What is a Line Graph? - Definition & Examples

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  • 0:02 What is a Line Graph?
  • 0:57 Example of a Line Graph
  • 2:23 Constructing a Line Graph
  • 3:27 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Cory Haley
In this lesson, we'll explore the function and examples of a line graph. Then, you will learn to create questions and interpret data from line graphs. A brief quiz follows.

What is a Line Graph?

A line graph is a graphical display of information that changes continuously over time. A line graph may also be referred to as a line chart. Within a line graph, there are points connecting the data to show a continuous change. The lines in a line graph can descend and ascend based on the data. We can use a line graph to compare different events, situations, and information.

A line graph has two axes. The x-axis of a line graph shows the occurrences and the categories being compared over time and the y-axis represents the scale, which is a set of numbers that represents the data and is organized into equal intervals. It is important to know that all line graphs must have a title. The title of a line graph provides a general overview of what is being displayed. A line graph will also include a key that represents the event, situation, and information being measured over time.

Example of a Line Graph

Did you know that with a line graph you can create questions based off of the displayed data? Check out this scenario! The summer is here, and you are preparing for a trip to the beach. Daily you track the amount of push-ups you do to tone your body for your trip. Here is a line graph displaying the information about the number of push ups you do each day.

Push-ups Line Graph

Let's create some questions!

Our first question can be, what is being observed? The correct response is the number of push-ups are being observed. Another question we can ask is, how many days of data being displayed? There are seven days of data being displayed. If we wanted to find out 'which day had the least activity of push-ups we can ask, which day had the least amount of push-ups completed? The answer is Friday with a number of zero push-ups.

These are all great questions to help gain an understanding of this line graph. Here are some more questions we can create.

Which day had a significant change in the amount of push-ups? In this question, there are two possible answers, which are Wednesday (with a decrease of 20 push-ups) and Saturday (with an increase of 20 push-ups). What is the interval of the line graph? The correct answer is 5. Look at the y-axis and you can see that we start out with 0, move up in intervals of 5, and end with 30.

Recording and interpreting data is useful. Just like in our example, we can use the line graph and the creation of questions to plan purposeful and meaningful things in life.

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