- List of Tables
Tables in your document
- Use Times New Roman for text in the tables. Use size 12 where able, but 10 or 11 size may also be used to fit text within the table. Line spacing within a table should be single-spaced.
- All tables should be labeled and formatted in APA style with numbering, title, notes, borders, etc.
- Tables should be placed after the paragraph where they are first mentioned. If a table continues is very large, it can start on the next page after it is mentioned. If your charge is longer than one page, type Table 1 (Continued) at the top of the next page and be sure the table headings are repeated.
- References in your text to tables must reference a specific table and number, for example: "As demonstrated in Table 3..." Do not use, "As demonstrated in the following table...."
- You are to reference your table in the paragraph immediately preceding or following the location of the table.
- If your table needs to be rotated because it is too large, rotate just the table with the top of the table at the 1.5" margin side.
- Repeat the headings if your table has to continue on a new page.
- The titles of your tables should be italicized throughout the paper.
- Tables within the appendix need to have the appendix section and table number. For example, Table A.1, refers to the first table in appendix A.
Note: you only flip your table when it is too wide. In the event that you do continue your table on a new page, be sure to label the table. For example, insert "Table 2 (continued)" on the new page.
List of Tables page
- Required if there are two or more tables in your document including the appendices.
- Type List of Tables on the top line. Be sure to label this title as a page title heading to format it properly. See Content/Chapters for more information about headings.
- Leave the next line blank.
- Type Page (#), tab once, type Table 1: Title of Table One.
- If your page number is a single digit, you will need to tab twice so that all table names are aligned.
- List each table on a new line.
- If your title is so long it goes onto another line, indent that line to match where all table names start.
- If you have tables in the appendix, be sure to add them on this list. Do not bold or italicize.
- Introduction & Help
- General Formatting
- Table of Contents
- List of Figures
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Frequently asked questions
What is a list of figures and tables.
A list of figures and tables compiles all of the figures and tables that you used in your thesis or dissertation and displays them with the page number where they can be found.
Frequently asked questions: Dissertation
Dissertation word counts vary widely across different fields, institutions, and levels of education:
- An undergraduate dissertation is typically 8,000–15,000 words
- A master’s dissertation is typically 12,000–50,000 words
- A PhD thesis is typically book-length: 70,000–100,000 words
However, none of these are strict guidelines – your word count may be lower or higher than the numbers stated here. Always check the guidelines provided by your university to determine how long your own dissertation should be.
A dissertation prospectus or proposal describes what or who you plan to research for your dissertation. It delves into why, when, where, and how you will do your research, as well as helps you choose a type of research to pursue. You should also determine whether you plan to pursue qualitative or quantitative methods and what your research design will look like.
It should outline all of the decisions you have taken about your project, from your dissertation topic to your hypotheses and research objectives , ready to be approved by your supervisor or committee.
Note that some departments require a defense component, where you present your prospectus to your committee orally.
A thesis is typically written by students finishing up a bachelor’s or Master’s degree. Some educational institutions, particularly in the liberal arts, have mandatory theses, but they are often not mandatory to graduate from bachelor’s degrees. It is more common for a thesis to be a graduation requirement from a Master’s degree.
Even if not mandatory, you may want to consider writing a thesis if you:
- Plan to attend graduate school soon
- Have a particular topic you’d like to study more in-depth
- Are considering a career in research
- Would like a capstone experience to tie up your academic experience
The conclusion of your thesis or dissertation should include the following:
- A restatement of your research question
- A summary of your key arguments and/or results
- A short discussion of the implications of your research
The conclusion of your thesis or dissertation shouldn’t take up more than 5–7% of your overall word count.
For a stronger dissertation conclusion , avoid including:
- Important evidence or analysis that wasn’t mentioned in the discussion section and results section
- Generic concluding phrases (e.g. “In conclusion …”)
- Weak statements that undermine your argument (e.g., “There are good points on both sides of this issue.”)
Your conclusion should leave the reader with a strong, decisive impression of your work.
