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Curley Family Library main page: Charts and graphs--AP English

Sr Marianna's assignment


In order to understand the purposes of graphic forms of information, such as cartoons (e.g. political), graphs, and charts, and to interpret these forms accurately, you will research several samples of each. You will then summarize the information gained from each and explain the purpose served by the image, graph, or chart. To more fully comprehend the universality of such modes of communication, you will expand your search to include samples from the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. This will also allow you to see the stylistic changes in these forms, as well as the shifts in cultural attitudes and biases.

The Process:

1.       Research one sample of each of the above-mentioned forms for each century (9 total).

2.       Print out your samples.

3.       Type up a paragraph for each, summarizing the information relayed by the image and its purpose. Include in your summary the particular ideals, cultural attitudes, and/or biases revealed. This latter information will vary with the century and the purpose of the image or chart.

Examples of political cartoons

The Suez Canal:2 perspectives (There have been crisises connected with this in both the nineteenth and twentieth century)  Read  the background first and then look at the way cartoonists treat the problem. Any hyperlinks go to ABC Clio ( passwords from Mrs.Gates)

19th century perspectives

The notion of a canal across the isthmus was broached by the Venetians in the 15th century and later by the French, but the project failed to move beyond the talk stage. One obstacle was an analysis by French engineers during the reign of Napoleon I, which concluded, erroneously, that the levels of the two seas differed by about 30 feet, which meant locks would be needed. Eventually it was realized that the two seas had about the same level.

The canal project finally got underway thanks to the determination of Ferdinand de Lesseps, who pressed forward undeterred through a welter of political, financial, and technical roadblocks. De Lesseps was not an engineer, but he possessed remarkable drive and imagination and had long dreamed of "piercing" the isthmus. Rather than digging the open-cut canal straight across the isthmus, which is only about 75 miles wide, the builders adopted a more roundabout route that made use of several existing lakes: Lake Manzala, Lake Timsah, Great Bitter Lake, and Little Bitter Lake. Construction began in 1859. The project was begun with hundreds of thousands of manual workers under forced labor—overall, more than 1.5 million people worked on the job, and over 120,000 are said to have lost their lives—and it was completed with the help of dozens of specially designed, then state-of-the-art (steam-powered) dredgers, excavators, and other machines.

The barren isthmus, where Suez had been the only populated point of any size, was refashioned. Besides the canal itself, the project produced new towns, notably Port Said...Construction took somewhat longer than the six years planned, owing not only to the difficulties of the job but also to such unanticipated developments as a cholera epidemic in 1865.

The ceremonial opening of the canal, on November 17, 1869, was an elaborate affair, with foreign dignitaries and royalty in attendance. Unfortunately, composer Giuseppi Verdi had not yet finished the opera that is said to have been commissioned for the occasion; the work, Aida, did not receive its premiere until 1871, at the Cairo Opera.

The United Kingdom gained a controlling interest in the Suez Canal Company in 1875, and the waterway was nationalized by Egypt in 1956. Over the years, the canal has been enlarged. Originally measuring 26 feet deep, 72 feet wide at the bottom, and at least 190 feet wide at the surface, by 1963 it had reached a width of 179 feet and a depth of 33 feet. From the beginning, Pasha al-Said's firman of 1854 mandated that the canal be open on equal terms to ships of all nations. The principle of open access to all—in war as well as peace—was legalized in the international Suez Canal Convention of 1888 (not signed by the United Kingdom until 1904). Even after the convention, however, on several occasions, passage through the canal was partially or fully blocked for military or political reasons.

20th century perspective

The Suez Canal crisis unfolded in 1956 when Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal, provoking a joint intervention of British, French, and Israeli forces. The crisis heightened tensions in the Middle East and ended with the international discrediting of the invasion forces.

The Suez Canal is an artificial waterway about 103 miles long traversing Egyptian territory between the Sahara Desert and the Sinai Peninsula. It links the Red Sea and the Gulf of Suez with the Mediterranean Sea. The canal was designed by a French engineer and financed with British assistance during the mid-19th century. It came under British control in 1875, when it was key to the United Kingdom's imperial trade and communications.

In 1956, Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal in order for the Egyptian government to gain control of the canal revenues. He intended to use those revenues to finance the Aswan High Dam Project, the centerpiece of his modernization program. The governments of both France and Britain felt that move compromised their strategic interests and appealed to the International Court. When the court confirmed the legality of the nationalization, the French and British set out to overthrow Nasser himself. Agents of those governments persuaded Israel to invade the Sinai Peninsula in October 1956 and provide a pretext for France and Britain to move their military forces into the Canal Zone.

In a rare instance of cooperation between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War, the governments of those two nations exerted sufficient diplomatic pressure to force France and Britain to withdraw from the Canal Zone and Israel to relinquish the Sinai. The United Nations worked out an armistice, and the canal reopened in April 1957 under Egyptian control.

Pollution and Global warming

This is a set of graphs and charts from various sources that deal with Global Warming


. Beginning in the late eighteenth century, humans began to burn larger and larger quantities of fossil fuels—coal, oil, and natural gas—a process that releases carbon dioxide and water vapor to the atmosphere. For the first time in Earth's history, human activity had the potential for modifying natural processes such as the greenhouse effect to an extent that could be observed and measured.

Charles Keeling established monitoring stations on Mauna Loa in Hawaii and at the South Pole to measure the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Keeling's research over the next half century has produced some of the most definitive factual information available about anthropogenic effects on climate. It shows that the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased gradually from 315 parts per million since his research began to more than 380 parts per million in the early 2000s.

Keeling's fundamental discovery set the stage for the current debate over global warming. Most scientists today would probably agree that increases in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere results in an increase in the Earth's average annual temperature. Warmer temperatures, in turn, are likely to have a host of effects on the Earth's physical and biological environment. These effects may include accelerated melting of the Earth's ice caps, a rise in ocean levels worldwide, an increase in the number and intensity of violent storms, and significant changes in weather patterns in most parts of the world.

As with many scientific issues, there is no unanimous agreement on this scenario. Some authorities may agree with part of that chain of events (for example, more carbon dioxide produces warmer temperatures), but are uncertain about other parts (for example, a greater number of violent storms). The consensus of experts in the field, however, is probably that anthropogenic carbon dioxide is likely to produce significant climatic changes over the next century or more, with additional consequences that are now only poorly understood.

Newton, David E. "Global Warming: Overview." Issues: Understanding Controversy and Society.

ABC-CLIO, 2014. Web. 12 Feb. 2014.

Charts and graphs

Usually you look for charts and graphics on a specific subject.  So it is sometimes difficult to find a source that gives you a series of different charts and graphs.  Your best source is AP images, this is a wire service for newspapers and it provides images and charts and graphics.When you open it, you will see graphics as a subject listed on the left hand side.  Need more instruction?  Look at this from Flager Library, (skip the intro about how to get to the service).

You can also try an advanced image search at google.  Here's the link .  You should be able to modify your search here try adding chart if that's what you are looking for in the box after the subject, you will find that you are better able to control the search.  Also you might want to try Wolfram Alpha which is a scientific search engine that automatically graphes anything it can express mathematically.  This is the search for global climate studies.  The address for the site is here