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Tables and Figures, Scientific Abbreviations, and Other APA Nuances The Walden University Writing Center Staff.

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Presentation on theme: "Tables and Figures, Scientific Abbreviations, and Other APA Nuances The Walden University Writing Center Staff."— Presentation transcript:

1 Tables and Figures, Scientific Abbreviations, and Other APA Nuances The Walden University Writing Center Staff

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.

3 Tables and Figures APA 6 th, 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

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 tablejust 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.

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.

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.

7 Figures Pressure from Home Dangerous Levels of Medications Figure 13. Causes of stress and its effects among graduate students. Adapted from… Pressure from Work

8 Abbreviations APA 6 th, 4.22-4.30 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

9 Scientific Abbreviations Units of Measurement and Time: Pages 108-109 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).

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).

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).

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 C 9 H 8 O 4 ) (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-Websters 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)

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)

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).

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

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.

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:

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).

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

21 Punctuation Apostrophes Add an apostrophe + s for possessives of names, even names that already end in s: –Smiths theory –Joness hypothesis Do not use an apostrophe to make a year or an abbreviation plural: 1980s, ELLs

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.

23 Capitalization Capitalize major words in titles and headings job titles that immediately precede a persons 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

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.

25 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 Sunkists Arrival [Level 2] Why apples didnt work. [Level 3] Dependable cheap labor. [Level 4] Union busting in sunny Florida. [Level 5] Headings

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).

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.

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.

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. 70-71).

30 Respectful, Bias-Free Language Gender (APA 6 th, 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.

31 Respectful, Bias-Free Language Disabilities (APA 6 th, 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.

32 Respectful, Bias-Free Language Racial and Ethnic Identity (APA 6 th, 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 3.14 in the APA manual for appropriate language and terminology.

33 Respectful, Bias-Free Language Age (APA 6 th, 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 6 th edition.

34 Other Resources Writing Center: Library: Residencies: APA Style Blog: Writing Center Blog:

35 Questions? You can email us anytime! For questions about course papers: For questions about dissertations and doctoral studies:

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