While it may be tempting to present new arguments or evidence in your thesis or disseration conclusion , especially if you have a particularly striking argument you’d like to finish your analysis with, you shouldn’t. Theses and dissertations follow a more formal structure than this.
All your findings and arguments should be presented in the body of the text (more specifically in the discussion section and results section .) The conclusion is meant to summarize and reflect on the evidence and arguments you have already presented, not introduce new ones.
A theoretical framework can sometimes be integrated into a literature review chapter , but it can also be included as its own chapter or section in your dissertation . As a rule of thumb, if your research involves dealing with a lot of complex theories, it’s a good idea to include a separate theoretical framework chapter.
A literature review and a theoretical framework are not the same thing and cannot be used interchangeably. While a theoretical framework describes the theoretical underpinnings of your work, a literature review critically evaluates existing research relating to your topic. You’ll likely need both in your dissertation .
While a theoretical framework describes the theoretical underpinnings of your work based on existing research, a conceptual framework allows you to draw your own conclusions, mapping out the variables you may use in your study and the interplay between them.
A thesis or dissertation outline is one of the most critical first steps in your writing process. It helps you to lay out and organize your ideas and can provide you with a roadmap for deciding what kind of research you’d like to undertake.
Generally, an outline contains information on the different sections included in your thesis or dissertation , such as:
- Your anticipated title
- Your abstract
- Your chapters (sometimes subdivided into further topics like literature review , research methods , avenues for future research, etc.)
When you mention different chapters within your text, it’s considered best to use Roman numerals for most citation styles. However, the most important thing here is to remain consistent whenever using numbers in your dissertation .
In most styles, the title page is used purely to provide information and doesn’t include any images. Ask your supervisor if you are allowed to include an image on the title page before doing so. If you do decide to include one, make sure to check whether you need permission from the creator of the image.
Include a note directly beneath the image acknowledging where it comes from, beginning with the word “ Note .” (italicized and followed by a period). Include a citation and copyright attribution . Don’t title, number, or label the image as a figure , since it doesn’t appear in your main text.
Definitional terms often fall into the category of common knowledge , meaning that they don’t necessarily have to be cited. This guidance can apply to your thesis or dissertation glossary as well.
However, if you’d prefer to cite your sources , you can follow guidance for citing dictionary entries in MLA or APA style for your glossary.
A glossary is a collection of words pertaining to a specific topic. In your thesis or dissertation, it’s a list of all terms you used that may not immediately be obvious to your reader. In contrast, an index is a list of the contents of your work organized by page number.
The title page of your thesis or dissertation goes first, before all other content or lists that you may choose to include.
The title page of your thesis or dissertation should include your name, department, institution, degree program, and submission date.
Glossaries are not mandatory, but if you use a lot of technical or field-specific terms, it may improve readability to add one to your thesis or dissertation. Your educational institution may also require them, so be sure to check their specific guidelines.
A glossary or “glossary of terms” is a collection of words pertaining to a specific topic. In your thesis or dissertation, it’s a list of all terms you used that may not immediately be obvious to your reader. Your glossary only needs to include terms that your reader may not be familiar with, and is intended to enhance their understanding of your work.
A glossary is a collection of words pertaining to a specific topic. In your thesis or dissertation, it’s a list of all terms you used that may not immediately be obvious to your reader. In contrast, dictionaries are more general collections of words.
An abbreviation is a shortened version of an existing word, such as Dr. for Doctor. In contrast, an acronym uses the first letter of each word to create a wholly new word, such as UNESCO (an acronym for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization).
As a rule of thumb, write the explanation in full the first time you use an acronym or abbreviation. You can then proceed with the shortened version. However, if the abbreviation is very common (like PC, USA, or DNA), then you can use the abbreviated version from the get-go.
Be sure to add each abbreviation in your list of abbreviations !
If you only used a few abbreviations in your thesis or dissertation , you don’t necessarily need to include a list of abbreviations .
