What is a Frequency Polygon? - Definition & Examples

What is a Frequency Polygon? - Definition & Examples
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  • 0:00 Intro to Frequency Polygons
  • 0:34 Definition of…
  • 1:24 Graphing Our Track Data
  • 2:30 Example Graph 2
  • 3:23 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Nola Bridgens

Nola has taught elementary school and tutored for four years. She has a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education, a master's degree in Marketing, and is a certified teacher.

In this lesson, we will discover what a frequency polygon is, what it looks like, and what it can be used for. We will also discuss the elements that every frequency polygon must have.

Intro to Frequency Polygons

Say you were given a special project to analyze the data from last week's track meet and you are really excited to share the findings with your class. However, when you start looking through the data, you are overwhelmed by the numbers and wonder how you can make it more visually appealing. Then, you remember that your math teacher just taught you about frequency polygons, so you decide that is a great way to organize the track meet data.

Definition of Frequency Polygons

A frequency polygon is a type of line graph that shows the frequency of a mutually exclusive event occurring. Seeing the data in this format helps us visualize and understand it better. All frequency polygons must have a title, x-axis, y-axis, and data points with a line connecting them.

The x-axis shows each of the mutually exclusive results from the data. The y-axis is a scale that shows the frequency of that result in the data. The data points are dots on the graph that align each mutually exclusive result with the frequency of its occurrence. Then, a line is drawn to connect all of the data points, and the two end points must lie on the x-axis.


A frequency polygon depicting our track meet data.
3


Graphing Our Track Data

Let's look at the data for the specific track meet events to help us better understand.

Long Jump

Your favorite sport is the long jump, so you decide to start your project with this event. You flip to the page of long jump statistics and find the following information:

16ft 15ft 16ft 16ft 14ft 12ft 15ft

15ft 14ft 15ft 16ft 12ft 14ft 16ft

16ft 15ft 14ft 12ft 13ft 15ft 16ft

The first thing you notice is that all of the jumps are between 12 and 16 feet, so you choose to use the numbers 12, 13, 14, 15, and 16 as the mutually exclusive results on the x-axis. The next thing you do is count how many times each result occurred in the data and you find the following:

12ft -- 3

13ft -- 1

14ft -- 4

15ft -- 6

16ft -- 7

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