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Tables and Figures, Scientific Abbreviations, and Other APA Nuances

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1 Tables and Figures, Scientific Abbreviations, and Other APA Nuances
The Walden University Writing Center Staff Welcome to the Writing Center’s webinar on tables and figures, scientific abbreviations, and other APA nuances.

2 Webinar Overview Over the next few slides, we will
discuss formatting for tables and figures. determine when and how to use abbreviations. review other APA 6th ed. nuances such as formatting, punctuation and capitalization, seriation, numbers, and academic voice. In all of your discussion posts, course papers, and capstones, you will need to follow APA style guidelines. In this webinar, we’ll cover all things APA besides citations and references. These topics include special formatting for tables and figures, guidelines for using abbreviations, and other APA rules such as formatting, punctuation and capitalization, seriation, numbers, and academic voice.

3 Tables and Figures APA 6th, Chapter 5
In the body of your paper, information that does not appear in textual form must be formatted and labeled as either a table or a figure. APA does not allow for the words graph, illustration, or chart. Number tables and figures consecutively, that is, Table 1, Table 2, Figure 1, Figure 2. For more information, see To present numerical data or illustrations to your reader, you will need to format and label them as tables or figures. Tables and figures should be numbered consecutively from the start of your paper. We will go through each of these unique formats in more detail. However, for future reference, see the Writing Center’s web page on tables and figures.

4 Tables Place the word Table and the table number above the table, flush left. Place the title of the table (in title case), double-spaced, under the table number, flush left in italics. Double-, triple-, or quadruple-space before and after the table—just be consistent. Information regarding abbreviations or symbols used in a table, copyright information, and probability must be located in a note below the table. See APA 5.16 for formatting information. You’ll use tables to display numerical values or textual information in neat rows and columns. Place the word Table and the table number above the table, flush left. Place the title of the table (in title case), double-spaced, under the table number, flush left in italics. Double-, triple-, or quadruple-space before and after the table—just be consistent. Information regarding abbreviations or symbols used in a table, copyright information, and probability must be located in a note below the table. See APA 5.16 for complete formatting information.

5 Tables Table 4 Comparison of Boys and Girls by Height and Weight
____________________________________________ Note. From “Analysis of Seventh Graders’ Hormones,” by W. Steeves, 2008, Journal of Despair, 98, p. 11. Copyright 2008 from the American Psychological Association. In this sample table, notice the italicized title in title case and the copyright note at the bottom. APA does not allow vertical lines separating the columns. As you can see here, the columns are just separated by spaces.

6 Figures A figure should be supplemental to the text of your paper
the best way to communicate the information clear and engaging, rather than simply distracting To format: Place the word Figure and the figure number under the figure, flush left in italics. The title of the figure goes next to the number in sentence case. In dissertations, do not type captions on a separate page. Use figures to present photographs, charts, and other nontextual information. In order for a figure to be justified, it should supplement the text, communicate the information in the best way, and be clear and engaging. To format, place the word Figure and the figure number under the figure, flush left in italics. The title of the figure goes next to the number in sentence case. In dissertations, do not type captions on a separate page.

7 Dangerous Levels of Medications
Figures Pressure from Home Pressure from Work Dangerous Levels of Medications In this example, you can see the italicized figure number, as well as the title in sentence case. Figure 13. Causes of stress and its effects among graduate students. Adapted from…

8 Abbreviations APA 6th, According to APA (2010), “to maximize clarity, use abbreviations sparingly. Although abbreviations are sometimes useful for long, technical terms in scientific writing, communication is usually garbled rather than clarified if, for example, an abbreviation is unfamiliar to the reader” (p. 106). But what does that mean? Know your audience. Use abbreviations only for long, familiar terms. Consider an abbreviation only if the term comes up three or more times. Format: No Child Left Behind (NCLB) determined… IQ, REM, ESP, AIDS, and HIV qualify as words The next APA topic we’ll cover is the use of abbreviations. Abbreviations can be an effective way to avoid repeating lengthy, technical terms, but they should be used sparingly to prevent your text from becoming difficult to read. Therefore, use abbreviations only for long, familiar terms. Also, only introduce the abbreviation if the term comes up repeatedly in your work (three or more times). To use an abbreviation, write out the term on first use, followed by the abbreviation in parentheses. Some common abbreviations are recognized as words and therefore do not need to be introduced, among them IQ, REM, ESP, AIDS, HIV

