Graphics are used in textbooks as part of the language of the discipline, as in math or economics, or as study aids. Authors use graphic aids to illustrate and expand on concepts taken up in the text because graphics are yet another way of portraying relationships and clarifying connections. Graphics are used extensively in natural sciences and social sciences. Social scientists work with statistics derived from data, and the best way to present these statistics is often in graphic form. Graphics are included not merely as a means of making the information easier for the student to grasp, but as an integral part of the way social scientists think. Many textbooks, particularly those in economics, contain appendixes that provide specific information on reading and working with graphic material. Make it a practice to preview attentively the titles, captions, headings, and other material connected with graphics. These elements set the stage and usually explain what you are looking at. When you are examining graphics, the principal questions to ask are (a) What is this items about? And (b) What key idea is the author communicating. One warning: Unless you integrate your reading of graphics with the text, you may make a wrong assumption. For instance, from a chart indicating that 33 percent of firstborn children in a research sample did not feel close to their fathers, you might assume that some dreadful influence was at work on the firstborn children. However, a careful reading of the text reveals that most of the firstborn children in the sample were from single-parent homes in which the father was absent.
图形作为学科语言或数学、经济学的学习参考应用于教材中 。作者用图形辅助阐释教材中的概念，因为图形是描述关系、说明联系的另一种方式 。图形被广泛地应用于自然科学和社会科学中 。社会科学家研究从数据中总结的统计数字，描述这些统计数字的最好方式就是图形 。图形不只是让学生更易掌握信息的一种方法，也是社会科学家思考方式的组成部分 。许多教材，尤其是经济学教材包含许多附录，提供了阅读和使用图形材料的特定信息 。要养成提前阅读与图形有关系的题目、说明文字、标题和其他材料的习惯 。这些要素是基本信息，对你正在看的文章进行解释 。检查图形时，要问以下几个主要问题：a.这篇文章主要讲了什么？b.作者要表达的中心思想是什么？有一个注意事项：如果你不把图形和文本结合在一起，你可能会得出错误的假设 。举个例子，如果依据某研究样本总结的图表指出，33%的长子和父亲并不太亲，你可能会认为长子遭受了可怕的影响 。但是，仔细阅读文章会发现，实际情况是样本中的大多数长子都来自没有父亲的单亲家庭 。