CONSTRUCTING SINGLE-SUBJECT REVERSAL DESIGN GRAPHS USING MICROSOFT WORD : A COMPREHENSIVE TUTORIAL

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1 CONSTRUCTING SINGLE-SUBJECT REVERSAL DESIGN GRAPHS USING MICROSOFT WORD : A COMPREHENSIVE TUTORIAL PATRICK GREHAN ADELPHI UNIVERSITY DANIEL J. MORAN MIDAMERICAN PSYCHOLOGICAL INSTITUTE This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers. The single-subject reversal design graph is a critical element to basic research and applied behavior analysis. This technical tutorial gives thorough instructions for creating a reversal graph with most recent versions of Microsoft Word including Word for Windows 2003 and for Mac Directions for use with prior versions of this program are included. Following these stepby-step instructions will yield graphs that conform to the Manuscript Preparation Checklist in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis (2000). Key words: single-subject reversal design, MS Word graphs, tutorial Graphic representation of repeated measurement data is critical in basic research and applied behavior analysis. The purpose of this tutorial is to produce single subject design (SSD) graphs using Microsoft Word while conforming to the Manuscript Preparation Checklist (Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 2000). 1 Microsoft Word is an excellent, ubiquitous word processing program and has several features that make it wellsuited to create graphs. For example, it has built-in flexible graphing features, and the resulting diagrams can be used in presentations, printed for journal submission, or posted into presentation program such as PowerPoint. Furthermore, by following the directions in this tutorial, it is possible to save templates, allowing the reader to create multiple SSD graphs while only changing data points and labels. Using templates lessens the amount of formatting needed to properly produce SSD graphs. Microsoft Excel also provides graphing abilities (Carr & Burkholder, 1998; Moran & Hirschbine, 2002), but using the features built into Word saves time and reduces the issues related to converting graphs for use in word processing or presentation software. Both Microsoft Word 2003 for Windows and Word 2004 for Macintosh are covered in this tutorial. These 1 The chart editing features used in this tutorial are very similar in Microsoft PowerPoint. Open a PowerPoint slide and select the Insert Chart icon, resembling a blue, yellow and red bar graph. A datasheet and graph will appear in the slide. The reader may begin following these tutorial directions at Orienting to the Chart Editing Environment. In addition, graphs made in Word can be cutand-pasted into Power Point slide shows. Charts copied into PowerPoint can be further edited using the same tools learned in this tutorial. 235 directions also apply to prior versions; however, each one includes minor variations in procedure. When possible, comments are included to allow users of prior versions to successfully complete these steps. This tutorial assumes the reader has a working knowledge of their operating system, but no experience with Word s charting features. Remember to save your work often while developing a SSD graph. Starting the Word Document for Graphing To begin production of a SSD graph, start with an open Word document. Click on the Insert menu at the top of the screen and select the menu item labeled Object... A dialog box of options titled Object will appear. Under the file tab Create New, scroll down the list and click on item labeled Microsoft Graph Chart and click OK. Note that Word refers to graphs as charts. A separate window entitled Datasheet will appear. Sample data is included in the spreadsheet and by default the chart contains a bar graph of the sample data. You will be replacing the sample data and reformatting the graph, but before doing so, it is necessary to become oriented to how Word handles chart editing. Orienting to the Chart Editing Environment Word is a multifunction program, and chart editing is handled separately from word processing. An application named Microsoft Graph handles chart editing. Different versions of Word vary with how explicit these two environments are from each other. For example, with recent Windows PC versions, Microsoft Graph is fully integrated within the Word window so that when a chart is selected, the relevant tools and menus appear in Word.

