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IB Biology: Presentation of Data

Guide for the Internal Assessment Individual Project in IB Biology

Metric vs. US Customary

Use the international system of units.  No cups, teaspoons, ounces, pounds, inches, feet, or miles.

Data Tables

Give each data table an explanatory title.  The title should tell the reader about the information in the table.  For example, instead of “Data Table,” write, “Respiration rates of spinach leaves under varying light intensities.”

Write units of measurement and uncertainty in column headings and not next to each measurement.  This makes the table easier to read and allows you to perform calculations within your spreadsheet.

Place the independent variable in the first column.  Dependent variables go in the next columns.

Set the decimal points to match the precision of your measurements.

Make sure calculated numbers such as mean have the same number of decimal places as the original measurements.

Britannica ImageQuest - DNA autoradiograms and numbers


Add best fit lines only if you have collect a LOT of data and can have some confidence that the line really represents likely data points.

Column graphs are best for comparing means.


Scatter graphs are best when looking for correlation between two variables.


See the graph selection flow chart handed out in class.


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