Research Style & Usage: APA/MLA
APA Style: Figures and Tables
Figures

Provide figures on separate sheets of paper, one figure per sheet, labeled Figure 1, Figure 2, etc. Do not include figures in the body of your paper.

Use a sansserif font, such as Arial or Helvetica, for all text within figures.

Always refer to and briefly explain figures in main text:

As shown in Figure 5, the correlation between . . .

The population data (see Figure 8) suggest . . .


Use different types of graphs to display different types of quantitative data:

Bar graphs for categorical independent variables

Scatter plots for correlations

Line graphs to illustrate the relationship between two variables

Circle/pie graphs for percentages

Pictorial graphs to show quantitative differences between groups


Use other types of figures to display data that cannot be conveyed in a graph:

Charts to show hierarchies and sequences

Dot maps and shaded maps (data superimposed on a map) to show population densities, averages, and percentages

Drawings to show perspectives and angles

Photographs to show specimens (use blackandwhite photos only; if color is absolutely necessary, consult with your publisher)


Use legends and captions to explain the content of figures:

Legends explain the symbols used in a figure. Include legends within the figure.

Captions explain the contents of a figure. Provide captions to your publisher on a separate sheet of paper.


Provide figures to your publisher in either electronic form or highquality photographic proof.
Tables

Use tables to display crucial data or to clearly present information that would be difficult to incorporate smoothly into the text.

Number tables in the order they are mentioned in the text: Table 1, Table 2, etc.

Refer to each table in the main text and describe what it contains: As shown in Table 3, the rate of change . . .

Give each table a title that describes the measure(s) and the relevant variable(s).

Give each column and row of each table a descriptive heading.

Segregate different measures (e.g., mean, standard deviation, sample size) in different parts of the table.

Use horizontal lines to separate rows, but do not use vertical lines to separate columns.

Place table notes directly below the table, e.g., Note. Values enclosed in parentheses indicate . . . Include information in the following order (although not all three types are always necessary):

General: Begin with general information about the table, including an explanation of the abbreviations used.

Specific: If necessary, explain specific features of the table relating to particular columns or rows.

Probability: If necessary, explain symbols in the table that represent probability or significance levels. Fewer asterisks represent greater probabilities, for example: * p < .10, ** p < .05. To distinguish between one and twotailed tests, use different symbols, such as asterisks and daggers.