2 When you click away from the chart to deselect it, the menus and buttons go back to those intended to edit text. Double clicking the chart area engages chart editing capabilities. In contrast, on the Mac, Microsoft Graph is launched automatically as a separate application when the user double clicks the chart. Once the reader has finished editing the graph, quitting the Graph application on the Mac returns the user into Word to edit the text. Because chart editing will require the use of specialized buttons on the standard and drawing toolbars the reader should take a moment to locate these toolbars on the screen (see Figures 1 and 2). If they are disabled or obscured, you may have difficulty completing some of the steps below. To enable the standard toolbar, click on the View menu, select the item labeled Toolbars to reveal a submenu and make certain the first item labeled Standard is checked. Repeat these steps to make certain the item labeled Drawing is checked under Toolbars. If the reader still cannot see the toolbar with the icons in Figure 1, locate the toolbar with the font menu, click to the left of this menu, and drag the toolbar below the other toolbars. Each step including a toolbar button also has an equivalent menu item. In fact, there are usually several ways to complete each of the following steps. Therefore, if the reader cannot find the appropriate toolbar button (possibly due to using an earlier version of Word), explore the menus to find the equivalent function. Figure 1. Standard Toolbar in Microsoft Word with chart icons. Specific icons used in the creation of SSD graphs are labeled. Cosmetic variations in graphs exist across versions. Figure 2. Drawing toolbars of Mac OSX (top) and Windows XP (bottom). Icons used in the creation of SSD graphs are labeled. 236

3 Entering Data Points Returning to our task, the data for your SSD graph will be entered into the spreadsheet window. To enter the data you must first clear the spreadsheet. The fastest and easiest way to accomplish this is to highlight all the data. Move the mouse pointer to the upper left hand corner of the spreadsheet. Find and click on the rectangular button above the row labels (1,2,3...) and to the left of the column labels (A,B,C ). The whole spreadsheet should become highlighted. To erase the data, Windows PC users simply press the Delete key on the keyboard. Mac users will need to select Delete from the Edit menu. Now the spreadsheet will be blank and the image in the chart area will disappear. Conceptually, it is easiest to have each row represent a phase and each column represent the measures taken during that phase. However, by default in Word, data series are in rows. To change the data series to columns, click the By Column icon (see Figure 1) in the Standard Toolbar. Alternatively, users of prior versions can go to the Data menu can choose the Series in Columns item. For this tutorial example, there are four baseline data points (2,3,4,3), four treatment data points (9,12,11,12) and four reversal data points (4,3,4,2). To begin, enter the trial numbers downward along the column to the left of column A. To assist with formatting the graph it is necessary to type the numbers 0 through 12 in the far left column in rows 1 through 13. Make sure that you skip a row, and start by putting 0 in the row enumerated 1. These numbers will eventually show up below your graph tickers to identify trial numbers. When formatting graphs for your own data, begin with 0 and end with the number of measured data observations. Next, enter all the data from the first phase of your design (i.e., baseline). Start your first entry in Cell A2 and place each entry for this first phase in the cells immediately below the last entry (e.g. 2,3,4,3 in cells A2 to A5). You will notice that each data point you enter changes the graph, but do not be concerned about this now as you will format the graph properly after you have entered all the data. All of the first phase should appear in this first column. When you are ready to enter the data of your second phase, you are going to switch to column B and enter the example data points for this phase below the one you just completed (e.g. 9,12,11,12 in cells B6 to B9). This separates the data lines into separate phases in the graph. Enter the example reversal data points in column C below the treatment phase (e.g. 4,3,4,2 in cells C10 to C13). When entering your own data you will repeat these steps as many times as needed. Figure 3 illus- Figure 3. Datasheet with values entered from tutorial data. 237

