# Graph vs. Plot: Know the Difference

By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023

**A graph typically represents numerical data visually using points, lines, or bars, while a plot often refers to the narrative structure of a story or a diagrammatic representation of a plan.**

## Key Differences

Graphs are primarily used in mathematics and science to visually represent quantitative data, using axes to plot points, lines, or bars that illustrate relationships between variables. Plots, in contrast, are often associated with storytelling, referring to the sequence of events in a narrative. Both are tools for representation but serve different purposes: graphs for data and plots for narratives.

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Nov 13, 2023

In the context of data visualization, a graph displays numerical information through various forms like line graphs, bar graphs, and pie charts, emphasizing trends, patterns, and comparisons. A plot, however, can also refer to a graphical representation of data, especially in fields like geography or physics, where it might denote a spatial or physical arrangement. Both terms overlap in usage here, but 'graph' is more specific to data, while 'plot' has broader applications.

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Nov 13, 2023

The term graph originates from mathematics, where it is used to depict relationships between sets of numbers, typically on an X and Y axis. In literature and writing, a plot refers to the storyline or the arrangement of events and actions within a narrative. While both involve a form of progression or development, graphs are about visualizing numerical progressions, whereas plots are about narrative progressions.

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Nov 13, 2023

In computer science and networking, a graph refers to a set of nodes or vertices connected by edges, representing relationships or flows among various elements. In contrast, a plot in literature or planning might refer to a scheme or strategy, highlighting the conceptual difference: graphs as structures for data and relationships, plots as frameworks for stories or plans.

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Nov 13, 2023

Educational and communication contexts use graphs to simplify and convey complex numerical data effectively. Plots, in a dramatic or literary context, are used to engage an audience by arranging narrative elements. Both serve the purpose of simplification and effective communication, whether of data or stories.

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## Comparison Chart

### Primary Use

Visualizing quantitative data

Describing a narrative structure or a plan

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### Contexts

Mathematics, science, data analysis

Literature, storytelling, planning

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### Components

Axes, data points, lines, bars

Characters, events, settings, conflicts

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### Purpose

To illustrate relationships between variables

To narrate a story or describe a sequence of events

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### Common Forms

Line graph, bar chart, pie chart

Story plot, land plot, conspiracy plot

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## Graph and Plot Definitions

#### Graph

In computer science, a graph is a data structure consisting of nodes connected by edges, representing relationships.

The algorithm used a graph to represent the network of roads and intersections.

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#### Plot

A plot is the sequence of events that make up a story, particularly as they relate to one another in a pattern.

The novel's plot revolved around a mysterious disappearance.

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#### Graph

Graph also refers to plotting data points on graph paper for visualization.

Using graph paper, the students plotted their experimental data to see the trend.

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#### Plot

A small piece of ground, generally used for a specific purpose

A garden plot.

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#### Graph

A graph is a diagram showing the relation between variable quantities, typically of two variables measured along a pair of axes at right angles.

The graph of temperature versus time showed a steady increase throughout the day.

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#### Graph

Graph can also refer to a series of points connected by straight lines in a diagram.

The student drew a graph to represent the growth of plant height over time.

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#### Graph

A diagram that exhibits a relationship, often functional, between two sets of numbers as a set of points having coordinates determined by the relationship. Also called plot.

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Oct 19, 2023

#### Graph

A pictorial device, such as a pie chart or bar graph, used to illustrate quantitative relationships. Also called chart.

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Oct 19, 2023

#### Plot

The pattern or sequence of interrelated events in a work of fiction, as a novel or film.

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#### Graph

A written character that represents a vowel, consonant, syllable, word, or other expression and that cannot be further analyzed.

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#### Plot

To locate (points or other figures) on a graph by means of coordinates.

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#### Plot

To write or develop the plot of

"I began plotting novels at about the time I learned to read" (James Baldwin).

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Oct 19, 2023

#### Graph

A data chart (graphical representation of data) intended to illustrate the relationship between a set (or sets) of numbers (quantities, measurements or indicative numbers) and a reference set, whose elements are indexed to those of the former set(s) and may or may not be numbers.