9 Scientific Abbreviations
Units of Measurement and Time: Pages According to APA, use abbreviations and symbols for metric as well as nonmetric measurement units that are accompanied by a number (18 cm, 147 g, 60 W). Notice these abbreviations are not followed by a period. The exceptions to this are in. (inch), a.m. (ante meridiem), and p.m. (post meridiem). Scientific abbreviations are a specialized type of abbreviation you might find yourself using, especially when discussing measurements or chemical components as part of your study. According to APA, use abbreviations and symbols for metric as well as nonmetric measurement units that are accompanied by a number (18 cm, 147 g, 60 W). Notice these abbreviations are not followed by a period. The exceptions to this are in., a.m., and p.m.

10 Scientific Abbreviations
Units of Measurement Write out the units of measurement when they are not accompanied by a number (millimeter, hertz, ampere, etc.). Do not repeat these abbreviations when you express multiple amounts (20-24 kg; 7-10 ml; or 3, 9, and 17 ppm). Write out the units of measurement when they are not accompanied by a number (millimeter, hertz, ampere, etc.). Do not repeat these abbreviations when you express multiple amounts (20-24 kg; 7-10 ml; or 3, 9, and 17 ppm).

11 Scientific Abbreviations
Units of Time To prevent misunderstandings, write out rather than abbreviate the following terms, even when accompanied by a number: day, week, month, year (days, 9 weeks, months, etc.). Do abbreviate hour (hr), minute (min), millisecond (ms), nanosecond (ns), and second (s). To prevent misunderstandings, write out rather than abbreviate the following terms, even when accompanied by a number: day, week, month, year (days, 9 weeks, months, etc.). Do abbreviate hour (hr), minute (min), millisecond (ms), nanosecond (ns), and second (s).

12 Scientific Abbreviations
Chemical Compounds and Concentrations: Page 110 “Chemical compounds may be expressed by common name or by chemical name. If you prefer to use the common name, provide the chemical name in parentheses on first mention in the Method section. Avoid expressing compounds with chemical formulas. . .(e.g. aspirin or salicylic acid, not C9H8O4)” (APA, 2010, p. 110). If compounds include Greek letters, keep them as symbols (β carotene not beta carotene). “Chemical compounds may be expressed by common name or by chemical name. If you prefer to use the common name, provide the chemical name in parentheses on first mention in the Method section. Avoid expressing compounds with chemical formulas. . .(e.g. aspirin or salicylic acid, not C9H8O4)” (APA, 2010, p. 110). If compounds include Greek letters, keep them as symbols (β carotene not beta carotene).

13 Scientific Abbreviations
“Long names of organic compounds are often abbreviated; if the abbreviation is listed as a word entry in Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (2005; e.g., NADP for nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate), you may use it freely, without writing it out on first use” (APA, 2010, p. 110). When specifying the ratio or concentration of something, use the appropriate abbreviation. (vol/vol), (wt/vol), (wt/wt) “Long names of organic compounds are often abbreviated; if the abbreviation is listed as a word entry in Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary …, you may use it freely, without writing it out on first use” (APA, 2010, p. 110). When specifying the ratio or concentration of something, use the appropriate abbreviation.

14 Abbreviation Rules Plurals of Abbreviations Add an s Do not italicize
Do not include an apostrophe Examples: IQs, Eds., vols. Exception: to make page (p.) plural, write pp. Exception: do not add an s to make units of measurement plural (12 cm) APA provides some general rules for abbreviations. For instance, when you are making abbreviations plural, simply add an s with no apostrophe or italics. To make pages plural, add a second p instead of an s. Units of measurement are another exception to the plural rule, as these just remain the same for singular and plural.

