How to Graph a Ratio

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A ratio is the relation of one thing to another expressed mathematically. Like most mathematical expressions, a ratio can be visually expressed in a graph that relates one axis to another. Rather than using x and y axes as you normally would when graphing functions or equations, however, ratios require you to compare two different quantities, such as defects per part manufactured. The graphical representation of this information will help you to better understand the nature of the data you are dealing with.

How to Graph a Ratio
(Adam Korst/Demand Media)

Things You'll Need

  • Graph paper
Step 1

Collect the data for the ratio you are expressing by creating a table of values. This table will have two rows, one for each value compared and enough columns to accommodate all of your data.

Adam Korst/Demand Media
Step 2

Draw two axes on graph paper. These axes should form an "L" with equally long sides, connecting at the origin point of the graph.

Adam Korst/Demand Media
Step 3

Label each axis with one of the two categories of values you are comparing from the table you created.

Adam Korst/Demand Media
Step 4

Number the axes in regular intervals, using numbers that make sense for the data points you will be plotting. For example, if your plotting the number of products produced vs. defects, the products side might be calibrated in hundreds, while the defects axis might be calibrated in tens.

Adam Korst/Demand Media
Step 5

Plot the data points from your table onto the graph that you've drawn.

Adam Korst/Demand Media
Step 6

Draw a line that connects all the data points.

Adam Korst/Demand Media

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