Tables and figures enable writers to present a large amount of information efficiently and to make their data more comprehensible.

A table usually shows numerical values (e.g., means and standard deviations) and/or textual information (e.g., lists of stimulus words, responses from participants) arranged in columns and rows. A figure may be a chart, graph, photograph, drawing, plot, infographic, or any other illustration that is not a table.

The goal of any table or figure is to help readers understand your work. The best tables and figures are also attractive and accessible to all users. The APA Style guidelines for tables and figures help ensure your visual displays are formatted clearly and consistently, thus contributing to the goal of effective communication.

Photo of APA Publication Manual open to Tables and Figures
Tables and figures are covered in Chapter 7 of the APA Publication Manual, Seventh Edition

Additional Resources

Journal Article Reporting Standards

Journal Article Reporting Standards

Guidelines for effective communication of behavioral science research

6th Edition Resources

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