15 Abbreviation Rules Beginnings of Sentences
Do not use a lowercase abbreviation (ml) or a symbol that stands alone (Ώ). Avoid a capitalized abbreviation or acronym (such as CDC). With chemical compounds, capitalize the first letter of the word connected to a symbol. Example: L-methionine (in text) but L-Methionine (beginning of a sentence). APA also guides what happens regarding abbreviations at the beginning of a sentence. Do not start a sentence with a lowercase abbreviation or a stand-alone symbol. Generally try to avoid starting with a capitalized abbreviation or acronym. Finally, when starting with a chemical compound, capitalize the first letter of a word connected to a symbol.

16 APA Nuances In addition to citations, tables/figures, and abbreviations, APA provides guidelines for Formatting Punctuation and capitalization Seriation (lists) Numbers Academic voice and bias-free language In addition to citations, tables/figures, and abbreviations, APA provides guidelines for formatting, punctuation and capitalization, seriation (lists), numbers, and academic voice and bias-free language. In this next part of the presentation, we’ll address each of these topics in greater detail.

17 Formatting Font and Spacing
Use a 12-point serif font for all text, including front matter and reference list. Walden prefers Times New Roman. Minimum 8 pt. type can be used in tables and figures. Double space all text, including the reference list and block quotes. Walden will accept either one space or two spaces after a period. Formatting your paper according to APA specifications is the first step in creating a polished, quality product. For your assignments, use a 12-point font such as Times New Roman for the main body. Any tables and figures can have as little as 8-point type. The text of your paper should be double-spaced, including the references and block quotes. Though APA recommends two spaces after each period, Walden will also accept one space.

18 Formatting Margins, Pagination, and Running Head
All margins should be set to 1 in. on each side of the paper. Page numbers go in the upper right corner. The running head goes in the upper left corner and is in all capital letters. The words “Running head:” appear only on the cover page. Running head: CARDIOVASCULAR PROCEDURES See paper templates here: Margins should be set at one inch on each side. In the Header section of your paper, include the running head (essentially a truncated form of your title) and the page number. The Writing Center has a web page devoted to templates for various programs and capstones, as well as a general course paper template. Feel free to browse that page and download the appropriate version. These essentially have the formatting figured out for you.

19 Formatting Underlines, Boldface, and Italics
APA papers should not contain any underlining. APA does not allow boldface except in tables and figures (to highlight specific data) and in Level 1, 2, 3, and 4 headings. Italics should be used rarely. Several instances of appropriate use: titles of books and journals a word used as a linguistic example (“The word student appeared on the test”). It can be fun to use certain word processing tools to highlight words and phrases and get your reader’s attention. However, remember that you are a scholar and you want your finished draft to be professional, formal, and scholarly. With that in mind, APA does not allow underlining. The only instances of boldface should be in tables and figures and headings. Italics should be used rarely, as they can be distracting to the reader. Some appropriate uses of italics include titles of books and periodicals and a word used as a linguistic example.

20 Punctuation The Serial Comma
In a series of three or more items, you must insert a comma before the word and or or. Examples: bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Zeppo eating lunch, going to the gym, and going home Use a serial comma in all of your academic writing. This is a comma that appears just before the word “and” or “or” in a series of three or more elements.

21 Punctuation Apostrophes
Add an apostrophe + s for possessives of names, even names that already end in s: Smith’s theory Jones’s hypothesis Do not use an apostrophe to make a year or an abbreviation plural: 1980s, ELLs In some other styles, writers are told to only add an apostrophe to proper names ending in s. However, in APA, to show possession, you’ll need to use an s and an apostrophe, as in Jones’s hypothesis. Apostrophes should not be used in any plurals, including those of years and abbreviations.

22 Punctuation Hyphens Most prefixes are not hyphenated: semistructured, nondenominational, multimedia, antisocial, posttest, pretest, and so forth. See for a complete list. Words with the self- prefix are always hyphenated: self-esteem, self-motivated. Do not include a space before or after the hyphen. APA has specific guidelines for hyphenation as well. In APA, most prefixes are not hyphenated, including “semi,” “non,” “multi,” “anti,” “post,” and “pre.” A complete list of these prefixes can be found on this web page. Words with the “self” prefix are always hyphenated. Also, avoid using spaces before and after hyphens.

