Instructions: This assignment is designed to help you practice reading data visualizations. This is an important first step in being able to create your own (effective!) visualizations in this class. This assignment also serves as a place to practice using RMarkdown.

You should submit an .Rmd file and a compiled .pdf file (if you can’t Knit directly to .pdf you can Knit to .html or .doc and then export or print to .pdf from there). Please make sure that your Markdown document compiles before uploading!

  1. Find a data visualization published online that you think is interesting. Some places to look: NYTimes,, FiveThirtyEight. If your visualization is interactive, you can include a link using the Markdown syntax [text](url). To include an image in your .Rmd file, you can use the following command: ![](your-image-filename-here)

Respond to the following questions about your chosen visualization:

  1. What is the data that are being visualized? Where did it come from?
  2. Which data dimensions are mapped to which visual cues?
  3. How does this inform your understanding of the data?
  4. Critique:
    • What does the visualization do well?
    • What would you change?

Grading Rubric

There are a total of 8 points on this assignment.


  • +1 for turning in an .Rmd that successfully compiles
  • +1 for including a graphic or a link to one


  • +1 for addressing each of the four questions

Finishing touches

  • +1 for suppressing distracting / unnecessary content in the compiled output (for example, messages printed when loading packages)
  • +1 at my discretion if your responses seem particularly insightful