Tables and figures in reports

More examples. Once your statistical analyses are complete, you will need to summarize the data and results for presentation to your readers. Data summaries may take one of 3 forms: text, Tables and Figures. Text: contrary to what you may have heard, not all analyses or results warrant a Table or Figure.

Some simple results are best stated in a single sentence, with data summarized parenthetically: Seed production was higher for plants in the full-sun treatment Tables: Tables present lists of numbers or text in columns, each column having a title or label. Do not use a table when you wish to show a trend or a pattern of relationship between sets of values - these are better presented in a Figure. For instance, if you needed to present population sizes and sex ratios for your study organism at a series of sites, and you planned to focus on the differences among individual sites according to say habitat type, you would use a table.

However, if you wanted to show us that sex ratio was related to population size, you would use a Figure. Figures: Figures are visual presentations of results, including graphs, diagrams, photos, drawings, schematics, maps, etc.

Graphs are the most common type of figure and will be discussed in detail; examples of other types of figures are included at the end of this section. Graphs show trends or patterns of relationship. Organizing your presentation: Once you have done your analyses and decided how best to present each one, think about how you will arrange them. Your analyses should tell a "story" which leads the reader through the steps needed to logically answer the question s you posed in your Introduction.

The order in which you present your results can be as important in convincing your readers as what you actually say in the text. Use sentences that draw the reader's attention to the relationship or trend you wish to highlight, referring to the appropriate Figure or Table only parenthetically:.

Germination rates were significantly higher after 24 h in running water than in controls Fig. DNA sequence homologies for the purple gene from the four congeners Table 1 show high similarity, differing by at most 4 base pairs. Avoid sentences that give no information other than directing the reader to the Figure or Table:. Table 1 shows the summary results for male and female heights at Bates College.

Abbreviation of the word "Figure": When referring to a Figure in the text, the word "Figure" is abbreviated as "Fig. Both words are spelled out completely in descriptive legends. Top of Page How to number Tables and Figures: Figures and Tables are numbered independentlyin the sequence in which you refer to them in the text, starting with Figure 1 and Table 1.

If, in revison, you change the presentation sequence of the figures and tables, you must renumber them to reflect the new sequence.

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Placement of Figures and Tables within the Paper: In manuscripts e. In consideration of your readers, place each Table or Figure as near as possible to the place where you first refer to it e. It is permissable to place all the illustrative material at the end of the Results section so as to avoid interrupting the flow of text. The Figures and Tables may be embedded in the text, but avoid breaking up the text into small blocks; it is better to have whole pages of text with Figures and Tables on their own pages.

The "Acid Test" for Tables and Figures: Any Table or Figure you present must be sufficiently clear, well-labeled, and described by its legend to be understood by your intended audience without reading the results section, i. Overly complicated Figures or Tables may be difficult to understand in or out of context, so strive for simplicity whenever possible. If you are unsure whether your tables or figures meet these criteria, give them to a fellow biology major not in your course and ask them to interpret your results.

Descriptive Legends or Captions: To pass the "acid test" above, a clear and complete legend sometimes called a caption is essential. Like the title of the paper itself, each legend should convey as much information as possible about what the Table or Figure tells the reader :. Example: Figure 1. Four trees fell during the storm and were excluded from the post-storm survey.Tables and figures are great tools to present sizeable amounts of complex data in a space-saving, easy-to-understand way.

Decide when to use a table, a figure, or text depending on the type of data you need to present and what your journal guidelines recommend. Follow these guidelines for framing table and figure and titles, representing symbols within tables and figures, and ensuring that your artwork is clutter-free and visually appealing. Velany Rodrigues. Scientific tables and graphs can be utilized to represent sizeable numerical or statistical data in a time- and space-effective manner. Readers are often drawn towards tables and figures, because they perceive it as easy-reading, as compared to reading a verbose account of the same content.

They rightly assume that these display items will provide them with a larger amount of information in a shorter time span. At the manuscript screening stage, these display items offer reviewers and journal editors a quick overview of the study findings, and once the paper is published, they do the same for readers some of whom look only at these display items and not at the rest of the manuscript 7. However, tables and figures only add value to the format of a research report, if they are brief yet sufficiently informative.

But while well-presented tables and figures in research papers can efficiently capture and present information, poorly crafted tables and figures can confuse readers and impair the effectiveness of a paper. Planning your paper: When to use tables and figures in scientific papers Producing effective tables and figures requires careful planning that begins at the manuscript writing stage itself. Table 1: How to choose between tables, figures, and text to present data.

Best practices for presentation of tables and figures in scientific papers General guidelines:. Ensure that display items are self-explanatory : Some readers and certainly reviewers and journal editors turn their attention to the tables and figures before they read the entire text, so these display items should be self-contained.

