Make your illustrations clear and easy to understand. Incorporate only those details that will be relevant.
  • If the size of the elements in your illustration is relevant to your discussion, provide the scale for your readers.
  • Label the elements of your illustration clearly.
  • Identify each illustration with a figure number and a caption.


Figure 13 presents several overviews of an object, illustrating the overall form of the object as well as the relationship of parts to whole.




Diagrams are used to show the relationships between several objects or to portray the function of an object. Diagrams are similar to illustrations in that they are often pictorial representations of an object, but they are often more abstract than illustrations. For instance, the elements that make up a diagram may not be drawn to scale with respect to each other; rather than give an accurate picture of the appearance of an object, the goal of a diagram is to help the reader understand how the elements in the diagram are connected.

Figure 14 is an abstract, pictorial diagram visualizing a transfer line setup connecting a holding tank to a tank car.


Figure 15 is a pictorial representation of an experimental design for a coolable nozzle, showing the interrelationships of parts.



To use diagrams effectively, follow these guidelines:

· Keep your diagrams simple. Include only those details that will be relevant to your discussion.

· Label the elements of your diagram clearly.

· Identify each diagram with a figure number and a caption.




Photographs can provide an overall view of an object, especially when the object is new or strange, or they may record results that rely on visual inspection, such as X-rays or the effects of destructive testing for failure in materials. To use photographs in a report effectively, you must

  • Frame your photograph to include only the elements you need to discuss. Extraneous items will only confuse the reader.
  • Use only clearly focused photographs, free of shadows. Poor photography frequently mars otherwise effective report presentations. Remember, photographs are hard to reproduce well in printed reports, so you may want to limit your use of them.
  • Provide a way of showing relative size in a photograph (unless your photograph is of something very large-scale, such as a landscape or a whole factory). Show relative size in a photograph by placing some commonplace object of fixed size (such as a ruler, a coin or a pencil) next to the object being photographed.
  • Identify each photograph with a figure number and a caption, as you would any other kind of figure in a written report.

If you need photographs for an oral presentation, use a 35-millimeter projector to display them. Photographs transferred to overhead acetates by photocopying machines are usually too dark to be easily viewed by the audience.



Exploded Views

Exploded views present the interrelated parts of a complex object in near proximity so that your audience can see at a glance the total effect of the placement or interaction of part to whole, as shown in Figure 18.



All parts of an object in an exploded view are identified by name. The figure as a whole is given a number and a caption in a written report.

Figures of this type are useful for quick, at-a-glance introduction of complex objects (sometimes, the point of an exploded view is to show just how complex a familiar object can be). Exploded views do not allow you to focus on parts of the apparatus, however. Therefore, combine this kind of illustration with more detailed illustrations for a complete analysis.


Schematic Diagrams

As with other kinds of diagrams, which stress the general or abstract over the realistic, schematic diagrams employ highly specialized, technical symbols to depict the workings of a sytem or apparatus, as shown in Figure 19.



Schematic diagrams should only be used to communicate with a technical and expert audience.


A flowchart is traditionally defined as a detailed diagram of the operations or equipment through which material passes. But a flowchart can be any kind of schematic diagram which shows pictorially or by means of symbolic representations a sequence of operations for any process. A common form of flowchart depicts the sequence of subroutines and flow of information within computer programmes, as shown in Figure 20.




Timetables (Gantt charts)

Timetables, or Gantt charts, give a visual presentation of the relative timing of the separate tasks that make up a unified project. With just a glance at a timetable, a reader can ascertain the variety of tasks involved in a project and how the tasks are related chronologically, as shown in Figure 21.


There are a variety of software programmes you can use to generate and update your timetables automatically.



Use the following graphs and the vocabulary from the above tables to describe the movement of the various objects concerned.

1. 2008 World Clothing Sales

2. 2008 World Clothing Sales Percentages

3. Travel Expenses

4. 2007 Production and Distribution Costs Compared to Final Profit












































Language Note

Referring to visuals

I'd like you to look at this... Let's look at this...

As you can see from this... Let me illustrate, …

As this... shows,... As an illustration,...

