Dot Plots

A Dot Plot is a graphical display of data using dots.

Imagine you just did a survey of your friends to find which kind of movie they liked best:

Table: Favorite Type of Movie
Comedy Action Romance Drama SciFi
4 5 6 1 4

On a dot plot it looks like this:

It is a really good way to show relative sizes: it is easy to see which types of movie are most liked, and which are least liked, at a glance. Very similar to a bar graph.

Here is another example:

Example: Minutes To Eat Breakfast

A survey of "How long does it take you to eat breakfast?" had the following results:


Minutes: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
People: 6 2 3 5 2 5 0 0 2 3 7 4 1

Which means that 6 people take 0 minutes to eat breakfast (they probably had no breakfast!), 2 people say they only spend 1 minute having breakfast, etc.

And here is the dot plot:

Another version of the dot plot has just one dot for each data point like this:

Example: (continued)

This has the same data as above:

But notice that we need to have lines and numbers on the side so we can see what the dots mean.