Drawings and diagrams

Look through any science textbook. There are always a lot of drawings and diagrams. What are they used for? They are used to communicate ideas, relationships, show experimental set-ups and other things that are not usually part of everyday life. For example, the parts of a flower would be shown in science as a diagram.

Talking head: Why are drawings and diagrams used so much?

Here are some reasons. Diagrams and drawings:

To draw a scientific diagram you need the following equipment:

Before you put pencil to paper, you need to decide what it is that you are trying to show in your diagram. The examples that follow show you some of the different purposes that diagrams have been used for.

The student studying the behaviour of slaters drew the following diagrams in her logbook. The first was a drawing of a slater and the second was the experimental set-up.

A drawing of a slater and a cardboard box with one half in the light and the other in the dark.

Figure 5: A drawing of a slater and a box that is divided into one half covered in glass and the other in cardboard.

The student decided to only use the diagram of the experimental set-up in the final report.

Another student, Susan wanted to describe the location of insect damage on a leaf. Her drawing is shown below.

A drawing of a leaf with some insect damage.

Figure 6: Insect damage on a leaf

These diagrams would be useful in a final report. Do you think that a diagram would be a useful way to show equipment or observations in your project?

In your logbook, complete a neat, labelled diagram of one aspect of your project.


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