If your abbreviations are numerous, or if you think they won’t be known to your audience, it’s never a bad idea to add one. They can also improve readability, minimizing confusion about abbreviations unfamiliar to your reader.
A list of abbreviations is a list of all the abbreviations that you used in your thesis or dissertation. It should appear at the beginning of your document, with items in alphabetical order, just after your table of contents .
Your list of tables and figures should go directly after your table of contents in your thesis or dissertation.
Lists of figures and tables are often not required, and aren’t particularly common. They specifically aren’t required for APA-Style, though you should be careful to follow their other guidelines for figures and tables .
If you have many figures and tables in your thesis or dissertation, include one may help you stay organized. Your educational institution may require them, so be sure to check their guidelines.
The table of contents in a thesis or dissertation always goes between your abstract and your introduction .
You may acknowledge God in your dissertation acknowledgements , but be sure to follow academic convention by also thanking the members of academia, as well as family, colleagues, and friends who helped you.
A literature review is a survey of credible sources on a topic, often used in dissertations , theses, and research papers . Literature reviews give an overview of knowledge on a subject, helping you identify relevant theories and methods, as well as gaps in existing research. Literature reviews are set up similarly to other academic texts , with an introduction , a main body, and a conclusion .
An annotated bibliography is a list of source references that has a short description (called an annotation ) for each of the sources. It is often assigned as part of the research process for a paper .
In a thesis or dissertation, the discussion is an in-depth exploration of the results, going into detail about the meaning of your findings and citing relevant sources to put them in context.
The conclusion is more shorter and more general: it concisely answers your main research question and makes recommendations based on your overall findings.
In the discussion , you explore the meaning and relevance of your research results , explaining how they fit with existing research and theory. Discuss:
- Your interpretations : what do the results tell us?
- The implications : why do the results matter?
- The limitation s : what can’t the results tell us?
The results chapter or section simply and objectively reports what you found, without speculating on why you found these results. The discussion interprets the meaning of the results, puts them in context, and explains why they matter.
In qualitative research , results and discussion are sometimes combined. But in quantitative research , it’s considered important to separate the objective results from your interpretation of them.
Results are usually written in the past tense , because they are describing the outcome of completed actions.
The results chapter of a thesis or dissertation presents your research results concisely and objectively.
In quantitative research , for each question or hypothesis , state:
- The type of analysis used
- Relevant results in the form of descriptive and inferential statistics
- Whether or not the alternative hypothesis was supported
In qualitative research , for each question or theme, describe:
- Recurring patterns
- Significant or representative individual responses
- Relevant quotations from the data
Don’t interpret or speculate in the results chapter.
To automatically insert a table of contents in Microsoft Word, follow these steps:
- Apply heading styles throughout the document.
- In the references section in the ribbon, locate the Table of Contents group.
- Click the arrow next to the Table of Contents icon and select Custom Table of Contents.
- Select which levels of headings you would like to include in the table of contents.
Make sure to update your table of contents if you move text or change headings. To update, simply right click and select Update Field.
All level 1 and 2 headings should be included in your table of contents . That means the titles of your chapters and the main sections within them.
The contents should also include all appendices and the lists of tables and figures, if applicable, as well as your reference list .
Do not include the acknowledgements or abstract in the table of contents.
The abstract appears on its own page in the thesis or dissertation , after the title page and acknowledgements but before the table of contents .
An abstract for a thesis or dissertation is usually around 200–300 words. There’s often a strict word limit, so make sure to check your university’s requirements.
In a thesis or dissertation, the acknowledgements should usually be no longer than one page. There is no minimum length.
The acknowledgements are generally included at the very beginning of your thesis , directly after the title page and before the abstract .
Yes, it’s important to thank your supervisor(s) in the acknowledgements section of your thesis or dissertation .
Even if you feel your supervisor did not contribute greatly to the final product, you must acknowledge them, if only for a very brief thank you. If you do not include your supervisor, it may be seen as a snub.
In the acknowledgements of your thesis or dissertation, you should first thank those who helped you academically or professionally, such as your supervisor, funders, and other academics.
