Visualization of data and information makes clinical research and science more realistic and accessible. A visual presentation of data has a stronger and far-reaching impact on the discerning mind. Tables and graphs are two modes of presenting information in a visually appealing manner, which provide a clear picture of the current and expected scenario. Thus, these are excellent communication tools for the presentation of scientific data and information. Ideas, information, and facts summarized using tables and figures instead of complex scientific jargon are relatively easy to understand by patients and laymen, thereby extending their reach.
As so aptly quoted by William Playfair, an engineer who innovated line charts, bar charts, and pie charts “…it occurred to me, that making an appeal to the eye when proportion and magnitude are concerned, is the best and readiest method of conveying a distinct idea.”
Importance of Tables, Figures, and Graphs in Scientific Writing
- Presentation of complex information using less space and few words
- Addition of creativity and value to a manuscript layout
- Help to manage word count limit
- Makes it easy for the readers to focus on the most relevant information
- Easy and rapid assimilation of relevant information by readers, particularly busy healthcare professionals
- Facilitates communication of science in a crisp and comprehensible way
What type of graphs, tables, or figures to include in your manuscript?
This entirely depends on how you want to narrate your story and what you want your readers to focus on.
How can tables, graphs, and figures be used to make technical writing more creative and less complicated?
- Decide your objective
Tables convey data and information in a logical and orderly manner. Graphs talk about the relationship between different variables and changing trends. The optimal tool should be chosen according to your objective.
- Adhere to guidelines
Some journals have instructions about design patterns for graphs and tables. Follow the guidelines given by your target journal.
- Choose consistency
Maintain a consistent pattern for abbreviations, values, treatments, etc. Avoid any repetition while sharing information and maintain a consistent rhythm.
- Completely Complete
Graphs and tables should be self-explanatory. As images attract people before the text, so the visual data should be completely complete in itself!
- Don’t dress up to kill!
Never use both tables and graphs to represent the same data. Titles must be concise, and abbreviations should be mentioned in footnotes. Graphs and illustrations should be arranged systematically and not just to dress up the data!
Everything about visualizing data in scientific writing, from bar graphs to histograms to line graphs, is a fusion of art and technique. However, putting the appropriate pieces in the right place might become challenging at times. Lack of skill can lead to minor errors, but health science is unapologetically intolerant to them! And here is where, Turacoz steps in to upskill you in your journey of scientific writing.
Turacoz offers courses, workshops, and webinars to guide blooming scientific writers.
Come and join Turacoz to take you on a path towards scientific writing that will open doors to new avenues.
Course – Scientific Writing: Publication Writing and Submission in Journals
Date- 16 July 2022
For more details and information contact,