4 This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers. trates how the data should appear. If the spreadsheet window obscures the graph, move the spreadsheet so that the chart can be edited. As noted earlier, by default, the graph in front of you now is a Bar Graph. Change the graph to a line graph by selecting the Chart type icon from the standard toolbar represented by a dark red and blue chart icon (see Figure 1). Clicking on the downward arrow next to the icon will open up a window of chart options for you. Clicking the Line Chart icon that resembles a line graph will automatically change the bar graph to a line graph. If this toolbar icon is not available in a previous version of Word, click on the Chart menu, select the Chart Type option, and choose the line graph labeled Line with markers displayed at each data value and click OK. If the spreadsheet window obscures the graph, move the spreadsheet so that the chart can be edited. As noted earlier, by default, the graph in front of you now is a Bar Graph. Change the graph to a line graph by selecting the Chart type icon from the standard toolbar represented by a dark red and blue chart icon (see Figure 1). Clicking on the downward arrow next to the icon will open up a window of chart options for you. Clicking the Line Chart icon that resembles a line graph will automatically change the bar graph to a line graph. If this toolbar icon is not available in a previous version of Word, click on the Chart menu, select the Chart Type option, and choose the line graph labeled Line with markers displayed at each data value and click OK. Creating Phase Lines Before adding phase lines it is necessary to adjust the X axis so that tickers fall below data points as consistent with JABA guidelines (2000). Double click on the X axis to display the Format Axis dialog box. Select the Scale tab. Ensure the item titled Value (Y) axis crosses between categories does not have a checkmark. Click OK to close the dialog box. The next step is to add the phase lines to conditions in the chart. Locate the Drawing toolbar on the screen. If one is not available, click on the Drawing icon in the standard toolbar, and it will appear at the bottom of the screen. Windows PC users will click on the label Autoshapes and Mac users will click on the Autoshapes icon (see Figure 2). Either method will reveal a menu of options from which you will select Connectors to display a submenu of Connector options. Choose the straight connector. This should be the item on the top left of the connector menu. The mouse cursor will now appear as a plus sign ( + ). To lay the vertical phase lines, place the intersection of this pointer on the 238 X axis of the graph. It is not automatic and must be done free hand, so ensure that the pointer is in the center of the space between the last entry of one phase and the first entry of the next. Note that Windows PC users will need to click and hold the mouse button while laying the connector down, whereas Mac users will simply click the mouse button when the pointer is positioned. Set the bottom of the line to the position you selected. Now extend the line upward until you reach the top grid line of the Y axis. Once the line is straight and vertical and ends on the top grid line of the Y axis, PC users will release the button and Mac users will click again. This sets the top of the line to the selected position. If the line you have created needs to be edited, simply click the end of the connector and move the end to adjust the length or angle of the graph. The phase line is now in place but needs to be changed into a dashed line to meet JABA guidelines. Double click on the phase line to format it. This will bring up Format Autoshape dialog box. Select the tab labeled Colors and Lines if not already selected. Click the popup menu next to the Dashed: option and select the dotted line. Close the dialog box by clicking on the OK button. The reader can repeat the above steps to create additional phase lines. Adding Labels and Changing Chart Options Next you will label the Title as well as the X and Y axes. Click on the Chart menu at the top of the window and select Chart Options. We will format several aspects of the graph using the Chart Options dialog box. First, select the Titles tab. Type in the Chart Title, X axis, and Y axis labels in their respective boxes. For this tutorial, type Tutorial Example for the title, Sessions for the X axis, and Responses per Hour for the Y axis. Next, click on the Gridlines tab and deselect the check marks in and Y-axis gridline checkboxes. Gridlines should not be visible in your chart. Now select the Legend tab and de-select the show legend checkbox, as legends are unnecessary for SSD graphs. Close the Chart Options dialog by clicking OK. If it is necessary to change the font or size of all the text on the graph at once, click in a blank area of the graph outside of the area in which the data are plotted. Word differentiates between the plot area (within the bounds of the X and Y axis) and the chart area (outside the X and Y axis). Once you have selected the Chart Area, click on the Format Menu and select Selected Chart Area If that menu item is not visible, go back and reselect the chart area. This will bring up a Format Chart Area dialog box. Select the tab labeled Font. Ma-

