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Tables in APA Format

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Tables are a great way to display a great deal of information in a concise, clear and easy to read format.
Image of an APA format table.

An example of a table in APA format.

In APA format papers, tables are generally used to describe the results of statistical analysis and other pertinent quantitative data. However, it is important to note that tables are not simply used to replicate data that has already been presented in the text of the paper and not all data should be presented in a table. If you have little numeric information to present, it should be described in the text of your paper.

Basic Rules for Tables in APA Format

  • All tables should be numbered (e.g. Table 1, Table 2, Table 3).

  • Each table should have an individual title, italicized and presented with each word capitalized (except and, in, of, with, etc.). For example: Correlations Between Age and Test Scores

  • Each table should begin on a separate page.

  • Horizontal lines can be used to separate information and make it clearer. Do not use vertical lines in an APA format table.

  • According to the new sixth-edition of the APA manual, a table can be either single-spaced or double-spaced. The key is to keep the table readable and the spacing consistent.

  • All tables should be referenced in the text of the paper.

  • Tables should be last, after your reference list and appendixes.

Table Headings

  • Table headings should be located flush right.

  • Each column should be identified using a descriptive heading.

  • The first letter of each heading should be capitalized.

  • Abbreviations for standard terms (e.g. M, SD, etc.) can be used without explanation. Uncommon definitions should be explained in a note below the table.

Additional Notes to an APA Format Table

If additional explanation is needed, a note can be added below the table. There are three kinds of notes: General notes, specific notes, and probability notes. General notes refer to some aspect of the entire table; specific notes refer to a particular column or row; probability notes specify the probability-level.

A Quick Checklist

  • Is the table needed to present data or could the data simply be presented in text?
  • Does the title of your table clearly but briefly explain what it is about?
  • Is the spacing consistent throughout the table?
  • Does the body of the paper refer to the table?
  • Is each column of the table clearly labeled?
  • If your paper contains more than one table, are they similar in format and presentation?
  • Are any special or uncommon abbreviations explained in notes?

Did You Know?

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