Then you can include personal thanks to friends, family members, or anyone else who supported you during the process.
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List Of Figures And Tables For Your Dissertation
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The list of figures and tables in a research paper , thesis, or dissertation provides a structured overview of graphic elements included in the paper. This list guides readers to find specific graphs, images, tables, or charts effortlessly. The process of compiling this list needs more than just listing the captions; it also requires proper formatting and sequencing in line with academic guidelines. This article explores creating a well-structured list of figures and tables with examples.
- 1 List of Figures and Tables – In a Nutshell
- 2 Definition: List of figures and tables
- 3 Creating the list of figures and tables in Word
- 4 Example list of figures and tables
- 5 List of figures and tables: Additional lists
List of Figures and Tables – In a Nutshell
The American Psychological Association publishes the APA style guide, which aims to:
- Facilitate concise academic and scholarly communication worldwide.
- Act as a reference for the various components and conventions of scientific and technical writing.
- Improve the readability of documents.
Definition: List of figures and tables
Tables show numerical values or text arranged in rows and columns. In contrast, figures typically consist of graphs, illustrations, or drawings.
The APA style guide defines figures as graphical displays other than tables, including photographs, graphics, charts, and non-textual information.
Suppose a dissertation contains one or more tables or figures. In that case, the APA guide specifies including a list of figures and tables as appropriate.
Every list of figures and tables includes a tabulated, numerical enumeration of the titles of each relevant item. This uniform and consistent approach enables dissertation readers – including examiners – to quickly scan and locate the sources, findings, and key points in long documents.
By following APA recommendations to make a list of figures and tables, college and university students can present their dissertations correctly.
List of Tables
Table 1 Title of Table One ……………………………………………………………………………..2 Table 2 Title of Table Two .…………………………………………………………………………….3 Table 3 Title of Table ‘Three ………………………………………………………………………….3
List of Figures
Figure 1 Title of Figure One …………………………………………………………………………..4 Figure 2 Title of Figure Two …………………………………………………………………………..5 Figure 3 Title of Figure Three ………………………………………………………………………..5
This article will delve into how to include a list of figures and tables in APA style in your dissertation.
Creating the list of figures and tables in Word
Creating a list of figures and tables is straightforward in most word processing software, such as Microsoft Word.
- Firstly, we must add captions to each figure or table. The figure number goes in bold above the figure (e.g. Figure 1). Then, the figure title appears as one double-spaced line below the figure number in italics in title case, i.e. with the first letter of major words capitalized.
- Next, use the command on the “References” menu to complete the detailed settings you require. On confirming, the software will create the list sorted by page number and include it in your document.
Note: It is essential to eschew plagiarism if you are creating a list of figures and tables based on copying from another document.
Also, remember that the source document settings and format may affect how the table looks in your new paper: font style, page number conventions, margin widths, etc.
- Firstly, we must add captions to each figure or table. The figure number goes in bold above the figure (e.g., Figure 1). Then, the figure title appears as one double-spaced line below the figure number in italics in title case, i.e., with the first letter of major words capitalized.
Further information on formatting standards for a list of figures and tables are on pages 225 to 250 of the APA Publication Manual 7th Edition (2020).
Example list of figures and tables
List of figures and tables: Additional lists
Other lists you might consider including in a dissertation are:
- A list of abbreviations
- A table of contents
After the title, approval signature, and copyright page(s) as applicable, we recommend you arrange the pages of a dissertation in the following order:
- Table of Contents
Occasionally, research results or lengthy analyses may extend to hundreds of rows. Instead of including all the detail, a clickable link or URL (universal resource locator) to an online version may be preferable.
We recommend opting for a data repository or an arXiv location, as privately hosted websites may change or disappear.
Best practice guidelines advocate the long-term availability of datasets for at least five years after publication. 2 Resources such as nature.com publish details of storage options by scientific field.
How do you list tables in a dissertation?
Your list of figures and tables comes after the table of contents. If both lists are present, the list of titles appears before the list of figures.
