English
3880

Writing for Business and Industry

Summer
2014

 

Ethical Design of Graphs and Tables

Assignment

Create the graphics and answer the questions at the end of this assignment sheet. Use all of the data points: you'll be manipulating the data with the scales and axis sizes.

Post your graphs and answers to the discussion board and make comments on other student's graphs.

Objective

Learn how to present information in a graph and table.

Learn how to choose the appropriate graphic.

Create the following graphics

A.   Create a line graph and a table using the enrollment data. Include the caption and create the graphic in the size that you would include it in a report.

B.   Create a bar graph using honest scaling.Include the caption and create the graphic in the size that you would include it in a report.

C.   Create a graph (your choice of type) that would make you look good if you had been admissions officer form 1970-1980. The graph must show all the dates from 1970-1986.

D.   Create a graph (your choice of type) that would alarm the college faculty about enrollment. The graph must show all the dates from 1970-1986.

Data (freshman enrollment figures)

1970   1,675

1972   1,678

1974   1,695

1976   1,700

1978   1,704

1980   1,710

1982   1,700

1984   1,654

1986   1,603

Questions

  1. Justify the design of the graphs you used for parts C and D.

  2. Which version seems the most effective for a reader who (a) wants exact figures, (b) wonders how overall enrollment is changing, or (c) wants to compare enrollments at each college in a certain year.

  3. Assume you are creating two versions of a paper containing one of  these graphics and they are for (1) University Administration and (2) an article for a student newspaper. Would the figure captions be the same? How would the graphics be different? Explain why or why not that they would they not be different.

  4. What are some methods you can use to change a readers perception of a graph.

  5. For parts C and D of the exercise, assume you have been given the job of editing the report that contains the graph.Write a 75-100 word response to the author (a faculty member) explaining why you feel the graph is unethical and should be changed. On the other hand, if you don't feel the graph should be changed, assume you are the author and write a 75-100 word response to the editor, who says it is unethical, explaining why the graph is ethical and does not need to be changed.

    You will write 2 responses, one for C and one for D.
 

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