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Chem 111 / Chem113
Experimental Chemistry

Graphing Help


Graphing Rules (see p. 45-47 in packet)

The following are a few guidelines to help you in graphing your data. Please use this list for reference. On p. 41 of the packet are two example graphs. The top example is of a poor graph with suggestions writton on it. The bottom graph is a graph of the same information after those corrections have been made.

Always use a straight edge. A clear ruler works great. One is included in your kit.


How to get a trend line in Excel

Open excel. In the spreadsheet, enter the data for the x-axis in column A, and the data for the y-axis in column B. Point to cell A1 with the mouse, then click and hold the mouse button down. Drag the pointer over your data to highlight these cells and release the mouse button. Point to the toolbar at the top of the screen and click on the icon that looks like a column chart. In the pop-up menu window that appears, choose XY (Scatter) for the type of chart. Make sure the first chart sub-type at the right is selected (the one with no lines through the points); if not, select it by clicking on it. Click Next> at the bottom of the window. In the next pop-up window just click Next> at the bottom of the window. In the next pop-up window, enter the chart title, as well as the title for the x-axis and y-axis (don't forget units) in the appropriate fields. At the top of the window select the Gridlines tab. Remove check marks in all boxes by clicking on them. Click the Legend tab, and remove the check in the Show Legend box. Click Finish at the bottom of the window; you're chart appears in your spreadsheet. To add a best fit line, point to any one of your data points and click once, and they should all become highlighted. Go to the Chart menu at the top of the screen and choose Add Trendline... In the pop-up window that appears, choose the type of fit you want for your data by clicking on it (usually Linear). Click on the Options tab. Near the bottom, click in the box next to Display equation on chart to place a check mark in it. Click OK at the bottom of the window. You're graph is finished. Go to the File menu at the top of the page and choose Print... In the pop-up menu that appears, make sure that the dot next to Selected Chart is filled in. If not, click on it. Click Print.


Example data

graph example

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