How to Stem & Leaf Plots With Decimals

Stem and leaf plots are a valuable way of organizing your data, and determining how many data points with a particular ones, tens, or hundreds digit you have. You can use stem and leaf plots to organize decimals much the same way that you would use stem and leaf plots to organize whole numbers. Since stem and leaf plots are not traditionally used to organize decimal numbers, you will need to create a key that makes it clear to your readers that you are organizing decimals.

    Draw a T-table on your paper. The left half will be the stem, and the right half will be the leaf.

    Draw a legend that indicates that the T is the equivalent of a decimal point, and that it separates the whole number from its decimal part.

    Organize your numbers, ranging from least to greatest. Write the whole number portion of the number in the stem of your table, and the decimal in the leaf. For instance, if you have the dataset "5.8, 6.7, 6.8, 6.9, 7.2. 7.5. 7.8, 8.0," the left part of your table would read "5, 6, 6, 6, 7, 7, 7, 8" and the right part of your table would read "8, 7, 8, 9, 2, 5, 8, 0."

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About the Author

Tricia Lobo has been writing since 2006. Her biomedical engineering research, "Biocompatible and pH sensitive PLGA encapsulated MnO nanocrystals for molecular and cellular MRI," was accepted in 2010 for publication in the journal "Nanoletters." Lobo earned her Bachelor of Science in biomedical engineering, with distinction, from Yale in 2010.

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