23 Capitalization Capitalize major words in titles and headings
job titles that immediately precede a person’s name: the superintendent, but Superintendent Williams proper nouns and trade names nouns followed by numerals or letters: Week 2, Table 3 Do not capitalize the names of theories, models, conditions, or diseases: theory of relativity, diabetes Capitalization is tricky because there are many rules to follow. When writing academic papers, capitalize major words in titles and in your Level 1 and 2 headings. When you capitalize all important words and all words four letters are longer, this is called title case. Capitalize job titles only when they precede a person’s name. Proper nouns and trade names should always be capitalized. Finally, nouns that precede numerals should be capitalized. Use lowercase for the names of theories, models, conditions, or diseases.

24 Seriation For lists within your sentences, use lowercase letters to set off the elements: I accomplished several tasks on my day off: (a) cleaning the house, (b) paying the bills, and (c) mowing the lawn. For vertical lists, use bullet points when there is no specific order or hierarchy: Timmerman (2009) indicated that the preferred food choices of State Fair goers are chocolate chip cookies, bacon on a stick, and deep-fried cheese curds. Seriation just means listing. You might find that you use two types of lists in your paper. In the first, lists that appear within sentences, use lowercase letters between the elements. For lists that appear vertically in the text, use bullets when there is no specific order or hierarchy. If there is a hierarchy or order (as in a list of steps to follow), use numerals.

25 Headings Use headings to organize your ideas and show development of the argument. APA demonstrates five levels of headings: Oranges as Indicators for Progress [Title of Paper] History of the Florida Citrus Industry [Level 1] Herr Sunkist’s Arrival [Level 2] Why apples didn’t work. [Level 3] Dependable cheap labor. [Level 4] Union busting in sunny Florida. [Level 5] Headings are great ways to organize your ideas and show the progression of your argument. APA gives five levels of headings, with their formats shown here. Note that the title of your paper does not count as a heading; it is separate and therefore not bold. The one you’ll use most often is the Level 1 heading, which appears as centered, bold, and in title case.

26 Numbers General rule: Numbers 10 and higher appear as numerals; nine and lower are written out. Exception: Units of time, age, money, scores, and points on a scale always appear as numerals unless at the start of a sentence (5 years, score of 9 out of 10). Express approximate numbers of days, months, and years as words if they are smaller than nine (about three weeks ago). Numbers are also quite tricky, but if you keep the general rule in mind, you will be halfway there. According to APA, numbers 10 and above should be numerals, while numbers nine and below should be words. There is one major exception to this rule. Units of time, age, money, scores, and points on a scale always appear as numerals. However, if the timeframe is approximate, write out the numbers (about three weeks ago).

27 Use of First Person Both APA and Walden allow the use of the first-person “I” to discuss your actions. “To avoid ambiguity, use a personal pronoun rather than the third person when describing steps taken in your experiment” (APA, 2009, p. 69). Correct for one author: I reviewed the literature. Correct for more than one author: We reviewed the literature. Incorrect for one author: This author reviewed the literature. Incorrect for more than one author: The researchers reviewed the literature. In addition to its clear-cut rules, APA provides suggestions for writing in a scholarly manner. These suggestions focus on academic voice and respectful, bias-free language. Both APA and Walden recommend the use of the first-person “I” when describing, for instance, the steps you followed in your study. That way, by using “I,” you are more precise about just who is performing the action. Both “this author” and “this researcher” are ambiguous and should be avoided.

28 Respectful, Bias-Free Language
It is important to avoid biased language in your writing for several reasons: You do not want to offend your reader(s). You want your reader to see you as an authority on the subject. You want to appear to be (and be!) open-minded on the subject. As a scholar, you will want to avoid biased language in your writing so that you do not offend your reader or lose your authority on the subject. Always remain open-minded and professional.

29 Respectful, Bias-Free Language
APA (2010) is “committed both to science and to the fair treatment of individuals and groups, and this policy requires that authors avoid perpetuating demeaning attitudes and biased assumptions about people in their writing” (pp ). APA is particularly “committed both to science and to the fair treatment of individuals and groups, and this policy requires that authors avoid perpetuating demeaning attitudes and biased assumptions about people in their writing.” It is sometimes hard to identify these attitudes in your writing because you might not have ever thought about your own potential biases. Just consider being sensitive to others, particularly regarding gender, disabilities, racial and ethnic identity, and age.

