A scatter plot is a graph used to visually examine the relationship between two quantitative variables that are plotted on the x- and y- axis, respectively. Points are plotted in relation to both variables, and from this a correlation can be determined.  A “line of best fit” can be used further in analysis of the relationship between variables.

A few types of correlation to look for include:

  • Positive correlation- upward, rising trend of data (positive slope)
  • Negative correlation- downward, decreasing trend of data (negative slope)
  • No correlation- scattered data with no obvious relationship


Further analysis on scatter plots and correlation can be found  here. However, correlation is not to be confused with causality. Supposing that a relationship exists, it cannot be proven one variable causes a change in the other variable. More on the avoidable pitfalls of scatter plots can be found at Sky Mark and at the Regents Exam Prep Website.



  1. Your first link is broken.

  2. Nice explanation with helpful graphics choice.

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