• The purpose of using tables and figures is to ease reader comprehension of the written information in the document
  • Utilizing tables and figures can be very useful and is often encouraged, but it is essential to use discretion when thinking about creating a table/figure

General Guidelines

  • “Is this necessary?” — Tables and figures should not be used to simply take up space and should never be ambiguous; the point is to help clarify what is being said visually
  • Be sure to refer to the table/figure in-text, so the reader knows why the table/figure is there, and what information supplements it
  • The table/figure should highlight the key information — leave the little details in the text
  • If a table or figure was not created, be sure to document and cite the original author
  • As is in-text, be sure to spell out all abbreviations on the actual table/figure to achieve the most clarity for readers
    • If any special formatting of words, such as italicizing or bolding certain words in the table, is used, be sure to clarify why those words have different formatting than the others
  • Number all tables and figures sequentially as they are referred to in -text
  • Formatting, headings, and titles should be consistent throughout each table and figure