axes labels missing from plot


I'm not sure if I'm doing something wrong, but I find the sizing of
the axes areas when doing plots a bit problematic.

If I make the figures small, the actual plot area takes up most of the
area and the axes labels aren't visible unless I make the window
bigger. When I export to eps or pdf, they are also cut off.

Is there a way to get the plot area scaled to the figure size in such
a way that the axes labels can be included? I am trying to avoid
having to scale the image when it is included in the document.