SFSU Math 124 - Excel Assignment Examples

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Examples for Assignment 1

Each of these reports were pretty good and among the best of the assignments submitted, but each also still had areas where there could be improvement.

Example 1 used a presentation style.
Good features included: interpretation of the figures closely connected to the plot (ie describes what the plot shows and on the same page as the plot); Good use of the plotting area (particularly the scatterplots); Clear and easy to read.
Things that could be improved: Getting two boxplots on the same set of axes. Though when the axes margins are exactly the same you can directly compare the two boxplots the same as if they were on the same set of axes (true for some but not all the boxplots).

Example 2 was a bit closer to what you might see in a corporate report.
Good features included: nice use of color, both for grouping together related plots and visual appeal; Relating together both numerical summaries with the boxplots; Keeping interpretation next to plot (not pages and pages away).
Things that could have been improved: A few of the plots could be a bit better labelled for instance the histograms are broken down into gender groups but it is not clear which is which; Plot areas could be a bit better utilized (ie no so much empty space).

Example 3 was a very well written report with creative use of clip art.
Good features included: nice use of color; Good numerical summaries; Clear sections.
Things that could have been improved: The last histogram is not strictly speaking a histogram, but the idea of combining them on the same plot was a good idea.

General comments about Assignment 1

In general assignment 1 was done very well. There were a few problems that appeared in many reports
  • Rounding - When giving tables of summary statistics it looks better to round things rather than giving them to 9 or 10 decimal places (the additional precision is not necessary in most cases). Also it good to keep consistent rounding
  • Plot area - Sometimes by default excel gives you a plot where the margin text is very large and the actual plot area is comparatively small. Excel does not always give the most sensible defaults. This can typically be fixed by resizing the plot (ie drag the corners of the plot). Also on scatterplots and boxplots it is ok to adjust the axes so that the minimum value is not 0. It is better to use more of the plot area for actually showing the data.
  • Scatterplotting against observation number - Although by default Excel will do this it does not create sensible scatterplots.
  • No "More" - Get rid of "more" from histograms (it is in the instructions).

Examples for Assignment 2

Specific comments to come ....

Example 1

Example 2

Example 3

Example 4

Special notes

All examples on this page are from work submitted by students in Math 124 and are posted here with permission from each of the individual submitters. They are made available for viewing with the hope that they will give an idea of different styles in which the Excel assignments can be prepared.