1. Summarized data presented in columns and rows are referred to as tables. All other items (graphs, pictures, drawings, maps, etc.) are referred to as figuresDo not refer to them as graphs or charts.

2. Tables often are used to present many numerical values. For example:

Table 1. Mineral element composition of several plant species

grown in the same soil.

Mineral Element Content

(Percent Dry Weight)

Species

Ca

K

Mg

N

P

Sunflower

1.7

3.5

0.7

1.5

0.08

Bean

1.5

1.2

0.6

1.5

0.05

Wheat

0.5

4.2

0.2

2.3

0.06

Barley

0.7

4.0

0.3

1.9

0.13

 

3. When you need to show a pattern or a trend in the data, you should consider using a graph. For example, sometimes a scatter graph is appropriate:

Figure 1. Plasmolysis of Allium bulb outer epidermal cells in external sucrose solutions

at various concentrations. Number of cells observed = 230 / treatment.

 

At other times (to show results that differ among treatments, for example), a bar graph is better:

Figure 1. Gas production by yeast respiration in media supplemented with various sugars.

4. Whenever a table and/or figure is included in the paper, some reference to that table or figure must be included in the text of the paper. For example, “The effect of various concentrations of gibberellic acid on the growth in height of tomato plants is summarized in Table 1.” or “Various concentrations of gibberellic acid have different effects on growth in height of tomato plants (Table 1).”

5. Tables and figures are numbered independently of each other. For example, with three tables and two figures, the tables would be labeled Table 1, Table 2, Table 3 and the figures would be labeled Figure 1 and Figure 2.

6. Tables and figures are assigned their respective numbers by the order in which they are first mentioned in the text.

7. Tables and figures should be placed as close as possible to the page where the table or figure is mentioned in the text so that the reader can easily refer to it when it is mentioned in the paper.

8. All tables and figures must be labeled (numbered) and must have self-explanatory titles. The “rules” for composing the titles are the same as those for composing the title of a paper itself. The reader should be able to look at a table or figure and, simply by reading its title, know exactly what was done in that part of the experiment without having to read the text of the paper for information.

9. Titles and labels for tables are always placed at the top of the table. Titles and labels for figures are always placed below the figure.

10. All tables and figures must include the units of measurement involved. All columns in a table should have separate headings identifying the entries. On both axes of graphs, name the variable and its corresponding unit of measurement. The independent variable is placed on the x-axis and the dependent variable is placed on the y-axis.