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#### Plot

To form a plot for; prearrange secretly or deviously

Plot an assassination.

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#### Graph

(mathematics) A set of points constituting a graphical representation of a real function; (formally) a set of tuples $(x\_1,\; x\_2,\; \backslash ldots,\; x\_m,\; y)\backslash in\backslash R^\{m+1\}$, where $y=f(x\_1,\; x\_2,\; \backslash ldots,\; x\_m)$ for a given function $f:\; \backslash R^m\backslash rightarrow\backslash R$. See also Graph of a function Category:en:Curves Category:en:Functions

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#### Plot

To form or take part in a plot; scheme

Were plotting for months before the attack.

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#### Graph

(graph theory) A set of vertices (or nodes) connected together by edges; (formally) an ordered pair of sets $(V,E)$, where the elements of $V$ are called vertices or nodes and $E$ is a set of pairs (called edges) of elements of $V$. See also Graph (discrete mathematics)

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#### Plot

To write or develop the plot for a work of fiction

A good mystery writer must plot well.

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#### Graph

(topology) A topological space which represents some graph (ordered pair of sets) and which is constructed by representing the vertices as points and the edges as copies of the real interval [0,1] (where, for any given edge, 0 and 1 are identified with the points representing the two vertices) and equipping the result with a particular topology called the graph topology.

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#### Plot

(narratology) The course of a story, comprising a series of incidents which are gradually unfolded, sometimes by unexpected means.

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#### Graph

A morphism $\backslash Gamma\_f$ from the domain of $f$ to the product of the domain and codomain of $f$, such that the first projection applied to $\backslash Gamma\_f$ equals the identity of the domain, and the second projection applied to $\backslash Gamma\_f$ is equal to $f$.

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#### Graph

A graphical unit on the token-level, the abstracted fundamental shape of a character or letter as distinct from its ductus (realization in a particular typeface or handwriting on the instance-level) and as distinct by a grapheme on the type-level by not fundamentally distinguishing meaning.

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#### Plot

A graph or diagram drawn by hand or produced by a mechanical or electronic device.

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#### Plot

A secret plan to achieve an end, the end or means usually being illegal or otherwise questionable.

The plot would have enabled them to get a majority on the board.

The assassination of Lincoln was part of a larger plot.

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#### Graph

A curve or surface, the locus of a point whose coördinates are the variables in the equation of the locus; as, a graph of the exponential function.

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#### Graph

A diagram symbolizing a system of interrelations of variable quantities using points represented by spots, or by lines to represent the relations of continuous variables. More than one set of interrelations may be presented on one graph, in which case the spots or lines are typically distinguishable from each other, as by color, shape, thickness, continuity, etc. A diagram in which relationships between variables are represented by other visual means is sometimes called a graph, as in a bar graph, but may also be called a chart.

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#### Graph

A drawing illustrating the relations between certain quantities plotted with reference to a set of axes

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#### Plot

Attractive physical attributes of characters involved in a story, originating from ironic juxtaposition with the original meaning (course of the story).

I'm not sure what's happening in that show, I mainly watch it for the plot.

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#### Plot

To conceive (a crime, misdeed etc).

They had plotted a robbery.

They were plotting against the king.

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#### Plot

(transitive) To trace out (a graph or diagram).

They plotted the number of edits per day.

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#### Graph

In mathematics, a graph is a visual representation of a function or an equation.

The graph of the quadratic equation formed a parabola on the coordinate plane.

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#### Plot

(transitive) To mark (a point on a graph, chart, etc).

Every five minutes they plotted their position.

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#### Plot

Any scheme, stratagem, secret design, or plan, of a complicated nature, adapted to the accomplishment of some purpose, usually a treacherous and mischievous one; a conspiracy; an intrigue; as, the Rye-house Plot.

I have overheard a plot of death.

O, think what anxious moments pass betweenThe birth of plots and their last fatal periods!

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#### Plot

A share in such a plot or scheme; a participation in any stratagem or conspiracy.

