Tables and figures are vital to writing in the health sciences and are a powerful and convenient way to present data or information. A table contains information in columns and rows, while a figure is any non-table graphic that displays information, such as an image, photo, map, graph, chart, or illustration. Proper format is essential to presenting visual data/information, so all tables and figures must contain the following:
- Labels and Titles/Captions
- Tables: Above the table should be a label (Table 1) and a title (see example below)
- Figures: Below the figure should be a label (Figure 1) and a caption, i.e., a brief description of the figure (see example below)
- All tables/figures should be labeled and numbered in the order they appear in the document, e.g., Table 1, Table 2, Table 3, etc.
- When discussing the table/figure in the document, refer to them by their label, e.g.:
- As seen in Table 1, the data supports the findings.
- Figure 2 shows that there was a clear fracture.
- Citations: Unless the data is original, a citation needs to be created at the bottom of the figure/table. If a figure is copyrighted, the citation needs to incorporate the copyright holder (see link below).
- The following is a guide for formatting specific table/figure citations in APA: Table/Figure Citation Guide
- You should also include a full citation for each figure/table in your reference section
Other Table/Figure Resources
Last Updated October 18, 2018