How To Construct a Line Graph On Paper 
Step 
What To Do 
How To Do It 
1 
Identify the variables 
 Independent Variable –
(controlled by the experimenter)
 Goes on the X axis (horizontal)
 Should be on the left side of a data table
 Dependent Variable –
(changes with the independent variable)
 Goes on the Y axis (vertical)
 Should be on the right side of a data table

2 
Determine the variable range. 
 Subtract the lowest data value from the highest data value.
 Do each variable separately.

3 
Determine the scale of the graph. 
 Determine a scale.
(the numerical value for each square),
that best fits the range of each variable.
 Spread the graph to use MOST of the available space.

4 
Number and label each axis. 
 This tells what data the lines on your graph represent.

5 
Plot the data points. 
 Plot each data value on the graph with a dot.
 You can put the data number by the dot, if it does not clutter your graph.

6 
Draw the graph. 
 Draw a curve or a line that best fits the data points.
 Most graphs of experimental data are not drawn as “connectthedots”.

7 
Title the graph. 
 Your title should clearly tell what the graph is about.
 If your graph has more than one set of data, provide a “key” to identify the different lines.
