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Need help with boxplot

  1. #1
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    Need help with boxplot

    Hi all,
    Sorry, this is probably a very basic question relating to boxplots. So, I've got two continuous variables - the number of times words have been seen, and the length of words (4 lengths - 3, 6, 8, and 11 letters). I'd like to create a boxplot with the number of times words have been seen on the y axis and word length on the x axis. However, I also have one experimental manipulation I'd like to plot - whether the words were seen in someone's first language (L1) or second language (L2). I'd like to have boxplots for L1 and L2 next to each other for each different word length. So there would be two boxplots for 3 letter words, one for L1 and one for L2. Then there would be two for 6 letter words, L1 and L2, and so on. In total, there would be 8 boxplots on the figure.

    The only thing I could imagine is a bar graph with error bars, which doesn't really match the type of data I have, or different charts for L1 and L2, which makes the comparison less obvious. Is there a way to produce the type of figure I'm after? Thanks so much for any help!

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    Re: Need help with boxplot

    How are you making your "standard" box plot? If I understand what you want, it sounds like it should be the same as a basic box plot (I usually make them as stacked bar/column charts) with separate "categories" for L1 and L2 words. Can you upload a sample file with your current attempts at a box plot so we can see how you are building your box plot. I think that will make it easier to suggest adjustments to get what you want.
    Quote Originally Posted by shg
    Mathematics is the native language of the natural world. Just trying to become literate.

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    Re: Need help with boxplot

    Hi MrShorty - that's exactly what I need. At the moment, I'm making the box plot using the box and whiskers chart...but if there's a better way, I'm all ears. Here's a mock up I did earlier and the data set. In the example chart, I wasn't able to have separate categories for L1 and L2. Hope that helps and thanks so much for your assistance!
    Attached Files Attached Files

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    Re: Need help with boxplot

    A picture in a Word document does not help me understand how you created the chart. It sounds like you may have used the built in box plot specialty chart type that is available in newer versions of Excel (I thought it was introduced later than 2010 -- are you still using 2010?).

    I am going to assume you are using 2016 or later and you are using the built in box plot chart type (see help file here: https://support.office.com/en-us/art...8-4743f6190f0d ). The first thing I notice is that your source data is arranged different from the example in the help file. MSFT's example shows a table with course type (-> your word length?) going down the left side of the table, school (-> your language type?) across the top, and the corresponding values in the body of the table. A pivot table or Get and Transform should be able to rearrange the data into this kind of table arrangement without too much difficulty. Then, it looks like you should be able to create your box and whiskers plot from that table. Assuming you are using 2016 or later, I would try that.

    If you are using anything earlier, then I would expect to use a stacked column chart according to instructions similar to this: https://peltiertech.com/excel-box-an...ams-box-plots/ Again, much of the work is in the spreadsheet computing the needed summary statistics.

  5. #5
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    Re: Need help with boxplot

    Thanks so much - I am using 2016 as you guessed. I tried reorganising my spreadsheet in line with your instructions and it worked a charm. All charts have been produced!
    Thanks for your help!

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