ANATOMY OF A STEM-AND-LEAF PLOT
Stem-and-Leaf Plots are a simple way to present quantitative data. For small data sets this plot presents all data values in a format that allows one to get a sense of
the distributions shape. In that sense, its function is similar to that of a Histogram, which groups data.
Variable presented and
These are the stems. The stems represent all
digits of a number except the smallest one. In
this case the stems represent the tens digit as
the measure is in minutes. Here, double
stems are used. The first occurrence of a
stem contains the leaves 0 through 4, and the
second occurrence contains the leaves 5
Building a Stem-and-Leaf Plot:
1) Identify the minimum and maximum values to aid
in determining the number of stems.
These are the leaves. Each leaf
represents the ones digit of a
number in the data set. The
number 83 occurs 11 times in
this data set.
1 This number represents 101 minutes.
Old Faithful: Time Between
Minutes Between Eruptions
Now turn this page so that this
arrow faces upward. Compare
the Stem-and-Leafs shape to
that of the histogram to the right
4) Add a title, legend noting the size of the leaf units,
the number of values and the variable being plotted.
3) The Leaves represent the last digit of the
numbers. Work through the data placing these digits
for all data values to the right of the appropriate
stem. Here the leaves are the ones digit. A time of
95 minutes would be placed in the second 9 stem
(remember the 9s represent 90).
Stem-and-leaf of Between_Time
Leaf Unit = 1.0
2) Decide on Single or Double Stems. If there are
many data points go with a double stem. List the
stems, which represent all but the last digit of the
numbers, in a column.
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