Franklin Style Manual Online

3.3. Formatting Tables, Figures, and Lists

While the document settings above will fulfill most of your formatting requirements, some parts of the body of the paper require added formatting or slight alterations to distinguish particular content from the rest of the paper.


3.3.1. Lists

Lists are a common feature of all kinds of writings and can be formatted in a variety of ways, most of which are readily accommodated by word-processor commands. Use numbered lists for “ordered” information (e.g., chronological order, priority, importance). Use bullet points for any other series (APA, 2010, p. 64). Most times, when using bullet points, capitalize and punctuate the list as if it were a complete sentence. However, if the list is within a sentence, “capitalize and punctuate throughout” (APA Style Blog, 2010), as you would for any sentence. Below is an example of using a bulleted list within a sentence.

EXAMPLE: BULLET LIST


All students are expected to come to tutoring with

  • a pencil or pen,
  • class notes, and
  • all assigned coursework.

Lists can also be presented in the main flow of a sentence or paragraph. In a paragraph or sentence with a list, use lowercase letters (rather than numbers) in parentheses to set off each item.

EXAMPLE: LIST PRESENTED IN THE MAIN FLOW OF THE SENTENCE


All students are expected to come to tutoring with (a) a pencil or pen, (b) class notes, and (c) all assigned coursework.

Commas or semicolons can be used to separate elements of bulleted lists and lists within parentheses. Commas separate individual items in the list, while semicolons are used to separate items that already contain commas.

EXAMPLE: LIST OF ITEMS SEPARATED BY SEMICOLONS


The tour is scheduled to stop in Venice, Italy; Madrid, Spain; and Marseille, France.


3.3.2. Tables and figures

Tables and figures allow authors to report data efficiently and effectively for readers. Here is how these important visual features are generally defined:

  • Table: numerical data or textual information arranged in columns and rows
  • Figure: a chart, photo, drawing, graph, diagram, or other non-textual information

There are many places to find tables and figures produced by other authors. However, for tables, APA rarely recommends copying-and-pasting from outside sources. Authors are encouraged instead to recreate the tables using a word-processing program (like MS Word) or a spreadsheet program (like MS Excel). This process allows the author to isolate the data most pertinent to his or her key points. Borrowed tables often also include data extraneous to the current paper and so can be inefficient as forms of visual explanation. Note that recreated tables still need to cite the original.


Naming tables and figures: As you create your table or figure, assign it an identifying number corresponding to its order in your paper (Figure 1, Figure 2, etc.). If you have an appendix with tables or figures, label them with a capital letter (corresponding to the appendix letter) and then a number (e.g., Table A1 for the first table in Appendix A; Figure D2 for the second figure in Appendix D). Then add the title after the number (see APA, 2010, p. 129). The title should be brief, clear, and help explain the basic content of the visual. When you refer to your table or figure in the body of your paper, use the identifying number: for example, …as shown in Table 3, the responses were… ; Figure 1 shows . . . . APA format does not refer to “the table above” or “figure below” or “the table on page X.” In papers with multiple visuals, such referencing is likely to create confusion. Always refer to the table or figure number so that readers can more reliably identify the relevant visual.


Formatting tables: Be consistent in formatting tables; always use the same font and type size throughout your paper. Tables may be single or double spaced, but be consistent. When making the headings for columns in your table, be brief. Use abbreviations for known terms (e.g., no. for number and % for percent). When using a table from an outside source, you must give credit to the author or source. This citation is placed at the bottom of the table as a note using these templates:

Note. Adapted from Book title (p. #), by A. Author, year: Place of pub: publisher.

Note. Adapted from “Article Title,” by A. Author and B. Author, year, Pub title, vol. p. #.

Note. Adapted from “Web Page Title,” by Author, year, Retrieved from http://www.

Sources used for tables must also be documented on the References page, although the formatting is different on the References page than how it appears under the figure or table.

EXAMPLE OF TABLE IN APA FORMAT


Table 3.

Rent as a percentage of home-for-lease sale prices (July, 2005)

MarketMean
Sale Price
Monthly
Rent
Annual Rent
Percentage
Monthly First-year
Cash Flow
Orange County801,2102,6704.55-2,698
Boston570,3422,2164.89-634
Chicago467,4222,1356.09-248
Dallas166,9401,1579.3092
Atlanta170,1461,2809.46367
Indianapolis145,9241,17210.39347

Note. Calculations assume a 20% down-payment and a 5.7 % mortgage rate. Adapted from “Bubble, Bubble, Where’s the Housing Bubble,” by M. H. Smith and G. Smith, 2006, Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, 1, p. 18.


Formatting figures: Figures should have a recognizable connection to your paper, and should not be used just to take up space. Every figure appearing in your paper should be discussed within the main body of your paper, where you should explain the significance of the figure for demonstrating your main points. Below the figure, provide a figure number followed directly with the figure title (or caption). After the title, add any information needed to clarify the figure. When using a figure from an outside source, make sure the image is large enough to be legible. Underneath the figure, cite where the figure is from in the following format:

Note. Adapted from Book title (p. #), by A. Author, year: Place of pub: publisher.

Note. Adapted from “Article Title,” by A. Author and B. Author, year, Pub title, vol. p. #.

Note. Adapted from “Web Page Title,” by Author, year, Retrieved from http://www.

Sources used figures must also be documented on the References page, although the formatting is different on the References page than how it appears under the figure or table.

EXAMPLE OF FIGURE IN APA FORMAT


Figure 1. Number of Women Drinking Alcohol While Pregnant. Adapted from “Decrease in Drinking after Education Campaign,” by L. Jones, 2002, JAMA, 32, p. 119.




Last Updated: 06/8/2012 13:19