What are figure keys?
Figure legends (also known as keys) explain uncommon symbols used in the figure image. They should appear within the borders of the figure.
What are figure notes?
Figure notes explain, describe, clarify, or supplement the information in the image. Only some figures include notes, as and when necessary.
Where do I position notes for figures or tables?
According to the APA style guide, notes appear below the figure or table. Use double line spacing and left justification.
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List of Figures & Tables in the Thesis
A list of figures and tables includes all the figures that are used or cited in the thesis and the tables that are made to demonstrate something statistically. A separate list of figures and content is not a must when there is only one or two figures or tables. In such a case you can include them in the table of content. But if the students are using several figures and tables then a separate list for them becomes a must-have requirement in the thesis.
Before going to learn how to make a list of figures and tables, students should first know about how to insert captions with the figures and what is the correct pattern to write the page numbers because these are the basic requirements to generate the final list of figures and tables automatically.
Use Numbers and Clear Titles in the Text
Whenever inserting a caption to define a figure must remember that if you have taken the figure from an outer source then your caption must include the name of the source. Some important points concerning titles ad page numbers are given below.
Page Number should be Correctly Written
When you create a list of figures and tables it comprises the page numbers where the figures or tables are located. Always use a clear format. Insert page numbers at the bottom of the screen in Roman and close them under the round bracket. Image illustration is given below:
In this way, the checker can easily locate the page number after going through the list of figures and tables.
Title of the Figures should be Appropriate
The caption of the figure or table should be most appropriate that exactly suit the figure. In the list of figures, the title of the figure is what you inserted in the caption so it should be clear and easily navigate the figure.
How to Insert Caption with a Figure?
You can easily insert a caption to the figure while writing in a Word document. Here is some simple step that can guide you in this regard.
Left click on the figure
Select the Insert Caption Option (a dialogue box will appear as shown in the picture)
Write a specified title next to the figure in the caption box.
Note : The word ‘Figure’ is known as a label. You can replace it with ‘image’ or ‘picture’ or any other word that you consider would be suitable. If you don’t want a label before the title of the image so you may exclude it from the caption.
How to Generate Lists Automatically
After writing clear and proper captions and page numbers, you can generate a list of figures and captions automatically; Word gives you this option. By following some guidelines below, students can do it easily.
- In the menu, bar Word gives you the option of references. By going into this option you will further find an option with the title ‘Insert Table and Figures’ (as shown above)\
- Open the insert table and figures option and you’ll see a dialogue box on your screen.
- If you have perfectly inserted the captions and the numbers then the list would be fine.
- Mark the ‘show Page numbers’ and ‘Right Align Page numbers’ with a ✓.
- Check the web preview.
- If there is any need for modification so you may go for it.
- Once you have finalized your list, click OK to move forward.
Checklist for List of Tables
Your list of tables should be well formatted
mention all tables except those that are particular to another list
all titles/captions should be accurate and relatable
Page numbers are clear and correct
Make sure that the alignment of your list of tables and figures must be justified which is denoted with four equal lines in the Word Home menu bar.
Simple and Decent Font Style
Use simple and decent font style to create the list of tables and figures because the checker doesn’t want fascination but the authenticity and accuracy are what matters the most. The use of multiple and colorful fonts doesn’t show your creativity. It expresses your immature state of mind.
Students should try to attract their teachers by their exceptional research and writing skills to show their colors of knowledge and intellect.
What to Apply and What to Avoid?
Here are some important points which can help you about what should be avoided in the list of figures and tables and what are the essentials to include.
Additional Lists are a Plus
Additional lists like abbreviations and definitions of terms can be a plus. You must add fruitful content in your thesis that can strengthen it and make it worthy to represent. Table of Content and List of Figures are the two main features of a writing thesis which’s value cannot be challenged. The way you design these two components tells the checker that how much interest you have shown in your thesis. It also exhibits your keen focus and hard work. The heavier these lists are, the more they add credibility to your thesis.
