Skills Hub

Using graphs, diagrams and images

Graphs, diagrams and charts can help your reader to understand your findings and see how they compare with other data.

Layout, labelling and referencing

All graphs, charts, drawings, diagrams and photographs should be numbered consecutively as figures according to where they come in the text (e.g. Figure 1, Figure 2, Figure 3). All tables should be numbered using a separate sequence (e.g. Table 1, Table 2).

Make sure all your images are large enough to be read easily and that they are clearly labelled to explain what they show.

Remember: You will need to reference diagrams and photos if they are not your own work.



Tables are useful for precise numerical data.

 Table example
Line graphs are effective at showing trends over time and relationships between variables.
  Line graph example
Bar charts/graphs are good for comparisons. The bars can be vertical or horizontal. You can make them different colours to help the reader to differentiate the results. Bar chart example
Pie charts show the proportion of the whole that is taken by various parts.  Pie chart example
Drawings and diagrams can be used to reinforce or supplement text, or where something is more clearly shown in diagrammatic form. 

 hhhDiagram exampleBy Eric Pierce

Photographs can help to explain the text. 

 Photo exampleBy K Kiser

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