Power Tools for Technical Communication:
Creating Graphs for Print Documents



In this lab, you follow directions for creating graphs and inserting them into print documents using your preferred software applications:
  1. For each item, insert text, and create the title, graph, labels for both axes, legends if necessary according to the instructions.
  2. Review the steps for creating graphs in Chapter 10 of Processes in Technical Communication as necessary.
  3. Either show your instructor your completed work; or put your name, Graphs: Print, and the date on this document, and print it out for your instructor.


  1. Design a graph that shows illustrates the differences between power generated at different wind speeds by several commercially available wind generators. Center the title "Power Curve Comparisons" below this graph. Make the vertical axis go from 0 to 20,000 (with 1000-watt increments) and label it "Wind Generator Power in Watts." Make the horizontal axis go from 0 to 60 and label it "Wind Speed in Miles per Hour Wind Speed in Miles per Hour (MPH)." For the Wind Turbine Industries' Jacobs 29-20, indicate at 5 MPH, 0 w is produced; at 7.5 MPH, 450 w; at 10 MPH, 1000 w; at 15 MPH, 4200 w; at 20 MPH, 10,000 w; at 25 MPH, 18,100 w; at 30 MPH, 20,000 w; at 40 MPH, 20,000 w. For the BWC Excel, indicate at 7.5 MPH, 0 w is produced; at 10 MPH, 850 w; at 15 MPH, 2600 w; at 20 MPH, 4900 w; at 25 MPH, 7400 w; at 30 MPH, 11,000 w; at 32 MPH, 11,800 w; at 35 MPH, 8800 w; at 38 MPH, 2800 w. For the WT 6000, indicate at 4 MPH, 0 w is produced; at 10 MPH, 750 w; at 15 MPH, 2300 w; at 20 MPH, 4100 w; at 25 MPH, 6200 w; at 27 MPH, 6400 w; at 30 MPH, 6150 w; at 35 MPH, 6050 w; at 38 MPH, 6000 w. (Note that these are estimated values; when you create these line graphs, smooth them to indicate gradual rise and fall. For the three graph lines, use different line styles or color, and create a legend defining each.

    Precede this chart with the following text: "The power curves for all of the wind systems reviewed have been put together so that you can more easily compare one system to another. The curves compare the power output of the various systems as a function of wind speed. However, be aware that this is still an “apples and oranges” comparison because there is no standard rated wind speed. However, some reasonable comparisons can be made."

    Design a graph that shows the rate of the diffusion of innovations into the marketplace. Make the title "Figure 5. Diffusion of innovation" and center it below this graph. Make the vertical axis go from 0 to 100 increments of 20, and label it "Market penetration (%)." Make the horizontal axis go from 0 to 25 in increments of 5, and label it "Time (years)." Position the 0 on the horizontal axis about half an increment to the right of the vertical axis. Over the 0-5 increment, position the label "Innovators (2.5%); over the 5-10 increment, "Early Adopters (13.5%); over the 10-15, "Early Majority (34%); over the 15-20 increment, "Late Majority (34%); over the 20-25, "Laggards (16%)." Add note to the figure title indicating the information came from Everett Rogers, Diffusion of Innovations (New York, NY: The Free Press, 1962). (Note that these are estimated values; when you create these line graphs, smooth them to indicate gradual rise and fall.)

    Precede this chart with the following text: "Forecasting future demand for green power based on early results from green pricing programs, retail access pilots, and states with full retail competition should be done with caution. Rogers characterizes product diffusion as a process in which a product passes from one stage to the next of its life cycle (product development, growth, maturity, and decline) as the nature of the users of the product or service changes.15 The classic diffusion model suggests that product demand often follows the standard “S” curve, starting slowly, then proceeding through rapid growth before it tapers off (Figure 5). The rate of product diffusion depends on many factors, but experience with other product markets suggests it often takes 10 years or more for new products to significantly penetrate a market."


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