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APA 7: Tables & Figures

Detailed Information

Tables and Figures: A General Description

Within the body of your paper, information that does not appear in textual form must be formatted and labeled as either a table or figure. Use of tables and figures should only be used when necessary as a means to quickly and efficiently present information to the reader.

Use the following principles when designing tables and figures:

Number all tables and figures with Arabic numerals in the order which they are first mentioned/appear in the text. Tables and figures are numbered independently (e.g., You may have Table 1, Table 2, Figure 1, Table 3, Figure 2, etc.).

  1. Label all columns in tables.
  2. Label all elements in figure images (e.g., label the axes of a graph).
  3. Place items that are to be compared next to each other.
  4. Place labels next to the elements they are labeling.
  5. Design the table or figure so it can be understood on its own (meaning readers do not have to refer to the text to understand it). Define abbreviations used in the table or figure even if they are also defined in the text.

Use the links on the left of the page for more detailed information.

Adapted from American Psychological Association publication manual (7th ed.).