Legal Research and Information Processing Skills (LAW038) is one of the subjects that is mandatory for UiTM's Foundations in Law students throughout Semester 1. All notes are packed in 19 pages only for easier yet effective revision. Best efforts were made to ensure that everything you need to know to score your final exam is included in here (except for APA & MLA citation guide -- I provide other slides especially for those two topics, please look for them on my profile page). However, if there's any missing important information (apart from APA & MLA), do let me know in the comments section. Thank you and hope this helps you with your studies. Good luck!


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Purdue Online Writing Lab Purdue OWL® College of Liberal Arts

Tables and Figures

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This page is brought to you by the OWL at Purdue University. When printing this page, you must include the entire legal notice.

Copyright ©1995-2018 by The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. 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 This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.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.

Note:  This page reflects the latest version of the APA Publication Manual (i.e., APA 7), which released in October 2019. The equivalent resources for the older APA 6 style  can be found at this page  as well as at this page (our old resources covered the material on this page on two separate pages).

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.

General guidelines

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.

Relation of Tables or Figures and Text

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.


If you are using figures, tables and/or data from other sources, be sure to gather all the information you will need to properly document your sources.

Integrity and Independence

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).

Organization, Consistency, and Coherence

Number all tables sequentially as you refer to them in the text (Table 1, Table 2, etc.), likewise for figures (Figure 1, Figure 2, etc.). Abbreviations, terminology, and probability level values must be consistent across tables and figures in the same article. 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.g. data to be compared must be presented next to one another (before/after, young/old, male/female, etc.), and statistical information (means, standard deviations, N values) must be presented in separate parts of the table. If possible, use canonical forms (such as ANOVA, regression, or correlation) to communicate your data effectively.

This image shows a table with multiple notes formatted in APA 7 style.

A generic example of a table with multiple notes formatted in APA 7 style.

Elements of Tables

Number all tables with Arabic numerals sequentially. Do not use suffix letters (e.g. 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.g. Table A1, Table B2).

Like the title of the paper itself, each table must have a clear and concise title. Titles should be written in italicized title case below the table number, with a blank line between the number and the title. When appropriate, you may use the title to explain an abbreviation parenthetically.

Comparison of Median Income of Adopted Children (AC) v. Foster Children (FC)

Keep headings clear and brief. The heading should not be much wider than the widest entry in the column. Use of standard abbreviations can aid in achieving that goal. There are several types of headings:

All columns must have headings, written in sentence case and using singular language (Item rather than Items) unless referring to a group (Men, Women). Each column’s items should be parallel (i.e., every item in a column labeled “%” should be a percentage and does not require the % symbol, since it’s already indicated in the heading). Subsections within the stub column can be shown by indenting headings rather than creating new columns:

Chemical Bonds




The body is the main part of the table, which includes all the reported information organized in cells (intersections of rows and columns). Entries should be center aligned unless left aligning them would make them easier to read (longer entries, usually). Word entries in the body should use sentence case. Leave cells blank if the element is not applicable or if data were not obtained; use a dash in cells and a general note if it is necessary to explain why cells are blank.   In reporting the data, consistency is key: Numerals should be expressed to a consistent number of decimal places that is determined by the precision of measurement. Never change the unit of measurement or the number of decimal places in the same column.

There are three types of notes for tables: general, specific, and probability notes. All of them must be placed below the table in that order.

General  notes explain, qualify or provide information about the table as a whole. Put explanations of abbreviations, symbols, etc. here.

Example:  Note . The racial categories used by the US Census (African-American, Asian American, Latinos/-as, Native-American, and Pacific Islander) have been collapsed into the category “non-White.” E = excludes respondents who self-identified as “White” and at least one other “non-White” race.

Specific  notes explain, qualify or provide information about a particular column, row, or individual entry. To indicate specific notes, use superscript lowercase letters (e.g.  a ,  b ,  c ), and order the superscripts from left to right, top to bottom. Each table’s first footnote must be the superscript  a .

a  n = 823.  b  One participant in this group was diagnosed with schizophrenia during the survey.

Probability  notes provide the reader with the results of the tests for statistical significance. Asterisks indicate the values for which the null hypothesis is rejected, with the probability ( p value) specified in the probability note. Such notes are required only when relevant to the data in the table. Consistently use the same number of asterisks for a given alpha level throughout your paper.

* p < .05. ** p < .01. *** p < .001

If you need to distinguish between two-tailed and one-tailed tests in the same table, use asterisks for two-tailed p values and an alternate symbol (such as daggers) for one-tailed p values.