And when Christ saith, Who marries the divorced commits adultery, it is to be understood, if he had any plot in the divorce.

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#### Plot

In fiction, the story of a play, novel, romance, or poem, comprising a complication of incidents which are gradually unfolded, sometimes by unexpected means.

If the plot or intrigue must be natural, and such as springs from the subject, then the winding up of the plot must be a probable consequence of all that went before.

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#### Plot

To make a plot, map, pr plan, of; to mark the position of on a plan; to delineate.

This treatise plotteth down Cornwall as it now standeth.

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#### Plot

To form a scheme of mischief against another, especially against a government or those who administer it; to conspire.

The wicked plotteth against the just.

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#### Plot

To contrive a plan or stratagem; to scheme.

The prince did plot to be secretly gone.

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#### Plot

A secret scheme to do something (especially something underhand or illegal);

They concocted a plot to discredit the governor

I saw through his little game from the start

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#### Plot

A small area of ground covered by specific vegetation;

A bean plot

A cabbage patch

A briar patch

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#### Plot

The story that is told in a novel or play or movie etc.;

The characters were well drawn but the plot was banal

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#### Plot

Plan secretly, usually something illegal;

They plotted the overthrow fo the government

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#### Plot

Make a schematic or technical drawing of that shows how things work or how they are constructed

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#### Plot

In the context of land, a plot refers to a measured area of land.

They bought a small plot of land to build their dream house.

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#### Plot

Plot can also mean a plan or scheme, especially a secret one.

The movie centered on a plot to steal a priceless artifact.

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#### Plot

In mathematics and science, a plot is a graph or diagram representing data points.

The scientist made a plot of the experiment’s results for better understanding.

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#### Plot

Plot also refers to the act of planning or devising a course of action.

The team met to plot the course of the project for the coming months.

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## Repeatedly Asked Queries

#### Can a graph represent non-numerical data?

Generally, graphs are for numerical data, but certain types like concept graphs can represent non-numerical ideas.

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#### What is a graph in mathematics?

A graph in mathematics is a visual representation of numerical data or relationships, often using axes and points.

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#### Is a plot always linear in a narrative?

No, plots can be non-linear, with flashbacks or non-chronological sequences.

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#### What is a bar graph?

A bar graph uses bars of varying lengths to represent data values.

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#### Are graphs used in literature?

Graphs are not typical in literature but can be used to analyze literary patterns or themes.

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#### How is a plot different from a story?

A plot is the sequence of events in a story, focusing on the structure and causal connections between events.

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#### Can a plot be predictable?

Yes, some plots are predictable, but unpredictability can make a story more engaging.

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#### What is the difference between a graph and a chart?

A graph is a type of chart specifically for showing data relationships, whereas 'chart' is a broader term including various data visualizations.

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#### Can graphs be 3D?

Yes, 3D graphs exist, especially in advanced mathematics and science.

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#### What is a scatter plot?

A scatter plot shows individual data points on a grid, often to observe relationships between variables.

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#### What does 'plotting a course' mean?

It means planning or devising a strategy or path to follow.

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#### Is a plot the same as a theme?

No, a plot is the sequence of events, while a theme is the underlying message or idea.

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#### How important is a plot in a novel?

Very important, as it drives the narrative and engages the reader.

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#### How do graphs help in business?

Graphs help in visualizing data trends, making informed decisions, and presenting information clearly.

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#### Can a plot exist without characters?

It's unusual, as most plots involve characters, but abstract or conceptual narratives might not have traditional characters.

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#### Can a plot change during writing?

Yes, writers often revise plots as they develop characters and themes.

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#### Does every story need a plot?

Most stories need a plot, but some experimental or avant-garde narratives may focus on language or concepts instead.

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#### What's the role of axes in a graph?

Axes in a graph provide a reference frame to plot data points, usually representing different variables.

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#### Are pie charts considered graphs?

Yes, pie charts are a type of graph used to represent parts of a whole.

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#### What makes a good plot in a movie?

A good movie plot typically involves engaging events, character development, and a coherent storyline.

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About Author

Written by

Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.