Describing Movement


  Verbs Nouns
increase rise grow go up climb soar rocket rally reach a peak reach a maximum peak increase rise climb recovery jump surge     peak
fall drop decrease collapse slide plunge decline deteriarate go/come down dwindle plummet tumble crash slump bottom out reach a low point hit bottom fall drop decrease collapse slide plunge decline deterioration    
remain stable/constant stabilise hold steady stay the same level off flatten off/out   stabilization stagnation   leveling off trough
fluctuate undulate fluctuation undulation
  recover get better   get worse recovery upturn   downturn


Degree of change


Adjectives Adverbs
sharp steep dramatical substantial considerable significant   slight marginal sharp steeply dramatically substantially considerably significantly   slightly marginally


Speed of change


Adjectives Adverbs
rapid quick swift   gradual steady   slow rapidly quickly swiftly   gradually steadily   slowly


Explaining causes

This is a result of.. (e.g. This is a result of bad management. )

This is because of... (e.g. This is because of bad management. )

This is largely due to... (e.g. This is largely due to bad management.)

... contributed to this. (e.g. Bad managementcontributed to this.)


Describing results

As a result, we will have... (e.g. As a result, we will have a drop in sales.)

It could lead to... (e.g. It could lead to a drop in sales.)

It may result in... (e.g. It may result in a drop in sales.)

... will be a direct result. (e.g. A drop in sales will be a direct result.)



rise by (2%//1000 units) підвищуватися/зростати на (2%//1000 одиниць)

rise to (2%//1000 units) підвищуватися/зростати до (2%//1000 одиниць)


There was a gradual decline in sales. (noun usage)

Sales declined gradually. (verb usage)

Enrollment increased by 4% in 1997.

There was a 4% increase in enrollment in 1997.

Immigration rose to 800,000 in 1999. (to a point/number)
Immigration rose by 20,000 in 1999. (by increment)
There was a 20% rise in immigration. (percentage)

Taxes remained the same from 2000 to 2001.
Taxes continued at 15% for two years.

Sales stood at $ 1,400,000 in 1998.
Profits were $27,000 in 1999.
There was a loss of $21,000 in 2001.


Quick Communication Check

Presentation Phrases

Look at these presentation phrases and decide whether they:

refer backwards, refer forwards, refer to visuals or deal with interruptions.

1. This graph indicates...

2. As I said earlier,...
3. This leads me to my next point.
4. Taking this into consideration,...
5. As this bar chart shows,...
6. If you don't mind, I'll deal with questions later on.
7. Going back to a point I made earlier,...
8. Sorry, could I finish first?
9. I'll deal with this point again later.
10. I'll give you some more information on this in a moment.


Refer backwards  
Refer forwards  
Refer to visuals  
Deal with interruptions  



Vocabulary 1


Choose the right variant: a, b, c or d.


1. Which of the verbs below is the opposite of 'top out'?

a. bottom out b. come out c. fall out d. go out

2. Which of the verbs below means 'fall by a large amount'?

a. rocket b. crash c. soar d. level off

3. Which of the verbs below is the opposite of 'improve'?

a. dwindle b. decrease c. drop d. deteriorate

4. Which of the verbs below does not mean 'fall'?

a. level off b. crash c. deteriorate d. plunge

5. Which of the verbs below is a synonym of 'go down'?

a. plunge b. increase c. surge d. soar

6. Which of the verbs below means 'not to change'?

a. soar b. plunge c. rocket d. level off

7. Which of the verbs below is the opposite of 'increase'?

a. rise b. soar c. go up d. tumble

8. Which of the verbs below is a synonym of 'increase'?

a. dwindle b. soar c. fall d. plunge

9. Which of the verbs below means 'fall quickly and without control'?

a. decrease b. dwindle c. surge d. tumble

10. Which of the verbs below means 'increase suddenly and greatly'?

a. dwindle b. crash c. plunge d. surge



Match the opposites.


1. rise a. fall short of

2. boom b. slump

3. increase c. rapid

4. peak d. reduce

5. slight e. sudden

6. exceed f. dramatic

7. gradual g. decline

8. growth h. fall

9. slow i. trough

10. expand j. decrease


4. Vocabulary 2

Look at the following graph and put one of the numbers next to the given words:



() trough () erratic movements () a gradual rise () to level off () a dramatic fall () fluctuations () to reach a peak () a sharp recovery () a gradual fall () a plateau () to take a plunge () a steady increase () to leap upwards () a decline () to slump



Describing trends


Choose the correct description (1-8) for each graph (a-h)


1. There has been a steady increase in costs over several years.

2. At the end of the first year sales stood at 50 percent of the present level.

3. The share price reached a peak before falling a little and then maintained the same level.

4. Sales of product A fell slightly in the final quarter.

5. The sudden collapse in share prices has surprised everyone.

6. The level of investment rose suddenly.

7. Research and development budget has stabilized over the past few years.

8. The value of the shares has shown a steady decline.






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