Many illustrations transform numerical data into other shapes. Graphs and histograms are examples. Developing these visual aids takes more conscious effort than tables do, but they are often the most powerful way to express relationships. They can illuminate ideas and trends that would be all but invisible to readers if the same data were presented in conventional table form.
Documentary illustrations such as instrument tracings, photographs, and micrographs offer primary evidence of the scientific observations presented in the text. When carefully chosen for clarity and relevance, these visual aids can be literally worth a thousand words.
Another category of illustrations includes explanatory materials such as maps, charts, and line drawings. The less familiar with your work your potential audience is expected to be, the more strongly you should consider including these.
Was this article helpful?