How To Format Tables For A Dissertation Apa

This guide is based on the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th ed. It provides selected citation examples for common types of sources. For more detailed information please consult a print copy of the style manual available at the SFU Library and at the SFU Bookstore.

For the best printing results for this guide, use the printer-friendly PDF format.

Tables - Single source (Chapter 5, pp. 125-149)

The following example is for a table you have reproduced in your paper exactly as it appears in another source: Same format or state, no reconfiguration or new analysis.

Above the table

Include the word Table with its number next to it (Rule 5.05, p. 127).

Give a title which describes the contents of the table (Rule 5.12, p. 133).

Below the table

Include the word Note. before your citation.

Example:

Comments:

  • Tables are characterized by a row-column structure.
  • All tables must be referred to in text.
  • The information that should appear in the Note below the table must include the following:
  • This work must have a full bibliographic entry in your Reference List even though the information in the Note field uses a lot of the same information.

Tables - compiled from variety of sources (Chapter 5, pp. 125-149)

If you have compiled data from a variety of different sources and put it together to form your own table, you still need to cite where you got the information from.

Above the table:

Include the word Table with its number next to it (Rule 5.05, p. 127).

Give a title which describes the contents of the table (Rule 5.12, p. 133).

Below the table:

All sources that have been used to create the table's data need to be cited in a Note. below the table. You do not need to give the full bibliographic citation - Author (date) is sufficient.

Example:

Comments:

  • Tables are characterized by a row-column structure.
  • All tables must be referred to in text.
  • Use the term "Adapted" instead of "Reprinted" if you have altered the table.
  • When using multi-source data you want to describe what data is coming from where. e.g.:
  • ​If you have multiple kinds of data (population figures, consumer information, etc...) in one table you would describe each set of data. e.g.:
  • All the sources must have a full bibliographic entry in your Reference List even though the information in the Note field uses a lot of the same information.

Figures - Single source (Chapter 5, pp. 150-167)

Figures include: maps, graphs, charts, drawings, and photographs, or any other illustration or non-textual depiction in printed or electronic resources. (Chapter 5.0, p. 125)

You may also refer to SFU's customised APA citation guides for Citing Images.

The following example is for citing a figure that you have reprinted directly from another source: same format or state, no reconfiguration or new analysis.

Below the figure:

Place the Figure #, caption which describes the contents, then end with the citation information (if reproduced from another source) (Rules 5.23, pp. 159-160).

Example: 

Comments: 

  • The figure should not include a title.
  • The information that should appear after the Figure #. below the table must include the following:
  • The figure # is as it would appear, numbered consecutively, in your paper - not the figure # assigned to it in its original resource.
  • All figures must be mentioned in text.
  • Each figure must have a full bibliographic entry in your Reference List.
  • If publishing in a journal or as thesis, then before you reproduce any image in your paper it may be necessary to get copyright permission to do so from the original copyright holder and place the wording  at the end of your citation.

Figures - Compiled from variety of sources(Chapter 5, pp. 150-167)

Figures include: maps, graphs, charts, drawings, and photographs, or any other illustration or nontextual depiction in printed or electronic resources (Chapter 5.0, p. 125).

The following example is for citing a figure that you have created by compiling information from a variety of sources. For example, if you combined data from Passport GMID, Statistics Canada, and a book to create a new chart.

Below the figure:

All sources that have been used to create the figure need to be cited in the figure caption - after its number and name. You do not need to give the full bibliographic citation - Author (date) is sufficient.

Example:

Comments: 

  • The figure should not include a title.
  • The figure # is as it would appear, numbered consecutively, in your paper - not the figure # assigned to it in its original resource.
  • Use the term "Adapted" instead of "Reprinted" if you have altered the figure.
  • When using multi-source data you want to describe what data is coming from where. e.g.:
  • All figures must be mentioned in text.
  • All the sources must have a full bibliographic entry in your Reference List.
  • If publishing in a journal or as thesis, then before you reproduce any image in your paper it may be necessary to get copyright permission to do so from the original copyright holder and place the wording  at the end of your citation.

by Stefanie

Tables are a terrific way to share, compare, and contrast data. Strongholds of information, display cases for results, tables are a “just the facts, ma’am” approach to reporting important methods or findings of your work.

APA Style can help you create clean and clear tables. An unbreakable rule in table formatting is to make it as easy as possible for readers to understand at a glance the nature of the information you are presenting. Here are some general guidelines to keep in mind when starting your table:

  1. In general, use 12-point type, double-spacing, and 1-inch margins. If these specifications need to be adjusted for clarity, for example, to keep the table on one page, then do so rather than forcing readers to flip back and forth to a new page for a single column or the final two rows of data. However, if small adjustments do not work, do not be afraid to use extra pages for extra data. Single-spaced six-point type is not reader friendly.
  2. Portrait or landscape orientation is fine—use what is appropriate for your presentation.
  3. Label every row and column, even if what is in that row or column seems obvious or the label is repeated in the table title. Do not forget a heading for the stub (first) column!
  4. Position table entries that are to be compared next to each other.
  5. Consider how the order in which you present data conveys your meaning. For example, if you are creating a table to report the results of the battery of tests you gave your participants, will you present the test results in the order in which you gave the tests to show the progress, if any, the participants made from test to test, or will you present the test results in the order of highest average score to lowest average score to show which tests were more effective at isolating the variable you were testing?
  6. In general, different indices should be put in separate parts or lines of tables, even means and standard deviations when possible.
  7. Keep tables lean. That is, include only essential data in your table. A cluttered table does not convey as much as a streamlined one does, despite its extra bulk.
  8. Ensure that your table can be understood apart from the text. Define every abbreviation and explain any quirks in the table note, not the narrative.

Once you have finished your table, where it goes in the manuscript depends on what sort of manuscript you have written. If you have completed an article to be submitted for publication, put the table at the end after the references and author note but before the figures, and make sure the table is mentioned at least once in the text (so the editors and reviewers know when to look for it). If you have written a dissertation or report for class, check with your dissertation committee or professor. Many educators prefer to have tables placed in text at approximately the place the tables are mentioned, and they certainly get the final say on table placement when they are doing the grading!

More information is available on pages 127–150 of Chapter 5 of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, sixth edition.

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