Almost every aspect of the list of figures and tables has been discussed. Hope it would be useful for the students and will guide them in the most appropriate direction for the creation of a list of figures and tables. Students should be mature enough to pick and learn useful tips at the earliest. Many students don’t want to use automatic list generate and most of the students prefer this automatic list generation method. In both cases, it’s better to take the experts’ assistance to carry out the task in a more proficient manner. Lastly, you have to make sure to format the list of figures the right way. Make sure to send your thesis for proofreading and editing to the best thesis editing service – because the expert proofreaderswill ensure that the list of figures in your dissertation is formatted correctly.
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List of Figures and Tables in a Dissertation – Examples in Word
Published by Owen Ingram at August 13th, 2021 , Revised On September 20, 2023
“List of tables and figures is a list containing all the tables and figures that you have used in your dissertation paper. Typically, dissertations don’t have many tables and figures unless the research involved is too deep and lengthy.”
Another reason to have an independent list of figures and tables in the dissertation and corresponding page numbers is the research’s nature. For example, research on a topic from physical sciences or engineering could include many figures and tables. Ideally, quantitative research studies tend to contain more tables and/or figures than qualitative ones.
The purpose of presenting the list of figures and tables in the dissertation on a separate page is to help the readers find tables and figures of their interest without looking through the whole dissertation document.
First of all, we need to decide whether we require the figure and table list in the dissertation to begin with.
If your dissertation includes many tables and figures, this list will prove to be helpful for the readers, because the figures will have relative page numbers mentioned with them so they can navigate to the figure or table of their choice with just one click.
A list of table or figures in a dissertation typically follows this simple format:
Also Read: How to Best Use References in a Dissertation
Referencing List of Figures and Tables in the Dissertation
When mentioning tables and figures in the list, one must be sure that they have been clearly numbered and titled. If a figure has been obtained from an external source, that source should be clearly referenced in the text and the references section.
Regardless of the referencing style , you are using, it is mandatory to provide a reference along with the title. This will help the readers to track the origin of the figure.
Adding Titles and Numbers to Figures and Tables
Adding titles and page numbers in your list of figures and tables within Microsoft Word is very quick and straightforward. Follow the steps mentioned below to generate a Microsoft Word-supported list of figures and tables in the dissertation with their captions and corresponding page numbers.
- Highlight the table or the figure you want to add title and number to, right-click and click Insert Caption .
- Next, select the Above selected item if you are working with tables. Similarly, choose Below selected items if you want to add the title and page number to a figure.
Also read: How to Write the Abstract for the Dissertation.
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Generating List of Figures and Tables Automatically
After adding all your captions, MS Word will automatically generate the figures and tables list for you. Remember, the list will only contain those you already marked using the Insert Caption … tool.
To generate a list of tables and figures in MS Word automatically:
Step #1 – Decide where to Insert the List
Place your cursor at the point where you wish to insert the tables and figures list. The most suitable spot is always right below the table of contents in your dissertation paper.
Step #2 – Insert the List of Figures and Tables in the Dissertation
- In the Word menu bar, click on References .
- In the dialogue box that appears, click on Insert: Table of figures .
- In the dialogue box caption label, you can choose between a Figure or a Table , as appropriate. Moreover, you will be able to choose a design that appears most suitable for you. The reference provides all information that is required to find the source, e.g., Vinz, S.
Example of list of tables and figures
Other Useful Lists you can add to your Dissertation Paper
Although tables and figures lists can be beneficial, we might need a few more lists, including abbreviations and a glossary in dissertations. We can have a sequence for this which is as follows:
- Table of contents (ToC)
- List of tables and figures
- Abbreviations list
Research Prospect has helped students with their dissertations and essays for several years, regardless of how urgent and complexes their requirements might be. We have dissertation experts in all academic subjects, so you can be confident of having each of your module requirements met. Learn more about our dissertation writing services and essay writing services .
FAQs About List of Tables and Figures in a Dissertation
Which comes first a list of figures or a list of tables.
