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APA Boot Camp

Information on the most common types of citations, citing images, and creating tables and figures. “How-to” tips and practice exercises are also included. NOTE: Examples may not display hanging indents in PowerPoint.

General Information

The APA style manual devotes an entire chapter, Chapter 5, pages 125 - 167, on using tables and figures to display results.  Place tables as close to their reference in the text as possible.

Tables

  • Show numerical values or textual information
  • Almost always use columns and rows to display information

Figures

  • Any type of illustration other than a table
  • Chart
  • Graph
  • Photograph
  • Drawing
  • Map

Use graphical elements selectively 

  • Supplement the text with graphics -- do not duplicate the text
  • Mention the highlights from graphics in text

Use checklists provided in the APA manual

  • Table Checklist - page 150
  • Figure Checklist - page 167

Preparing tables and figures

Use Arabic numbers (page 127 of APA manual)

Number tables and figures in the order they are first mentioned in the text

Number tables and figures separately

Table 1

Table 2

Figure 1

If reproducing -- you must give credit to the original; may also require permission to use

Refer to Tables and Figures in your text by their number -- do not say things like "the table above" or "the table below" or even "the table on page 32" 

Tables

Every table includes four elements

  1. Title - clear and explanatory
  2. Headings - show how you have organized your data and identify columns
  3. Columns - every column must have a heading; headings identify information below
  4. Body of the table

See pages 131-150 in the APA manual for specific table layouts and explanations of notes

*Remember, a table supplements the text.  Do not refer to each element of a table in your text.

Figures

Figures

  • Any type of illustration other than a table
  • Chart
  • Graph
  • Photograph
  • Drawing
  • Map

A good figure is:

  • Simple
  • Clear
  • Informative

Legends

  • Explains symbols used in the figure
  • Placed within the figure
  • Uses same font as the rest of the figure

Captions

  • Concise explanation of the figure; brief and descriptive
  • Placed directly below the figure
  • Serves as the title of the figure

See pages 151-167 of the APA manual for examples and explanations of figures.