Figures and tables in a lab report have a particular standard of presentation, much higher than that of figures you would put in lab book.
You may use any software you desire for producing graphs. At level 1 students will usually use Excel or other spreadsheet software, but at higher levels you may choose to use Python instead.
Some key points worth noting:
Some key points worth noting regarding graphs:
Here is a checklist you can use to check your graphs are compliant.
Fig 1. shows 2 graphs that have been produced using Excel, one good and one bad. They have been annotated to highlight the differences.
Fig 1: Diagram showing the difference between a good and a bad graph
Like figures, tables must have a caption and must be numbered. Tables are not figures and do not get called Figure 1, Figure 2, etc… They should be called Table 1, Table 2, etc… Removing useless horizontal or vertical lines will improve the presentation of your tables. All the entries, including the headings, should fit comfortably in the width or height of the columns or rows; long headings should thus be avoided. Below you can see a few other things to take note of when using tables.
Don’t include tables of data when the information is adequately given in a graph or by a few words of text; this is redundant and wasteful of space. Below is the same data presented in two formats; if presenting your data in a graphical form enhances the ability to convey information (as is the case here) you do not need to include the table of data, just the graph.