Examples and Tips
How to make an exciting chart dull
This graph appeared in the Royal Economic Society Newsletter (Issue No 136, January 2007, page 15). One would expect this to be of interest to the journal's readers since it shows low satisfaction rates from students on economics courses. Sadly poor presentation has obscured the vital message and deters potential readers.
Good practice demands that all bars, lines and pie slices are directly labelled. This promotes accurate interpretation and makes graphs more interesting - as the revised graph shows.
Another trick is to use the title to summarise the point of a graph. If you don't tell readers your point they're likely to see all kinds of things in the graph except what you had in mind.