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Line Plot: Definition, Types and Steps to Draw a Line Plot

Apr 9, 2022

As the name suggests, line plot or line graphs are unique plots that incorporate statistical data in the form of lines. A line plot represents data in vertical, horizontal, or zigzag lines. The pattern of the line plot depends on the data for which the line plot is being made. They are mostly used to show the transition between two quantities. 

Line plots come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The one you choose is determined by the sort of data you’ve acquired and the information you wish to share. Each has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. In this article, we will learn everything about meaning, definition, graph, and types of line plots.

What is a line Plot?

A line plot is a sort of graph that shows how data evolves and created by connecting several points with straight lines, and they are also known as line charts or line plots. The ‘x-axis’ and the ‘y’ axis are the two axes in the line plots. The horizontal axis is known as the x-axis, while the vertical axis is known as the y-axis.

 A line plot is a graph that uses lines to link data points. This sort of graph shows quantitative numbers over a set period.

Line Plot Definition 

A line plot is a graphical depiction of data on a number line using dots, crosses, or any other symbol. The scale of the graph is represented by each mark, which corresponds to a certain quantity. The categories of the data are displayed on the number line, and then drawings of markings or symbols are used to indicate the variables across each category. 


Look at the example below to understand what a line plot is:

  • The line plot sample above depicts the selling of chocolate bars by the corporation from August to October. The x-axis represents the month intervals, and the y axis represents the number of chocolate bars sold each month.
  • The dark spot on the plot indicates a data point. On a line plot, a data point represents the quantity/number that corresponds to a specific period on the x-axis
  • The number of chocolate bars sold in August in the above example is 80. Similarly, 100 chocolates were bought by the customers in September.
  • Similarly, we may use the data point to understand this data for each month. The line segment linking these distinct data points provides insight into whether chocolate bar sales are increasing or decreasing.

Different Parts of Line Plot

 Before learning different types of line plots, let us first look at their various components of it. These components will help you understand the concepts easily. 

The graph’s title tells us what the graph is about. It represents the information and data that the graph depicts.

  •  Scale: The scale is the set of values that provides meaning to the linear graph’s units. The horizontal scale below and the vertical scale sideways tell us how many things there are.
  • Labels: A label is attached to the side and bottom of the linear graph, indicating the type of data represented in the graph.
  • Dots or Points: The (x,y) coordinates are represented by the dots or points on the graph.
  • Lines: Straight lines connect the dots to produce the expected magnitude between them.

Make sure you learn these points by heart. Next, we shall study the different types of line plots in statistics in detail.

Line Plot Types

 We have a total of 5 different types of line plots. Three out of these 5 are fundamental line plots, while the other 2 are derived from the orientation of lines. The different types are:

  •  Simple line plot: A simple line plot is a type of graph in which only one line is drawn. Both variables in a simple line plot are usually independent, making the other one a dependent variable.
  • Multiple line plot: This line plot has two or more lines. More than 1 line can be easily represented in a multiple-line plot. It can be used to modify one variable concerning another at the same time. The placement of the dependent variables is on the y-axis, whereas the independent variables are placed on the x-axis. A multiple line plot is a useful tool for comparing comparable items across time.
  • Compound line plot: This sort of chart or line plot is used when information can be separated into different types. To depict the component section of a total, lines are drawn. The top line shows the entire, while the line below shows a portion of the total. The space between every two lines determines the size of each section.

These are the 3 fundamental line plots. Let us now discuss the remaining two line graphs.

  •  Vertical line plot: Vertical line plots are graphs in which each data point is connected to the horizontal axis by a vertical line. The line that represents the variation is always parallel to the y-axis. Also, in this graph style, the variation line is perpendicular to the x-axis. It denotes that the data on the x-axis remains constant while the quantity on the y-axis changes.
  •  Horizontal line plot: As the name implies, are graphs where the horizontal line runs parallel to the surface from each data point. These lines depict variance perpendicular to the y-axis and parallel to the x-axis. When the quantity on the y-axis does not change, the difference in the quantity is depicted on the x-axis.

Why are there different types of line Plots?

 The line plot variation is usually plotted in a two-dimensional XY plane. A line plot or a line chart is a graph that shows a relationship between two metrics that a straight line can represent in a graph.

Today’s world is expanding and becoming increasingly information oriented. Data is used in some way in every aspect of our life. The tabular representation of data is a great technique to portray things systematically.

 When numerical data is visually displayed in a line plot graph, it becomes more prominent and instantly recognizable, imprinting on the spectator’s brain.

Uses of Line Plot

 Line plot graphs are used in multiple aspects of the line worldwide. Some of the uses are mentioned below:

  • The most significant use of a line plot is to follow changes over a short or long period and compare changes for different groups over the same time.
  • It aids in defining a relationship between two sets of values in which one data set is always dependent on the other.
  • In the sphere of research and technical analysis, they are quite useful for offering visualization trends to the user.
  • Whenever there are modest changes, it is always preferable to the bar graph.
  • It can show both positive and bad aspects of a situation. When working with heat and negative values, this can be handy.

How to Read Line Plot

 Hitherto we have studied the different parts of a line plot and types of line graphs. Let us now learn how to read a line plot accurately. 

  • First of all, look carefully at the title of the line plot. This title explains to us what it is all about. 
  • Next, look at the x- and y-axis labeling, as the scale tells us how much or how many.
  • Once you’ve finished with the scale and title, look for emerging patterns to identify the general trend.
  • Finally, double-check the data values to obtain precise figures.

Steps to Draw a Line Plot

Now let us look at the most important thing you need to understand about line graphs. Yes! The steps to draw a line plot. The below-mentioned steps are the correct way to design a line plot. Read the steps below:

Step 1: The first and foremost thing to drawing a line graph is to create a data table. This will help you handpick a desirable scale for the graph.

Step 2: Next, mark the titles of the vertical and horizontal axes. 

Step 3: Finally, from the table, pick the values and make data pointers on the graph. Together with straight lines, join all the data points to form the required line plot graph. 

Line Plot Examples

Example: A company, AKL, sells bicycles, and the sales data for 7 months is mentioned in the line plot graph below.  

Find the number of bicycles sold in the 3rd and 6th months? 

 Solution: According to the question, each dot in the line plot = 5 bicycles.

Therefore, the number of bikes sold in the 3rd month = 4 x 5 = 20 bicycles.

And, the number of bikes sold in the 6th month = 9 x 5 = 45 bicycles. 

 Thus, the total number of bikes sold in the 3rd and 6th months = 20 + 45 = 65.

line plot


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