2.3: APA Style Tables
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You are probably a student in the social sciences. Most fields in the social sciences use the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (Seventh Edition). This style guide is full of information on formatting and writing in APA Style. In this Seventh Edition, you are allowed to put tables in an appendix (which would be the last section of the paper), or near where they are being discussed in the appear.
For our purposes right now, we’ll be looking at how to format the titles for tables (which have rows and columns, and are not charts or pictures). In APA Style, tables should be numbered and have a descriptive title. “Table 1” should be in bold, and on the line above the title (which should be in italics). They both should be above the table and flush-left. An example is below, and you can find more details at the best site to learn about APA Style: Purdue Online Writing Lab. Here is OWL Purdue’s page on tables and figures in APA Style. Below is a Note on what the title and number should look like in APA Style.
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You might notice that this is not at all like how the table titles have been throughout this textbook so far. And there's a good reason for this! APA Style formatting is for sending your work to a publisher. Forcing everyone to format their papers the same way makes it easier on the reviewers, and makes the playing field more fair for the researchers. With a standard formatting style, no one is given preference for fancy graphics or exciting desktop publishing; instead, your work is judged on the quality of the science.
Once a work has been accepted for publishing, the formatting is then modified to fit the formatting of the journal, book, or website where it is being published. That's what is happening here! It might be confusing to see the table titles in one format in your textbook while your own work should be formatted differently. Sorry! When in doubt with formatting, go to your APA Manual or OWL Purdue's APA Style website!