* p < .05, two-tailed. ** p < .01, two-tailed. † p <.05, one-tailed. †† p < .01, one-tailed.


Tables should only include borders and lines that are needed for clarity (i.e., between elements of a decked head, above column spanners, separating total rows, etc.). Do not use vertical borders, and do not use borders around each cell. Spacing and strict alignment is typically enough to clarify relationships between elements.

This image shows an example of a table presented in the text of an APA 7 paper.

Example of a table in the text of an APA 7 paper. Note the lack of vertical borders.

Tables from Other Sources

If using tables from an external source, copy the structure of the original exactly, and cite the source in accordance with  APA style .

Table Checklist

(Taken from the  Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association , 7th ed., Section 7.20)

Figures include all graphical displays of information that are not tables. Common types include graphs, charts, drawings, maps, plots, and photos. Just like tables, figures should supplement the text and should be both understandable on their own and referenced fully in the text. This section details elements of formatting writers must use when including a figure in an APA document, gives an example of a figure formatted in APA style, and includes a checklist for formatting figures.

Preparing Figures

In preparing figures, communication and readability must be the ultimate criteria. Avoid the temptation to use the special effects available in most advanced software packages. While three-dimensional effects, shading, and layered text may look interesting to the author, overuse, inconsistent use, and misuse may distort the data, and distract or even annoy readers. Design properly done is inconspicuous, almost invisible, because it supports communication. Design improperly, or amateurishly, done draws the reader’s attention from the data, and makes him or her question the author’s credibility. Line drawings are usually a good option for readability and simplicity; for photographs, high contrast between background and focal point is important, as well as cropping out extraneous detail to help the reader focus on the important aspects of the photo.

Parts of a Figure

All figures that are part of the main text require a number using Arabic numerals (Figure 1, Figure 2, etc.). Numbers are assigned based on the order in which figures appear in the text and are bolded and left aligned.

Under the number, write the title of the figure in italicized title case. The title should be brief, clear, and explanatory, and both the title and number should be double spaced.

The image of the figure is the body, and it is positioned underneath the number and title. The image should be legible in both size and resolution; fonts should be sans serif, consistently sized, and between 8-14 pt. Title case should be used for axis labels and other headings; descriptions within figures should be in sentence case. Shading and color should be limited for clarity; use patterns along with color and check contrast between colors with free online checkers to ensure all users (people with color vision deficiencies or readers printing in grayscale, for instance) can access the content. Gridlines and 3-D effects should be avoided unless they are necessary for clarity or essential content information.

Legends, or keys, explain symbols, styles, patterns, shading, or colors in the image. Words in the legend should be in title case; legends should go within or underneath the image rather than to the side. Not all figures will require a legend.

Notes clarify the content of the figure; like tables, notes can be general, specific, or probability. General notes explain units of measurement, symbols, and abbreviations, or provide citation information. Specific notes identify specific elements using superscripts; probability notes explain statistical significance of certain values.

This image shows a generic example of a bar graph formatted as a figure in APA 7 style.

A generic example of a figure formatted in APA 7 style.

Figure Checklist 

(Taken from the  Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association , 7 th ed., Section 7.35)

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APA Format for Tables and Figures | Annotated Examples

Published on November 5, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on June 2, 2022.

A table concisely presents information (often numbers) in rows and columns. A figure is any other image or illustration you include in your text—anything from a bar chart to a photograph.

Table of contents

Apa table format, apa figure format, numbering and titling tables and figures, formatting table and figure notes, where to place tables and figures, referring to tables and figures in the text, frequently asked questions about apa tables and figures.

Tables will vary in size and structure depending on the data you’re presenting, but APA gives some general guidelines for their design. To correctly format an APA table, follow these rules:

An example of a table formatted according to APA guidelines is shown below.

Example of a table in APA format

The table above uses only four lines: Those at the top and bottom, and those separating the main data from the column heads and the totals.

Create your tables using the tools built into your word processor. In Word, you can use the “ Insert table ” tool.

Any images used within your text are called figures. Figures include data visualization graphics—e.g. graphs, diagrams, flowcharts—as well as things like photographs and artworks.

To correctly format an APA figure, follow these rules:

An example of a figure formatted according to APA guidelines is shown below.

Example of a figure in APA format

Keep the design of figures as simple as possible. Use colors only where necessary, not just to make the image look more appealing.

For text within the image itself, APA recommends using a sans serif font (e.g. Arial) with a size between 8 and 14 points.

