How to Plot a Line in Math? (Plot Line Graph with Examples) - BYJUS

Plotting of Lines 

A line plot is an easy way of representing data with the help of a graph. In this method, we use points or checkmarks above a number line to show the frequency of each value. Line plots are also known as dot plots because we use dots to represent the frequencies....Read MoreRead Less

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Data is a collection of facts such as numbers, words, measurements etc. 

For example consider  that you ask everyone in your class a question:

“How many books do you have?”

You may get all kinds of replies, such as 3, 2, 1, 5 and so on. These values are called data. However, if you observe this data you may not be able to understand  it well. You may wonder what you can do. Well, you can use a line plot!

Definition: A line plot is a graph that depicts data using a number line.

Here is a line plot:




A line plot consists of a single line with the symbol of ‘X’ above it. There is also a title and some numbers beneath it. The title depicts  what the line plot is about. It is written at the top of the plot. What is being measured is revealed by the numbers on the line. 

The answers are marked with ‘X’.

Example: The line plot given is for “Books” and depicts the number of books. The numbers 1,2,3,4 and 6 on the line are represented as Xs.


If you observe the numbers on the plot, you will see number 1 on the line has 6 ‘X’ symbols above it. This means that 6 students have 1 book. Similarly, 8 students have 2 books, 2 students have 3 books, 9 students have 4 books, 0 students have 5 books and 4 students have 6 books.



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If you want to make a line plot, the first step should be to draw a number line having all values of the data set.

Consider that the following example:


Patrick listed the number of pencils each student have  in his class



Now, let’s put these answers on a line plot.


To begin, we draw a line to represent all of the possible answers. Looking at the values you can see that the numbers on the line will be 1,2,3,4,5, and 6. . We then mark  these values on the line.

line 1

Next, go over each response individually. Every time we see a number, we write an X above it.

We put an X above number  3 because the first value  is 3.


We can cross out the first one to indicate that we are done with it.

line 3

Then we continue the same way for all the given answers, until the line plot is done.

graph 1

You will be able to understand the answers better now. Let’s see if you can answer some of the questions on the basis of the number of pencils  your classmates have.

How many of your classmates have only one pencil ?

To answer the question above, we can count the Xs over the number  1.

How many Xs are there?

The answer is 4. That is, 4 of your classmates have 1 pencil .

How many of your classmates have more than 1 pencil ? 

To answer this question, you have to count the Xs for numbers  2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 as these are more than 1. We get 3,3,1,1 and 1. Next, you need to add them all up:

3 + 3 + 1 + 1 + 1 = 9

There you are! 9 of your classmates have more than one pencil .

Example: Ms. Cooper displayed the percentage score of her students in the Science term paper. Represent the scores using a number line.


If we look at the scores they are 78, 79, 81, 82, 85, and 86. Therefore, the number line will have numbers from 78 to 86.

We see that one student scores 78%, hence one ‘X’ symbol above 78 on the number line. Similarly, three ‘X’ symbols above 79%, two ‘X’ symbols above 81, one ‘X’ symbol above 82, one ‘X’ symbol above 85 and one ‘X’ symbol above 86 on the number line respectively.

Therefore, the number line will be as shown:

graph 2

Real-life Example: Imagine that a group of people measure the length of a cabinet. The following line plot shows the measured length in centimeters (cm). What is the length of the cabinet according to you? Look at the plot  below and explain

                                                                  Cabinet Length

graph 3


If you observe the plot, you will see that the cabinet length is 163 cm according to the measurement of 4 people. However, only 1 person measures the length as 164 cm and 165 cm respectively. 

Since, the maximum number of people measure the length as 163 cm, therefore the cabinet length is 163 cm.

Example: The line plot shows the number of chocolate bars in a shop. 



Write the number of each item inside the box.

On observing the line plot you see that there are 3 chocolates of the first type, 4 chocolates of second, third and fourth type respectively.

Hence, the boxes can be filled as shown:


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Frequently Asked Questions on Line Plot

A line plot is a graph that shows the frequency of data along a number line. It can be applied to data with a single defined value.

A line plot is a graph that displays data frequency on a number line. When comparing less than 25 numbers, a line plot is the best option. It’s a quick and easy way to organize information.