After completing this unit, if you are given a table of information that is to be displayed as a bar graph, you should be able to:
Bar graphs are used to help visually represent data so that comparisons
and trends will be easier to see. In this section you will learn
how to construct bar graphs. We will begin with data presented
in a table. (NOTE: The procedure for constructing tables
was discussed in the Constructing Tables unit.) We will first
outline the elements of a bar graph and then the steps in constructing
bar graphs.
Below are the steps to following when constructing a bar graph:
Now let's go through the process of constructing a bar graph
using the table titled Student Housing at Union University.
Type of Housing  Number of Students 

Residence Halls 

Fraternity/Sorority Houses 

Off Campus Aparments 

Off Campus Houses 


The interval of scale is the amount from one tick mark to
the next along the axis. If the range of the scale is small,
a general rule is to take the range of
the scale and divide it by 10. Make this your interval.
For ranges that are larger, the interval is typically 5, 10,
100, 500, 1000, etc. Use numbers that divide evenly into 100,
1000 (or their multiples) In this case, if we take 4000 and divide it by 10 we get 400. However, 500 is a number that is more easily analyzed, so we will use 500. This provides a scale that is not too large and easy to use in analyzing the data. 
While tables are more exact in their presentation of data, they do not allow the quick visual view of the data. Bar graphs provide one way to present data so that we can get an overview at a glance. In the following practice you will construct a bar graph. While you are doing this, think about the advantages and disadvantages of both representations of data. (Comparison of the different types of visual displays will be outlined in the last instructional unit of this book.)