Illustration: Making the Right Choices

  • Michael Alley


There are two types of illustrations: tables and figures. Tables are the arrangements of numbers and descriptions in rows and columns. Figures are everything else: photographs, drawings, diagrams, graphs. This chapter discusses the advantages and disadvantages of each type. When presenting numerical data, you should assess the advantages of tables and graphs before making a choice. When presenting an image, you should assess the advantages and disadvantages of photographs, drawings, and diagrams.


Line Graph Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant Marx Generator Mask Temperature Annual Radiation Dosage 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Einstein, Albert, in “Wie ich die Welt sehe,” Mein Weltbild (Amsterdam: Querido, 1934), pp. 11–17. Original text: “Das Schönste, was wir erleben können, ist das Geheimnisvolle. Es ist das Grundgeßhl, das an der Wiege von wahrer Kunst und Wissenschaft steht.” Google Scholar
  2. Laudon, M. F., K. A. Thole, R. L. Engelstad, D. J. Resnick, K. D. Cummings, and W. J. Dauksher, ‘Thermal Analysis of X-ray Membrane in a Plasma Environment,’ presentation, The 39th International Conference on Electron, Ion and Photon Beam Technology and Nanofabrication (Phoenix, Arizona: May 1995).Google Scholar
  3. Radiation and Health Effects: A Report on the TMI-2 Accident and Related Health Studies, 2nd edition (Middletown, Pennsylvania: GPU Nuclear Corporation, 1986), chap. 1, p. 1.Google Scholar
  4. Tufte, Edward R., The Visual Display of Quantitative Data (Cheshire, Connecticut: Graphics Press, 1983).Google Scholar
  5. VanDevender, P., “Ion-Beam Focusing: A Step Toward Fusion,” Sandia Technology, vol. 9, no. 4 (December 1985), pp. 2–13.Google Scholar
  6. Wolfson, R., Nuclear Choices (Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 1991).Google Scholar
  7. Young, Jack, “Satellite Firing Probe Into Comet Kopff,” SL21518 (Livermore, California: Sandia National Laboratories, 1985).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Alley
    • 1
  1. 1.Mechanical Engineering, Electrical and Computer EngineeringVirginia TechBlacksburgUSA

Personalised recommendations