For other figures, such as photographs, you won’t need a legend; the figure consists simply of the image itself, reproduced at an appropriate size and resolution.

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apa table notes abbreviations

Each table or figure is preceded by a number and title.

Tables and figures are each numbered separately, in the order they are referred to in your text. For example, the first table you refer to is Table 1; the fourth figure you refer to is Figure 4.

The title should clearly and straightforwardly describe the content of the table or figure. Omit articles to keep it concise.

The table or figure number appears on its own line, in bold, followed by the title on the following line, in italics and title case.

Where a table or figure needs further explanation, notes should be included immediately after it. These are not your analysis of the data presented; save that for the main text.

There are three kinds of notes: general , specific , and probability . Each type of note appears in a new paragraph, but multiple notes of the same kind all appear in one paragraph.

Only include the notes that are needed to understand the table or figure. It may be that it is clear in itself, and has no notes, or only probability notes; be as concise as possible.

General notes

General notes come first. They are preceded by the word “ Note ” in italics, followed by a period. They include any explanations that apply to the table or figure as a whole and a citation if it was adapted from another source, and they end with definitions of any abbreviations used.

Specific notes

Specific notes refer to specific points in the table or figure. Superscript letters (a, b, c …) appear at the relevant points in the table or figure and at the start of each note to indicate what they refer to. They are used when it’s necessary to comment on a specific data point or term.

Probability notes

Probability notes give p -values for the data in the table or figure. They correspond to asterisks (and/or other symbols) in the table or figure.

You have two options for the placement of tables and figures in APA Style:

If you place them throughout the text, note that each table or figure should only appear once. If you refer to the same table or figure more than once, don’t reproduce it each time—just place it after the paragraph in which it’s first discussed.

Align the table or figure with the text along the left margin. Leave a line break before and after the table or figure to clearly distinguish it from the main text, and place it on a new page if necessary to avoid splitting it across multiple pages.

Placement of tables in APA format

If you place all your tables and figures at the end, you should have one table or figure on each page. Begin with all your tables, then place all your figures afterwards.

Avoid making redundant statements about your tables and figures in your text. When you write about data from tables and figures, it should be to highlight or analyze a particular data point or trend, not simply to restate what is already clearly shown in the table or figure:

Additionally, even if you have embedded your tables and figures in your text, refer to them by their numbers, not by their position relative to the text or by description:

In an APA Style paper , use a table or figure when it’s a clearer way to present important data than describing it in your main text. This is often the case when you need to communicate a large amount of information.

Before including a table or figure in your text, always reflect on whether it’s useful to your readers’ understanding:

If the data you need to present only contains a few relevant numbers, try summarizing it in the text (potentially including full data in an appendix ). If describing the data makes your text overly long and difficult to read, a table or figure may be the best option.

APA doesn’t require you to include a list of tables or a list of figures . However, it is advisable to do so if your text is long enough to feature a table of contents and it includes a lot of tables and/or figures.

A list of tables and list of figures appear (in that order) after your table of contents , and are presented in a similar way.

If you adapt or reproduce a table or figure from another source, you should include that source in your APA reference list . You should also acknowledge the original source in the note or caption for the table or figure.

Tables and figures you created yourself, based on your own data, are not included in the reference list.

In most styles, the title page is used purely to provide information and doesn’t include any images. Ask your supervisor if you are allowed to include an image on the title page before doing so. If you do decide to include one, make sure to check whether you need permission from the creator of the image.

Include a note directly beneath the image acknowledging where it comes from, beginning with the word “ Note .” (italicized and followed by a period). Include a citation and copyright attribution . Don’t title, number, or label the image as a figure , since it doesn’t appear in your main text.

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How to Present Tables and Figures in APA 7th Edition

This handout discusses how to present tables and figures in APA style. APA Style offers a specific guideline for formatting tables and figures. In the 7th edition guideline, APA updated the formatting of tables and figures. This article shows how to format numbers, titles, bodies, headings, and notes in APA style.

apa table notes abbreviations

American Physiological Association ( APA Style )  offers a specific guideline for formatting tables and figures. In the 7th edition guideline, APA updated the formatting of tables and figures.

How to Setup Tables in APA 7th Edition?

According to APA style, in formatting tables, the following rules should be followed:

Table number should be in plain text and placed above the table .

The brief title of the table should be in italics and title case and should be placed below the table number .

Table should have no vertical lines and should have as few horizontal lines as possible.

Table notes should be included only as needed.

