chartjunk

Chartjunk, coined by Edward Tufte in his book entitled The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, refers to decorations in a graphic that have no purpose. In many cases, researchers add these (e.g., different patterns in a histogram) to try to make the graphic look more “technical”; however, these usually add nothing to the message that the image is trying to convey.
As a researcher, your figures support your data. In scientific disciplines, whether your reader is a visual learner or can comprehend information without a visual, a graphic is always helpful.


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