Organizing data can be done through a pie chart, bar graph, an xy graph or with a line plot. A line plot is a horizontal line that displays data; a cluster is a group of data that are close together. This simplified graphing technique can be ideal for smaller groups of data that each have one specific characteristic. Visually, clusters on line plots will stick out because there will be a large group of data between gaps of data.

Look at the line plot. There will be a set of numbers in order and a line above. Dots or x's will mark out each frequency of data that appears. For example, if the line plot describes ages of people who live in a specific town, the age numbers will be at the bottom. An "x" will stand for each person of that specific age who lives in that town. So if there are five people who are 35 living in the town, it will be depicted with five x's in a column above the number 35 on the line plot.

Study the data that have been graphed out. Look for areas of the plot that have more data than others. For example if there are 10 x's above the age 32, four above the age of 33, seven above 34, five above 35 and 0 above 36, this is considered a cluster because of the amount of x's above each age. So from age 32 to 35, there is a cluster of people living in the town.

Circle the cluster so you can visualize where it is. Write down the cluster facts. In the example, you would write something like "Cluster of ages 32 to 35." Write out the number of x's in that cluster: 26.

Continue studying and looking at the data on the line plot for more clusters of isolated data that show up.

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About the Author

Christina Martinez has been writing professionally since 2007. She's been published in the California State University at Fullerton newspaper, "The Daily Titan." Her writing has also appeared in "Orange County's Best" magazine. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications and print journalism from California State University.

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