How to Create a Time Series Graph


Time series graphs are used to graphically show how a certain variable changes over a given period of time. You can create your own time series graph on a piece of graph paper, and doing so can help you to visualize exactly how the variable has changed. Time series graphs often help people identify trends, in subjects as diverse as business, chemistry, and the social sciences. It is also vital to create time series for many science fair projects in order to accurately display your data and findings.

Things You'll Need

  • Pencil
  • Graphing Paper
  • Draw an x axis and a y axis on the graph paper (The x axis is a horizontal line, and the y axis is a vertical line). The two should meet to make an "L" shape.

  • Decide on the intervals of time you would like to use. For example, if the event being graphed took place over twelve years, you might want the interval to be a year. If the event took place over forty-five seconds, you might want the interval to be five seconds.

  • Label the x axis based on the intervals you chose. For example, you might label the vertical graph lines with 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, 30, 35, 40, and 45.

  • Label the entire x axis with the word "Time," as well as an indication of the unit of measurement used. In this example, the x axis would be labeled "Time (seconds)."

  • Label the y axis of your graph based on the variable being measured. For example, you might label the axis "Amount of Water Produced (gallons)." You can then write appropriate intervals on the y axis, using a similar method to the one described in Steps 2 and 3.

  • Plot a point on your graph. To do this, put your finger at the first time interval you have data for, and slide your finger up the vertical line until you reach the correct hoizontal line (using the y axis as a guide). Draw a point where the vertical line and the horizontal line intersect.

  • Continue adding points for all data you have available. Then connect the data points to complete the graph.


  • Photo Credit Aaron Graubart/Photodisc/Getty Images
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