Create effective tables for your research paper. Organize your findings and results using the right format. All covered by our day money back guarantee. This defeats the very purpose efficiency and clarity of having a table or figure.

Also ensure that column heads, axis labels, figure labels, etc. Adhere to journal guidelines : Check what your target journal has to say about issues like the number of tables and figures, the style of numbering, titles, image resolution, file formats, etc.

Combine repetitive tables : Tables and figures that present repetitive information will impair communication rather than enhance it. Do you have any questions related to writing and publishing your research paper? Watch the extent of data in your tables : If the data you have to present is extensive and would make the tables too cluttered or long, consider making the tables a part of the Appendix or supplemental material.

Use them to draw attention to the central message as well as to explain abbreviations and symbols. Label all important parts : Label the key sections and parts of schematic diagrams and photographs, and all axes, curves, and data sets in graphs and data plots. Give specifics : Include scale bars in images and maps; specify units wherever quantities are listed; include legends in maps and schematics; and specify latitudes and longitudes on maps.

This section presents one example each of a well-prepared table and a well-designed figure. The column heads are descriptive and clearly indicate the nature of the data presented. It is self-contained and can be understood quite well even without reference to the entire paper.

Superscript letters and notes are used to offer additional, clarifying information. Sufficient spacing is present between columns and rows; the layout is clean, and the font is legible.

You might be interested in checking out this insightful course: Create effective tables for your research paper. Council of Science Editors.

Journal Style and Format. In Council of Science Editors Eds. American Psychological Association. APA Editorial Style. International Committee of Medical Journal Editors.Figures must be clearly labelled so they can be accurately referred to in your written discussion. Each figure should have a title and a number, for example:.

Table 5: Means scores and standard deviations from Experiment 2. Note in the examples above that the number of the figure is presented as a numeral in the title of the figure.

The number of the figure is also presented as a numeral when the figure is referred to in the text of the report. You may choose to label diagrams, tables and figures as Figures or you may choose to label diagrams and graphs as Figures and tables as Tables. In the latter case the numbering used for figures and tables would be separate. The numbering of figures should proceed chronologically 1, 2, 3, etc.

As long as the numbering system you choose is logical and you use it consistently, variations should be acceptable. The title of your figure should include enough information to enable the figure to be self-explanatory ; for example, the title. This title could be improved by adding enough information so its content is self-explanatory; for example. In the sciences in particular, it is expected that your figure legends will be quite detailed and very precise.

This is probably a reaction to many journal readers only having time to scan an article instead of reading it in its entirety; for example, refer to the figure below for a good example of a figure title and legend.

Figure 1. Effect of various antibiotic media on growth of four strains of E. Vertical bars show standard errors of the mean. Figures which are replicated from someone else's work should be acknowledged; for example.

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Figure An example of a typical novice problem categorisation from Chi, Feltovich and Glaser,p. How you reference the figure will depend on the referencing style you have used throughout your report but you should include the page number the figure was taken from.

In the 'table of figures" and the 'table of tables' list the titles of your figures and the number of the page they can be located upon.This handout will describe how to use figures and tables to present complicated information in a way that is accessible and understandable to your reader.

When planning your writing, it is important to consider the best way to communicate information to your audience, especially if you plan to use data in the form of numbers, words, or images that will help you construct and support your argument. Generally speaking, data summaries may take the form of text, tables or figures. Most writers are familiar with textual data summaries and this is often the best way to communicate simple results. A good rule of thumb is to see if you can present your results clearly in a sentence or two.

If so, a table or figure is probably unnecessary. If your data are too numerous or complicated to be described adequately in this amount of space, figures and tables can be effective ways of conveying lots of information without cluttering up your text. Additionally, they serve as quick references for your reader and can reveal trends, patterns, or relationships that might otherwise be difficult to grasp.

tables and figures in reports

Tables present lists of numbers or text in columns and can be used to synthesize existing literature, to explain variables, or to present the wording of survey questions. They are also used to make a paper or article more readable by removing numeric or listed data from the text.

Tables are typically used to present raw data, not when you want to show a relationship between variables. Figures are visual presentations of results.

They come in the form of graphs, charts, drawings, photos, or maps. Figures provide visual impact and can effectively communicate your primary finding. Traditionally, they are used to display trends and patterns of relationship, but they can also be used to communicate processes or display complicated data simply.