Simply put, a list of tables comes first—right after the table of contents page, beginning from a new page—in a dissertation.
Are tables also figures?
No; tables have rows and columns in them, whereas figures in a dissertation can comprise any form of visual element, mostly images, graphs, charts, diagrams, flowcharts, etc. furthermore, tables generally summarise and represent raw data, such as the relationship between two quantitative variables.
Do I need to create a list of tables/figures even if I have only one table or figure in my dissertation?
Typically, yes; dissertation writing guidelines stipulate that we create a list even if we have used only one table and/or figure within our dissertation.
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Effective Use of Tables and Figures in Research Papers
Research papers are often based on copious amounts of data that can be summarized and easily read through tables and graphs. When writing a research paper , it is important for data to be presented to the reader in a visually appealing way. The data in figures and tables, however, should not be a repetition of the data found in the text. There are many ways of presenting data in tables and figures, governed by a few simple rules. An APA research paper and MLA research paper both require tables and figures, but the rules around them are different. When writing a research paper, the importance of tables and figures cannot be underestimated. How do you know if you need a table or figure? The rule of thumb is that if you cannot present your data in one or two sentences, then you need a table .
Tables are easily created using programs such as Excel. Tables and figures in scientific papers are wonderful ways of presenting data. Effective data presentation in research papers requires understanding your reader and the elements that comprise a table. Tables have several elements, including the legend, column titles, and body. As with academic writing, it is also just as important to structure tables so that readers can easily understand them. Tables that are disorganized or otherwise confusing will make the reader lose interest in your work.
- Title: Tables should have a clear, descriptive title, which functions as the “topic sentence” of the table. The titles can be lengthy or short, depending on the discipline.
- Column Titles: The goal of these title headings is to simplify the table. The reader’s attention moves from the title to the column title sequentially. A good set of column titles will allow the reader to quickly grasp what the table is about.
- Table Body: This is the main area of the table where numerical or textual data is located. Construct your table so that elements read from up to down, and not across.
Related: Done organizing your research data effectively in tables? Check out this post on tips for citing tables in your manuscript now!
The placement of figures and tables should be at the center of the page. It should be properly referenced and ordered in the number that it appears in the text. In addition, tables should be set apart from the text. Text wrapping should not be used. Sometimes, tables and figures are presented after the references in selected journals.
Figures can take many forms, such as bar graphs, frequency histograms, scatterplots, drawings, maps, etc. When using figures in a research paper, always think of your reader. What is the easiest figure for your reader to understand? How can you present the data in the simplest and most effective way? For instance, a photograph may be the best choice if you want your reader to understand spatial relationships.
- Figure Captions: Figures should be numbered and have descriptive titles or captions. The captions should be succinct enough to understand at the first glance. Captions are placed under the figure and are left justified.
- Image: Choose an image that is simple and easily understandable. Consider the size, resolution, and the image’s overall visual attractiveness.
- Additional Information: Illustrations in manuscripts are numbered separately from tables. Include any information that the reader needs to understand your figure, such as legends.
Common Errors in Research Papers
Effective data presentation in research papers requires understanding the common errors that make data presentation ineffective. These common mistakes include using the wrong type of figure for the data. For instance, using a scatterplot instead of a bar graph for showing levels of hydration is a mistake. Another common mistake is that some authors tend to italicize the table number. Remember, only the table title should be italicized . Another common mistake is failing to attribute the table. If the table/figure is from another source, simply put “ Note. Adapted from…” underneath the table. This should help avoid any issues with plagiarism.
Using tables and figures in research papers is essential for the paper’s readability. The reader is given a chance to understand data through visual content. When writing a research paper, these elements should be considered as part of good research writing. APA research papers, MLA research papers, and other manuscripts require visual content if the data is too complex or voluminous. The importance of tables and graphs is underscored by the main purpose of writing, and that is to be understood.