30 Respectful, Bias-Free Language
Gender (APA 6th, 3.12) Gender is cultural and refers to role, whereas sex is biological. Do not use a masculine pronoun (he) to refer to both sexes. Do not use masculine or feminine pronouns to define roles by sex (for example, always referring to nurses as she). Transgender is an adjective used to refer to a person whose gender identity or expression is different from his or her sex at birth. Do not use transgender as a noun. APA provides specific guidelines for each of these areas, the first being gender. APA defines gender as cultural, referring to the role played, whereas sex is biological. To treat the sexes fairly, do not use a masculine pronoun such as he to refer to both. Also do not use pronouns to define roles by sex (for instance, nurses are always she, firefighters are always he). Transgender should only be used as an adjective and should refer to a person whose gender identify is different from his or her birth sex.

31 Respectful, Bias-Free Language
Disabilities (APA 6th, 3.15) Use language that maintains the integrity of all human beings. Avoid objectification and slurs. In writing, use people-first language rather than focusing on disability. For example, say person with autism rather than an autistic or an autistic person. Avoid offensive, condescending euphemisms when describing people with disabilities, such as special or physically challenged. When writing about people with disabilities, avoid objectifications and slurs such as “cripple.” Use people-first language to focus on the person rather than the disability (“person with autism”). Avoid euphemisms, as these can be offensive and just bring greater attention to the disability.

32 Respectful, Bias-Free Language
Racial and Ethnic Identity (APA 6th, 3.14) When using the word minority, use a modifier such as ethnic or racial to avoid the connation of being less than or oppressed. Avoid describing groups differently. For example, Black Americans refers to color, while Asian Americans refers to cultural heritage. Have parallel designations. Racial and ethnic terms change often. Consult Guidelines for Unbiased Language at or section in the APA manual for appropriate language and terminology. Racial and ethnic identity is another area of focus for respectful, sensitive language. In your writing, the word “minority” should always be accompanied by a modifier such as “ethnic” or “racial.” Additionally, try to be describe groups in the same way. Black Americans and Asian Americans are not parallel because one refers to color and one to heritage. Similarly, White refers to color, while African American refers to ethnicity. To keep up to date on appropriate racial and ethnic terms, consult the APA website.

33 Respectful, Bias-Free Language
Age (APA 6th, 3.16) The terms girl and boy should be used for individuals under 12 years of age. The terms young man and young woman are appropriate for individuals aged 13 to 17 years of age. The terms man and woman are used for anyone aged 18 years or more. Do not use senior and elderly as nouns. For more information on appropriate language concerning age, please see page 76 in APA 6th edition. Finally, age should also be treated with care in your writing. The words “girl” and “boy” should be used for anyone under 12, while “young man” and “young woman” apply to those 13 to 17. “Man” and “woman” are appropriate for anyone 18 and older. Senior and elderly should always be used as adjectives and not nouns: senior citizen, elderly man. Page 76 in the APA manual offers more great tips on age.

34 Other Resources Writing Center: http://writingcenter.waldenu.edu/
Library: Residencies: APA Style Blog: Writing Center Blog: As a Walden student, you have access to several great resources where you can explore more of the topics found in this presentation. The Writing Center website lists many APA guidelines and additional information about being a scholarly writer. The library is a great first resource for any paper or research project. To learn more about upcoming residencies, see the Residencies home page. The APA Style blog provides tips about APA that go beyond the pages of the manual. If you are searching for guidance on an issue not found in the book, search there. The Writing Center also has a blog that is updated weekly with staff musings on grammar, writing, technical troubles, and APA style.

35 Questions. You can email us anytime
Questions? You can us anytime! For questions about course papers: For questions about dissertations and doctoral studies: This concludes the Writing Center’s presentation on tables and figures, abbreviations, and APA nuances. If you want to contact me or another staff member after the webinar, feel free to for course papers and for dissertations.


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