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Tables & Figures: Overview


In the body of your paper, information that does not appear in textual form must be formatted and labeled as either a table or figure. The Sixth Edition APA Publication Manual does not allow for the words graph, illustration, or chart. Refer to them as either a table or a figure.

Tables and figures must fit within the margin specifications. Do not separate a title or caption from the table or figure it identifies.

If your table or figure is for a course paper with no intention of publication, you do not need to get permission to include it; that's considered fair use.

Taylor (2011) provides some great tips on formatting SPSS tables in MS Word.

Our webinar, "Presenting Data and Describing Analysis" is presented regularly, and you can view past recordings of that session through our webinar archive.

Tables & Figures in Doctoral Capstone Studies

  • Tables and figures are to be numbered without a suffix or indicator of the chapter in which they appear: Table 1, Table 2, Table 3; Figure 1, Figure 2, Figure 3, and so on. In the text, capitalize the words table or figure when referring to them (for example: see Table 12). Refer to the specific table number, not to the page number on which it appears or as the table below.
  • In dissertations, tables and figures are inserted into the narrative as close to the text that introduces them as is practical. Do not split a table unless it is too large to fit on one entire page. Placing a table on its own landscape-oriented page is permissible. Do not place any text on a page if a table or figure takes up 75% or more of the page.
  • If you reproduce a table or figure from another source in your dissertation or doctoral study, you need to obtain permission for reprinting it. The examples in the APA manual show how to note that, but some publishers will give you specific guidelines. See ProQuest's website for more information on using copyrighted material in your study.

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