Frequently Asked Questions
"Consider the following points when creating figures for research papers: Determine purpose: Clarify the message or information to be conveyed. Choose figure type: Select the appropriate type for data representation. Prepare and organize data: Collect and arrange accurate and relevant data. Select software: Use suitable software for figure creation and editing. Design figure: Focus on clarity, labeling, and visual elements. Create the figure: Plot data or generate the figure using the chosen software. Label and annotate: Clearly identify and explain all elements in the figure. Review and revise: Verify accuracy, coherence, and alignment with the paper. Format and export: Adjust format to meet publication guidelines and export as suitable file."
"To create tables for a research paper, follow these steps: 1) Determine the purpose and information to be conveyed. 2) Plan the layout, including rows, columns, and headings. 3) Use spreadsheet software like Excel to design and format the table. 4) Input accurate data into cells, aligning it logically. 5) Include column and row headers for context. 6) Format the table for readability using consistent styles. 7) Add a descriptive title and caption to summarize and provide context. 8) Number and reference the table in the paper. 9) Review and revise for accuracy and clarity before finalizing."
"Including figures in a research paper enhances clarity and visual appeal. Follow these steps: Determine the need for figures based on data trends or to explain complex processes. Choose the right type of figure, such as graphs, charts, or images, to convey your message effectively. Create or obtain the figure, properly citing the source if needed. Number and caption each figure, providing concise and informative descriptions. Place figures logically in the paper and reference them in the text. Format and label figures clearly for better understanding. Provide detailed figure captions to aid comprehension. Cite the source for non-original figures or images. Review and revise figures for accuracy and consistency."
"Research papers use various types of tables to present data: Descriptive tables: Summarize main data characteristics, often presenting demographic information. Frequency tables: Display distribution of categorical variables, showing counts or percentages in different categories. Cross-tabulation tables: Explore relationships between categorical variables by presenting joint frequencies or percentages. Summary statistics tables: Present key statistics (mean, standard deviation, etc.) for numerical variables. Comparative tables: Compare different groups or conditions, displaying key statistics side by side. Correlation or regression tables: Display results of statistical analyses, such as coefficients and p-values. Longitudinal or time-series tables: Show data collected over multiple time points with columns for periods and rows for variables/subjects. Data matrix tables: Present raw data or matrices, common in experimental psychology or biology. Label tables clearly, include titles, and use footnotes or captions for explanations."
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List of Tables, List of Figures
If even one numbered table or figure appears in your manuscript, then a List of Tables and/or a List of Figures must be included in your manuscript following the Table of Contents. If both are used, arrange the List of Tables before the List of Figures.
NOTE: The templates were created using the 2013 version of Microsoft Word. If a template is downloaded in another version of Word or another word processing program, the formatting may be incorrect. Also, if a template is copied and pasted into another document, the settings of that document (margins, page number settings, font style, etc.) may affect the look of the template.
- List of Tables template (DOC)
This Microsoft Word document can be saved to your computer to use as a template. It was created using Microsoft Office 2013 version of Word. Please email [email protected] if you have problems with the download.
- List of Figures template (DOC)
10.5 List of figures and tables
If your document has more than two figures or tables create a separate list of figures. The list of figures has many of the same design considerations as the table of contents. Readers use the list of figures to quickly find the illustrations, diagrams, tables, and charts in your report.
Complications arise when you have both tables and figures. Strictly speaking, figures are illustrations, drawings, photographs, graphs, and charts. Tables are rows and columns of words and numbers; they are not considered figures.
For longer reports that contain dozens of figures and tables each, create separate lists of figures and tables. Put them together on the same page if they fit, as shown in the illustration below. You can combine the two lists under the heading, “List of Figures and Tables,” and identify the items as figure or table as is done in the illustration below.
Chapter Attribution Information
This chapter was derived by Annemarie Hamlin, Chris Rubio, and Michele DeSilva, Central Oregon Community College, from Online Technical Writing by David McMurrey – CC: BY 4.0
Technical Writing Copyright © 2017 by Allison Gross, Annemarie Hamlin, Billy Merck, Chris Rubio, Jodi Naas, Megan Savage, and Michele DeSilva is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.