Figures and Tables

  • figure is a graphic illustration of information, such as a line drawing, a graph, a map, a photograph, a plate, or a chart.
  • A table is a graphic that contains a systematic arrangement of facts or numbers in rows and columns.
  • All figures and tables must be numbered and have a descriptive caption, including figures and tables in the appendix.
  • All figures and tables must be listed in the List of Figures or List of Tables.
  • Figure numbers and captions appear below the figure.
  • Table numbers and captions appear above the table.
  • Captions are always single spaced, including the entry in the List of Figures or List of Tables.
  • Captions in the thesis may be flush with the left margin or centered between the right and left text margins, but the location of all captions must be consistent throughout the text. So, if you center one table caption, you must center all figure and table captions.
    • Do not make the mistake of choosing one style for your table captions and another style for your figure captions (i.e. do not make your table captions flush with the left margin and make your figure captions centered on the page).
  • Do not split a caption over 2 pages. If the caption will not fit, you will need to select one of the options below to fill the white space or handle oversize figures/tables.
  • Captions must be in the same font (e.g., Times Roman)as the main text of the thesis.
  • Captions must be the same size font (i.e.10-12 point) as the main text of the thesis (do not make captions smaller).
  • Captions are NOT in bold font
  • Captions are NOT in italic font

Numbering a figure or table

  • Figures and tables are numbered  consecutively throughout the text of the thesis.
  • The 1st number represents the Chapter and the 2nd number represents the  2 figure or table number within that chapter.  
    • For example, The 1st figure in chapter 2 would  be Figure 2.1 &  the next figure would be Figure 2.2, etc.
    • Related figures may be identified either by using the same number with a lower case letter (Figure 4.3a, Figure 4.3b), or by different numbers (Figure 4.3, Figure 4.4).
  • Numbers for figures or tables that appear in appendices are preceded by the capital letter identifying the appendix, as in Figure A.3 or Table C.2.
  • You may number your figures and tables with a . or a – (i.e. 2.1 or 2-1), just make sure to be consistent throughout the entire thesis.
    • Do not make the mistake of numbering your figures and tables in the main text as 2.1, then numbering your figures and tables in the appendices as 2-1.

Placing a figure or table

  • More than one table or figure may appear in sequence on a single page, if they represent sequential information.
  • Use consistent line spacing to separate the figure or table from the preceding and following text.
  • Leave enough space between your caption text and the main text to differentiate between the text.
    • When caption text is too close to the main text, it can be difficult for the reader to tell the difference between the caption and the main text.
  • Do not wrap text around a figure or table.
    • Text must come before and after figures and tables, not top, around the side and under.
  •  Do not place figures or tables side-by-side on the page
    • Figures and tables must be placed one after the other (top of page to bottom of page)
Oversized figure or table 
  • If a figure or table fills the entire 6-inch by 9-inch text area on a page, leaving no room for the caption, then:
    • the caption for that table or illustration is centered (horizontally and vertically) alone on a separate preceding page.
    • followed on the next page by the full-page table or figure
  • Multi-part (more than one image) figures that do not fit on one page can be spread over separate pages.
    • first part will be labeled with (a) + the full caption (i.e. Figure 2.1a + caption)
    • the following parts would be labeled b + continued (i.e. Figure 4.3b: continued)
      • Do not split a single part (one image) figure over multiple pages.
  • Tables may cover more than one page, with headings for continuous columns repeated on each page.
    • first part will be labeled normally (i.e. Table 2.1 + full caption
    • each consecutive page will be labeled  with the Table + number + Continued (i.e. Table 2.1 Continued). If the table lists sources, the sources appear at the bottom of the first page.
  • A figure or table that covers more than a half page may be placed on its own, separate page with no additional text.
    • Stand alone figures or tables must be centered on the page both horizontally and vertically.
    • More than one figure or table on a page does not make a stand alone figure or table, so if you have more than one figure or table on the page, you they either need to fill the page, or you need to add main text to the page.
  • A figure or table too large to fit within the 6- inch by 9-inch text area may be reduced, but its caption font must be the same size and style as that used for the text in the rest of the thesis.
  • A large figure or table that will not fit on a page and is not integral to the thesis may be uploaded as a supplemental file.

Landscape Figures and Tables

  • Figures and tables that are formatted wider than they are high may be turned to fit on the page within all margins (landscape mode).
  • The entire illustration, including its caption and sources, is turned so that the top of the illustration is parallel to and just inside the regular binding-side text margin (landscape orientation).
  • The page number should be placed at the bottom of the figure or table, on the 11”side of the page (landscape orientation).
  • This allows for optimum viewing on a computer screen.

Referring to a figure or table in the text

  • All figures and tables included in the thesis must be referred to in the text of the thesis. The first reference in the text to a figure or table must precede it.
  • If the figure or table is on a separate page, then the reference to it should be on the preceding text page.
    • If you cannot place a figure or table immediately after the text referencing the figure/table, tell the reader the page where  figure/table can be found. (i.e. See Figure 7.1 on page 10) 
  • If two or more figures are referred to consecutively on one page, then they must follow on the page or the next pages consecutively.
  • The text reference should identify a figure or table by number (e.g., write, “See Figure 7.1”), rather than by a relative location (e.g.  do not write, “In the following figure . . .”).