Flowcharts show a step-by-step procedure and attempt visually to simplify a complex process. In other words, flowcharts visually represent the operations performed to solve a problem. Flowcharts are usually read from left to right or from top to bottom. When designing a flow chart, two distinct stages of the process should be considered: the finished product and the creation of the product. To represent steps in the process, flowcharts typically use symbols that are easy to understand, such as arrows and circles.
However, specific symbols have been adopted in some fields, so be sure to familiarize yourself with the symbols that are used in your field before you design a flowchart. Don’t forget to include a title and figure number centered at the bottom of your flowchart.
Typically, arrows within a flowchart represent movement. The flowchart on the next page illustrates the writing of a research paper.
Copyright 2003 by the Student Success Center and the University of Houston-Victoria.
Created 2003 by Candice Chovanec-Melzow.
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