What is a double entry box? Features, functions and examples

Among graphic organizers, the double entry box is one of the most traveled to facilitate the review and understanding of different data by putting them in a comfortable, visual and practical graphic.

This type of resource is very useful during studies for organizing ideas, presenting a topic, presenting it in an academic article, or simply comparing data.

Then we will take a closer look at what are double entry boxes, what functions and characteristics they have, how to make one and we will also see some examples.

What is a double entry box?

A double-entry array, also called a double-entry array, is a table that allows you to organize and assimilate knowledge on a given subject or the data and results of different variables. It is a graphic organizer that helps us to contrast different elements related to a topic, which allows us to more easily relate the collected information in a more visual and simplified way.

As tables, these matrices are structured in rows and columns and an important keyword or reference should be written to refer to the main topic. These rows and columns intersect, forming a cells which are the places where we will put the information we want to represent. The number of these rows and columns will vary depending on what topic you want to talk about, and what’s really important is getting a good comparison between the keywords that appear.

Characteristics and functions of a double-entry matrix

There are several main notable features double entry boxes:

• The number of rows and columns of the table is variable.
• They are made to compare the different elements that make up the table.
• Information should be distributed horizontally and vertically.
• Columns and rows must refer to a specific definition or keyword.
• Columns and rows intersect to form cells where the compared information will be placed.

In terms of functions when organizing information we can highlight the following points:

• Organize content visually and conveniently.
• Analyze different elements related to a subject.
• Compare the information found on a topic.
• Simplify relevant information.
• Describe and relate different studies or thematic variables.
• Translate statistical or comparative data into research.

All of these features and functions have several advantages when using double entry tables, especially applied to universities such as studies or presentation of research data. The main thing is that they make it possible to quickly appreciate data that relate to each other, facilitating both its comparison and the detection of similar appearances. They are also very useful when you want to explain a topic or information that has two fixed variables.

Recommendations for the development

To facilitate the realization of these graphic organizers, we give a series of general recommendations when creating a double entry box to make it as useful as possible for our studies, presentations or organization of our academic work.

• Be clear about what information needs to be explained.

• Carry out in-depth documentation before establishing the table.

• Establish the variables and elements of the subject to be analyzed.

• Determine what is the best distribution to represent the data in the table.

• Carefully read all the information on the study topic.

• Determine what the rows and columns will be and determine their number.

• Check that the data is in the corresponding cells.

• You might be interested in: “Types of intelligence test”

How to make a double entry box?

Now we will see what are the steps to follow to make a double entry box.

1. Select and search for the topic you want to talk about

The first step is to select the topic we will talk about and analyze. Once we are clear on the issue at hand, we will research that content as thoroughly as possible, to make sure we don’t miss any important data.

2. Draw the table

Once all the relevant information has been obtained, we will proceed to the drawing of the double entry box. It is in this step that we will draw a table, which will be the skeleton of our graphic organizer, and we’ll start to consider how many columns and rows are needed to be able to explain everything we want to expose in it.

Once here, we’ll take a look at what are the important topics and sub-topics of the topic we want to talk about, as these will be the ones that will appear in the first boxes of columns and rows.

3. Indicate the key topics

Once they know what topics and subtopics we want to talk about, we write them in the first boxes of columns and rows.

Usually, what is done is to put at the top of each column the variables which represent the subject of study, while the sub-themes will have to be added by subdividing the corresponding rows.

Because the key topics, words and ideas are the most important, they must stand out. For this reason, various graphic resources can be used, such as writing them in capitals, making them bold, or highlighting them with an underline or different colors.

4. Place the compared information

Once we have clearly identified the key issues and put in all the columns and rows that we consider necessary, we will proceed with the placement of the compared information. It is recommended to do it from right to left and top to bottom, going from the simplest to the most complicated or complex..

The purpose of this being to highlight the information compared in a visual and practical way, it is not at all advisable to write parracades in each of the cells which cross rows and columns. Therefore, it is essential to check that all the important information is, but in a synthetic and easily remembered way.

Examples of double entry paints

Finally, we will look at some cases of double entry paintings.

1. Case of disease X

In this double entry table we can analyze the number of confirmed cases of a disease that affects an imaginary people.

The first column indicates the names of the four districts where the city is organized, the second column indicates the confirmed cases of the disease, the third the registered people and, finally, we have the number of deaths by district. Each line represents the confirmed, discharged and dead cases by district, with the exception of the last which indicates it to us for the whole village.

2. Table of types

Here we present a double entry box in which we see weaknesses and strengths of different types in an invented video game. Here, the type of attack (first column) is compared to the type of recipient (first row).

3. Percentages of different quantities

This is a solved exercise where the student had to solve what they were the percentages (first column) of the different quantities (first row). The student had to mark in the cells what was the exact amount of each of the numbers that appear in the top row, taking into account the percentages that appear in the left column.

Bibliographical references

• Jiménez, T. (1999) Best Study Techniques. Place i Janés: Barcelona.