The main effects plot displays the means for each group within a categorical variable.

Minitab creates the main effects plot by plotting the means for each value of a categorical variable. A line connects the points for each variable. Look at the line to determine whether a main effect is present for a categorical variable. Minitab also draws a reference line at the overall mean. Interpret the line that connects the means as follows:

- When the line is horizontal (parallel to the x-axis), there is no main effect present. The response mean is the same across all factor levels.
- When the line is not horizontal, there is a main effect present. The response mean is not the same across all factor levels. The steeper the slope of the line, the greater the magnitude of the main effect.

Although you can use this plot to display the effects, be sure to perform the appropriate ANOVA test and evaluate the statistical significance of the effects. If the interaction effects are significant, you cannot interpret the main effects without considering the interaction effects.