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APA Guidelines

Tables & Figures

The purpose of tables and figures in documents is to enhance your readers' understanding of the information in the document. However, before  tables  or figures are included in research one must address

  • the necessity for visual material (a table of two or fewer columns and rows should be presented in text format)
  •  relationship of tables or figures and text
  •  documentation, integrity, and independence
  •  lastly organization, consistency, and coherence

This guide will provide basic APA standards on tables and figures in research.

Table Structure

  • Number all tables in the order they are mentioned in the text. 
  • Do not use suffix letters (ex. 1a, 1b, 1c). 
  • Do not write "table above" or "table below"
  • Italicize table title 
  • Each table must have a clear and concise title
  • The title can be used to explain a parenthetical (ex. Comparison of Flow Charts (FC) v. Bar Graphs (BG))
  • Headings should be clear and brief. 
  • Capitalize only the first letter of the first word of the heading 
  • Headings should not be wider than the entry column
  • All columns must have headings, even sub column 
  • Consistency is key 
  • Be consistent in formatting and vocabulary 
  • Double space entire table 

Notes are placed below the table 
If the table is from another source include that information below the table in notes. 

General Table Structure APA 

Table 1 



Subhead                                    Colum Head                            Column Head                         Column Head

Row 1                                             100                                              275                                      16.6

Row 2                                             400                                              350                                      15.4    

Row 3                                             800                                              900                                      51.3

Row 4                                            1399                                            1600

Preparing Figures 

  • Do not use special effects 
  • Figures with one column must be between 2 and 3.25 inches wide (5 to 8.45 cm) 
  • Two-columns must be between 4.25 and 6.875 inches wide (10.6 to 17.5 cm)
  • The height should not exceed the top and bottom margins 
  • Text should be san serif font (ex. Helvetica, Arial, or Futura)
  • Font size must be between eight and fourteen point

    Caption and Legends 

Captions and legends appear below the figure. 

  • Include figure number 
    • Example: Figure 1
  • Title 
    • How to create Figures in APA style 
  • Legend 
    • Legend explains symbols 
  • Caption 
    • Captions serve as a brief, but complete explanation