5 nipulate the font, size and style to suit your needs. A 12- point regular Arial font is appropriate for many journals. Once you click OK to close the dialog box, all the text in the chart and new labels that you add later will be formatted to the chosen font, size and style. To change these characteristics of any text on the graph without affecting all the other text, double click on the word you wish to change. A text box appears. Double clicking on the edge of the text box will bring up a dialog box of which the title will vary as to the function of the text box (e.g. Axis Title). Select the tab labeled Font and change the settings to suit your needs. Format Series Lines The series lines of the entered data need to be formatted to SSD graph format. Currently, all three are different colors with different markers on the line, but SSD graphs represent a single subject, therefore the lines and markers should all appear the same. Start by double clicking on the data line for the first phase. This will open the Format Data Series dialog box. Windows PC users should select the Patterns tab and Mac users should select the Colors and Lines tab. Within the Line category find the option of Color: Click on the popup menu and select the color black (this deselects Automatic ). Next adjust the line thickness. On a Windows PC click the popup menu next to Weight and select the third option. On a Mac, the weight is displayed in point size. Choose a point size of 2. Go to the section labeled Marker. Click the popup menu next to the label Style: and a menu of options will appear. Click on the circle figure in the menu to select it. In some versions of Word, if a circle is not visible, choose the circle with a cross through it. Click on the Foreground: popup menu to bring up another color menu. Select white because it will draw a small white ring around the data point to give the illusion that the lines never touch the data points in the graph; as is appropriate for SSD graphs. Now click the Background: popup menu and select the color black. Make certain that the shadow checkbox is deselected. Finally, find the Size option that controls the size of the marker. Click on the up or down arrows to adjust the size to six. Click OK to close this dialog box. Select the other data lines and repeat these steps for formatting the series lines for all phases represented in Figure 4. Format Axis Dialog Box with Scale tab selected. Numbers indicate necessary values for proper formatting of the Y- axis. 239

6 the graph. Remember that each data line should be formatted the same as they represent one subject across time. Modify Intersection of Axes As you examine the graph you will notice that the X axis crosses the Y axis at 0. An SSD graph requires that the X axis cross the Y axis at -1. To move the abscissa off 0 you need to double click the Y axis. A dialog box labeled Format Axis will appear. After selecting the Scale tab, find the Minimum option. You will want to change this to -1 (without quotes). Now find the option of category (X) axis crosses at: Change this to -1 the same way you changed the minimum. Figure 4 illustrates the necessary settings. When creating your own graphs you may wish to change the range of the Y axis. If adding labels will interfere with the data lines you can add more space by increasing the number in the Maximum option. Usually adding 5 to the current value will allow enough room for phase labels. Modification of the Minimum, Maximum, and Major Unit values allows for further refinement of the range and increments of labels. Click OK to close the dialog box. Hiding Unnecessary Labels The graph now crosses at the appropriate intersection point, however, you will notice that the abscissa is labeled 1 on the Y axis and 0 on the X axis. These labels need to be removed for SSD graphs. It is not possible to simply delete the labels so they must be covered instead. First cover the -1 with a rectangular Autoshape. As you did with the phase lines, locate the Drawing toolbar. Windows PC users will click on the label Autoshapes and Mac users will click on the Autoshapes icon (Figure 2). Either method will reveal a menu of options in which you will want to select Basic Shapes to display a submenu of shape options. Choose the rectangle. This should be the item on the top left of the shape submenu. The mouse cursor will now resemble a cross. Lay the cursor on the graph, above the -1 label. Set one corner of the rectangle by clicking and holding the button depressed. Moving the mouse will define the size of the rectangle. Be sure that the rectangle is large enough to cover the label but does not cover other parts of the graph. After you release the mouse button, clicking and dragging any edge of the rectangle can adjust the shape to cover the label. Double click on the edge of the rectangle to view the Format Autoshapes dialog box. Within the area labeled Line click on the popup menu next to the label Color and choose No Line. Click OK to close the dialog box. Your rectangle is now white and will not be visible on your graph, obscuring the -1 label. Repeat the same procedure to obscure the 0 label. Label the Phases Use the text box option on the Drawing toolbar to label the conditions defined in the graph by the phase lines, (i.e. Baseline, Treatment, Reversal). For Windows PC, the Text box icon on the toolbar is symbolized as a lined sheet of paper with a blue A in the upper lefthand corner. On the Mac, the icon shows a capitalized letter A next to an insertion point. Select this icon and the cursor of the mouse will now resemble an upside down lower case t. Guidelines for Manuscript Preparation (2000) suggest that labels be centered over the condition, and above the data points. Given that the tutorial labels are short, we recommend that you place them on the top gridline of the graph in between the phase lines. Set one corner of the text box by clicking and holding the button depressed. Moving the mouse will define the size and direction of the text box. Be sure that the text box is large enough to fit your label. When you release the mouse button, the text box will appear and you can type your label. Notice that the border of the box remains highlighted. If your label is too lengthy to fit within phase, change the size of the font. To do this, double click on the newly created text box. This will reveal a Format Text Box dialog box. Select the tab labeled Font. Using trial and error, manipulate the size of the font so that your label fits within the phase. Do not make the labels so large or numerous that they obscure the data. Removing Unnecessary Graph Items Your graph may have a grey background which does not belong in JABA graphs. The method for removing these items differs between Mac and Windows versions. In Windows PC, double click on an unlined area within the chart plot area, and the Format Plot Area dialog box appears. Under the Patterns tab, locate the section labeled Border and select None. Next, select None within the section labeled Area to clear the background color. Mac users can accomplish this formatting by double clicking on an empty area within the chart plot area, revealing the Format Plot Area dialog box. Find the section labeled Fill under the Colors and Lines tab and select No Fill from the Color popup menu. Next, move over to the section labeled Line and choose No Line from the Color popup menu. The reader wishing to add additional elements to their final graph such as labels, arrows pointing to data elements, subject names, breaks in the Y-axis to indicate that the scale is not continuous, etc. can use the afore- 240