APA Style Sample Table

Cronbach's Alpha Scores for Measurement Models

The following diagram created by American Physiological Association (APA) illustrates the basic table components in APA style.

apa format tables and figures

(Source: APA 7th edition, 6.10.2020)

Table Number

The number of the table (e.g., Table 1, Table 2) should appear above the table title .

The body should be in boldface , and tables should be numbered in the order in which they are mentioned in the text.

Note that APA 7th edition update requires the table numbers in bold . 

Table Title

Each table should have a brief and descriptive title, and the title should be placed in one double-spaced line below the table number.

 It should be capitalized and italicized as exemplified below:

Numbers of Teachers by Tenure

Table Heading

Each table should contain a column heading .

Besides, some tables may have decked heads, table, and column spanners.

Column headings should be centered and capitalized in sentence case.

The details of these headings can be found in APA publication manual.

A table body should include all the rows and columns, including the heading row.

As mentioned earlier, an APA formatted table should have no vertical lines. It should have as few horizontal lines as possible.

The body can be single-spaced, double-spaced, or one-and-a-half-spaced.

APA suggests that the information in the leftmost column or stub column of the table body should be left-aligned, while the heading should be centered.

It also suggests that the information in all other cells be centered. However, when you think left-aligning the information would improve the readability, then it can be left-aligned. It is especially important when those cells include lots of text.

Table Notes

When necessary, notes explaining the table should be added below the table. Notes should be included when adding them is necessary to understand the data presented in your table.

As emphasized by APA 7th edition, ‘‘three types of notes (general, specific, and probability) appear below the table as needed to describe contents of the table that cannot be understood from the table title or body alone (e.g., definitions of abbreviations, copyright attribution, explanations of asterisks used to indicate p values)’’ (APA 7th edition, 2020).

How to Setup Figures in APA 7th Edition?

According to APA style, in formatting figures, the following rules should be followed:

Figure number should be in plain text, boldface, and placed above the figure.

The brief title of the figure should be in italic and title case and should be placed below the figure number.

Figure notes should be included when necessary and appear below the figure.

Notes come in three types of notes as they would be for tables: general, specific, and probability notes.

APA Style Sample Figure

The Number of Private Schools by Districts

apa format tables and figures

The following diagram created by American Physiological Association (APA) illustrates the basic figure components in APA style.

apa format tables and figures

Figure Number

The number of the figure (e.g., Figure 1, Figure 2) appears above the figure and should be in boldface .

Figures should be numbered in the order in which they are mentioned in the text.

Note that APA 7th edition requires the figure numbers in bold . 

Figure Title

A figure should have a brief and descriptive title, and the title should be placed one double-spaced line below the figure number.

The title should be capitalized and italicized as exemplified below:

A graph, chart, photograph, drawing, or other illustration consists of the image portion of a figure.

APA guide suggests that when the text appears in the image of the figure, a sans serif font between 8 and 14 points should be adopted.

Figure Legend

When the figures have legends, they should be positioned within the borders of the figure.

They should explain any symbols used in the figure image.

Words in the legend should be capitalized in title case.

When necessary, notes explaining the figure should be added below the table.

 Notes should be included when adding them is necessary to clarify and describe the content of the figure.

If you need help, then contact us!

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If you need our subject-area editors to format your manuscripts, giving you the fundamental rules for formatting your manuscripts as described in your guidelines, such as APA, MLA, or Chicago/Turabian styles, then contact us. At Best Edit & Proof, our proofreaders and editors edit  every type of academic paper . We have a user-friendly website, and a simplified ordering process. 

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apa format tables and figures

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This handout discusses how to present tables and figures in APA style. To give you an opportunity to practice your proofreading, we have left a few spelling, punctuation, or grammatical errors in the text. See if you can spot them! If you spot the errors correctly, you will be entitled to a 10% discount.

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apa table notes abbreviations

The American Psychological Association highlights the need to talk about all people with inclusivity and respect. Writers adopting APA 7th edition must strive to use bias-free language and avoid perpetuating prejudicial beliefs or demeaning attitudes in their writing.

apa table notes abbreviations

Adopting Modern Language Association (MLA) style makes it easier for readers to navigate and understand the text. It ensures consistency in the use of the English language and formatting in academic writing. In this article, we bring you a complete guide on how you format your academic papers and essays in MLA style.

apa table notes abbreviations

The term ‘‘et al.’’ is the abbreviated form of the Latin term ‘‘et alia,’’ which means ‘‘and others.’’ It is used in academic in-text citations when referring to a source with multiple authors. In APA style, for a source with three or more authors, list the first author’s last name and “et al.” for all citations, including the first citation.


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