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Figures should not duplicate the same information found in tables and vice versa. They may also include subheadings and footnotes. Remember that it is just as important to think about the organization of tables as it is to think about the organization of paragraphs. A well-organized table allows readers to grasp the meaning of the data presented with ease, while a disorganized one will leave the reader confused about the data itself, or the significance of the data. Title: Tables are headed by a number followed by a clear, descriptive title or caption.

tables and figures in reports

Conventions regarding title length and content vary by discipline. In the hard sciences, a lengthy explanation of table contents may be acceptable. In other disciplines, titles should be descriptive but short, and any explanation or interpretation of data should take place in the text.Notes: Follow these examples closely for all layout, punctuation, spacing, capitalizing and italicizing. When including a figure or a table from another source in your work, it is important to include appropriate citations.

Author and C.

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Author, Year, Journal Title, Volumepage number. Reprinted [adapted] from Title of book p. Author, Year, Place of Publication: Publisher. Figure X.

tables and figures in reports

A concise explanation of the figure. Author, B. Author, and C. Reprinted [or adapted] with permission. Reprinted [adapted] from Title of Book p. We acknowledge and pay respects to the Elders and Traditional Owners of the land on which our four Australian campuses stand.

Information for Indigenous Australians. Skip to content. Search this Guide Search. Citing and referencing: Tables and Figures A guide to the styles recommended by Monash schools and departments for students and researchers. In-Text Citations. Audio and Visual media. Data files. Government and other reports. Company and Industry reports. Legal sources. Patents and Standards. Tables and figures.

tables and figures in reports

University course materials. Websites and social media. Sample reference list. Tables and Figures Notes: Follow these examples closely for all layout, punctuation, spacing, capitalizing and italicizing. Tables are numerical values or text displayed in rows and columns. Figures are other illustrations such as graphs, charts, maps, drawings, photographs etc.

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All Tables and Figures must be referred to in the main body of the text. Number all Tables and Figures in the order they first appear in the text. Refer to them in the text by their number. For example: As shown in Table When printing this page, you must include the entire legal notice. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.

Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use. The purpose of tables and figures in documents is to enhance your readers' understanding of the information in the document; usually, large amounts of information can be communicated more efficiently in tables or figures.

Tables are any graphic that uses a row and column structure to organize information, whereas figures include any illustration or image other than a table. Visual material such as tables and figures can be used quickly and efficiently to present a large amount of information to an audience, but visuals must be used to assist communication, not to use up space, or disguise marginally significant results behind a screen of complicated statistics.

Ask yourself this question first: Is the table or figure necessary? For example, it is better to present simple descriptive statistics in the text, not in a table. Because tables and figures supplement the text, refer in the text to all tables and figures used and explain what the reader should look for when using the table or figure. Focus only on the important point the reader should draw from them, and leave the details for the reader to examine on their own.

Each table and figure must be intelligible without reference to the text, so be sure to include an explanation of every abbreviation except the standard statistical symbols and abbreviations. Number all tables sequentially as you refer to them in the text Table 1, Table 2, etc. Abbreviations, terminology, and probability level values must be consistent across tables and figures in the same article.

Figures and Charts

Likewise, formats, titles, and headings must be consistent. Do not repeat the same data in different tables. Data in a table that would require only two or fewer columns and rows should be presented in the text. More complex data is better presented in tabular format. In order for quantitative data to be presented clearly and efficiently, it must be arranged logically, e. If possible, use canonical forms such as ANOVA, regression, or correlation to communicate your data effectively.

Number all tables with Arabic numerals sequentially. Do not use suffix letters e. Table 3a, 3b, 3c ; instead, combine the related tables. If the manuscript includes an appendix with tables, identify them with capital letters and Arabic numerals e. Table A1, Table B2.Many readers will only look at your display items without reading the main text of your manuscript. Therefore, ensure your display items can stand alone from the text and communicate clearly your most significant results.

Well designed and attractive display items will hold the interest of readers, compel them to take time to understand a figure and can even entice them to read your full manuscript. Readers will assume that a professional-looking manuscript contains good quality science.

Thus readers may be more likely to trust your results and your interpretation of those results. When deciding which of your results to present as display items consider the following questions:. Tables are a concise and effective way to present large amounts of data. You should design them carefully so that you clearly communicate your results to busy researchers.

Figures and tables

Just like tables all figures need to have a clear and concise legend caption to accompany them. Images help readers visualize the information you are trying to convey. Often, it is difficult to be sufficiently descriptive using words. Images can help in achieving the accuracy needed for a scientific manuscript. Data plots convey large quantities of data quickly. The goal is often to show a functional or statistical relationship between two or more items.

However, details about the individual data points are often omitted to place emphasis on the relationship that is shown by the collection of points.

Here, we have examples of figures combining images and a plots in multiple panels. Maps are important for putting field work in the context of the location where it was performed.

A good map will help your reader understand how the site affects your study. Moreover, it will help other researchers reproduce your work or find other locations with similar properties. Here, we have a map used in a study about salmon. Schematics help identify the key parts to a system or process.


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