7 mentioned tools found on the drawing toolbar to customize their graph. Resizing Your Graph for Printing Your graph should now be complete, and if you have been following the tutorial appear similar to Figure 5. However, a few steps are still necessary for printing. First, it is necessary to leave the chart-editing environment and return to Word s text editing mode. Windows PC users can simply click outside the chart area. If you are using a Mac, go to the Graph menu and select the item labeled Click and Return to [the name of your Word file]. This will return you to the Word text editing environment. According to Cooper, Heron, & Heward (1987), on most graphs the vertical axis can be drawn approximately two-thirds the length of the horizontal axis, and the JABA Manuscript preparation checklist shows graphs that are similar to this proportion. If the reader wishes to ensure that the overall dimensions of the graph conform to this standard, begin by clicking once on the graph to select it. Next, go to the Format menu and choose the Object item. Select the tab labeled Size. Examine the section labeled Scale. Deselect the Lock aspect ratio and Relative to original picture size checkboxes, and enter the desired size in the Height and Width form windows. Entering 4 inches for Height and 6 inches for Width keeps the 2:3 ratio and is well-suited for standard paper sizes. Reselect the lock aspect ratio checkbox to maintain the dimensions and click OK. Congratulations, you are now ready to print your finished SSD graph, or cut-and-paste it into a slide show. If you have not done so, it is wise to save your document. Saving a Template Following this tutorial is valuable because your work can be saved as a template. This allows you to create new SSD graphs with fewer steps. Opening up a template allows the user to maintain the formatting of the graph and simply enter new data points and replace labels as necessary. Using a template instead of a typical document file reduces the risk of losing data by accidentally writing over older files. This can save the reader a considerable amount of time. To save a template, choose Save As from the File menu. Name the file SSD graph template or some other title you will recognize. Change the file format by selecting Document Template from the Files as type popup menu. On the Mac, the popup menu is labeled: Format. Note that selecting Document Template will save the file into a typically underutilized folder named Templates (PC) or My Templates (Mac) by default. Most often, Windows PC users save their files in the My Documents folder and Mac users in the Documents folder. Save your template where you will find it easily so you can open it later to create similar graphs with different data. Using templates can save you time, allowing you more time for data collection. Figure 5. Completed Single Subject Design Graph created using tutorial instructions. 241

8 REFERENCES Carr, J. E. & Burkholder, E. O. (1998). Creating single-subject design graphs with Microsoft Excel. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 31(2), Cooper, J. O., Heron, T. E., & Heward, W. L. (1987). Applied behavior analysis. NJ: Prentice Hall, Inc. Manuscript preparation checklist. (2000). Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 33, Moran, D. J. & Hirschbine, B. (2002). Constructing single-subject reversal design graphs using Microsoft Excel : A comprehensive tutorial. The Behavior Analyst Today, 3(2), This document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers. Author Contact Information: Daniel J. Moran, Ph.D., BCBA 1415 Maple Road Joliet, IL (815) For questions or comments about this publication, please contact Patrick Grehan at or Daniel J. Moran at 242

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