Using Tables and Figures in Scientific Writing


Using Tables and Figures in Scientific Writing

Parlindungan Pardede
Universitas Kristen Indonesia

To present his findings, a writer has three options: text (words), tables or figures. Texts are appropriate to use to communicate simple data or results. They are the best option to present findings that  could be presented in two to three sentences.  However, if the data are too numerous or complicated to be presented in in two to three sentences, tables or figures are most effective to use. They cannot only convey lots of information compactly and with less repetition but also serve as quick references for the reader and can reveal trends, patterns, or relationships that might otherwise be difficult to grasp.

To read more, download the complete paper here.

After studying the short paper, do the exercises you should download from here to assess your skills in using tables and figures in writing a scientific manuscript. To do the exercises, examine each of the cases to identify any elements of the table or figure and text which follows each table or figure that does not meet the guidelines provided in Using Tables and Figures in Scientific Writing. Then suggest appropriate correction to make each element correct.

Write on the reply section this way.
Incorrect elements in Case 1:
1. The figure title should not be on top of the chart. It should have been placed below the chart.
2. …………………….…………..
3. ……………..etc……………

Deadline for posting the answer is Monday, June 1, 2014 at 12:00 p.m. Besides posting his/her answers, every students should also criticize 2 (two) other students’ answers by showing at least one weak point in a student’s answers. Deadline for the critic is Tuesday, June 3, 2014, 12:00 pm.

The main goal of the peer critic is to facilitate everyone (the writer, the critic, and the reader) to get better understanding of the topic of Using Tables and Figures in Scientific Writing, to develop critical thinking, and to increase the skills to answer questions. Therefore, don’t hesitate to put your critics to anyone work. The weak points you could comment could be a misconception, grammatical error, inappropriate diction, and other relevant matters which will contribute to the improvement of the answer or work.

Good luck!

18 Comments

  1. Name: Annery Fienta
    SIN: 1112150024
    Class: A

    Incorrect elements in Case 1:
    1. The figure title should not be on top of the chart. It should have been placed below the chart.
    2. Lines of demarcation are needed to set legend, headers, data, and footnotes apart from one another and footnotes are also needed to clarify points in the table, or to convey repetitive information about entries, or to denote statistical differences among groups.

    Incorrect elements in Case 2:
    1. It should have been a period after the “Figure 2” not a colon.
    2. The percentage of categories should have been included to the pie chart so that readers could interpret the information more easily.

    Incorrect elements in Case 3:
    1. The numbering of the table is incorrect. Because it is the first table of the article, it should have been “Table 1.”
    2. Footnotes are needed to clarify points in the table, or to convey repetitive information about entries, or to denote statistical differences among groups.
    3. The guidance for reader in interpreting the information is not appropriate to the information included in the table. It should have been:
    “As shown in Table 1, female students preferred to carry out researches in which statistical analysis is not required. The majority of them favored the descriptive (44.4%) and ethnographic (41.7%) research methods. However, male students preferred to conduct researches that necessitate statistical analysis. The majority of them preferred to undertake experimental (35%) and correlational (31%) researches than the other three research methods.”

    Incorrect elements in Case 4:
    1. The figure title should not be on top of the chart. It should have been placed below the chart.
    2. The guidance for reader in interpreting the information is not appropriate to the information included in the figure. It should have been:
    “As shown in Figure 3, the students learnt paragraph writing using peer feedback consistently got higher score than the other two groups. In addition, those who learnt to write paragraph using teacher’s feedback achieved better score than those received no feedback at all.”

  2. Naomi Anitasari
    1112150034 / FKIP BS-B

    Incorrect elements in case 1
    1. The figure title should not be on top of the chart. It should have been placed below the chart.
    2. There is no footnote. It should be included below the lines demarcating the different parts of the figure.
    3. There is no key symbols to clarify points in the table.
    4. There is no lines demarcating the different parts of the figure. It should be included below the figure title.

    Incorrect elements in case 2
    1. There is no percentage. It should be included in diagram. It is more clearly to help the reader understand the information in the content.
    2. The title of the chart should be indicated the contents. The title should be “Students’ Research Method for Conducting the Research Project”.

    Incorrect elements in case 3
    1. There is no legend. It should be included female and male. It should be “Student’s Research Method Preference by Sex”.
    2. There is no footnotes to clarify points in the table and to denote statistical differences among groups in this table.

    Incorrect elements in case 4
    1. There is no figure number in every point. It should be written in the range.
    2. The figure title should have been placed below the chart.

  3. Name : Dewi Natalia P
    SIN : 1112150042

    Incorrect elements in case 1
    1. The figure title should have been placed below the chart.
    2. There is no footnote to clarify points in the table.
    3. There is no line demarcating below the figure title to separate between key symbols and footnotes.

    Incorrect elements in case 2
    1. The title should be “Students’ Research Method for Conducting the Research Project”. It should be indicating the contents.
    2. There is no percentage in the chart. It should be explained clearly. It can help the readers understand about the information in the content.

    Incorrect elements in case 3
    1. There is no legend in the title. It should be included female and male. It should be “Student’s Research Method Preference by Sex”.
    2. There is no footnotes to denote statistical differences among groups in the table and to clarify the points of information in the table.

    Incorrect elements in case 4
    1. The figure title should have been placed below the chart.
    2. The figure numbers should be written in the range. It can help the readers understand about the graph.

    Thank You

  4. Jessica Talentia
    11 121 500 39

    Case 1
    1. Figure title and legend must be put in the figure below.
    2. There is no key to symbols to clear the data information.
    3. It should be put the lines demarcating the different parts of the figure.
    4. The footnotes must be written to explain the words that wasn’t the reader understand yet.

    Case 2
    1. The percentage of every items is needed to help the reader understand pie chart easily.
    2. The title there should be changed to “The Students’ Research Method for Conducting The Research Project (N=60)”

    Case 3
    1. In that title, there is no Legend to specify the object of study. It must be changed to “Table 2. The Students’ Research Method Preference by Sex (Female and Male)”
    2. There is no footnotes to explain the words that the reader wasn’t understand yet.

    Case 4
    1. There is no explanation for the number in the right chart. It must be written “Mean Score” to clear that numbers 40-100.
    2. The figure title should not be on top of the chart. It should have been placed below the chart.

  5. Erika Magdalena Septiana
    1112150901
    Class: BS-B

    Incorrect elements in Case 1:
    1. The figure title should not be on top of the chart. It should be placed below the chart.

    2. There is no Lines demarcating the different parts of the chart. It should be included below the figure title and legend.

    3. There is no footnotes. It should be included below the Lines demarcating the different parts of the chart.

    Incorrect elements in Case 2:
    1. The title of the chart should indicate the contents. It should be improve Students’ Research design for conducting the research project (N =60).

    2. There is no percentages in charts of the pie. It should have been included in order to help the readers can understand the content of the charts.

    Incorrect elements Case 3:
    1. There is no legend. It should be included into table 2. Students’ Research Method Preference by Sex (Famale and Male).

    2. There is no footnotes to used to clarify points in the table, or to convey repetitive information about entries, or to denote statistical differences among groups in table 2.

    Incorrect elements Case 4:
    1. The figure title should not be on top of the chart. It should be placed below the chart.

    2. There is no figure number in every point. It should be written to identify the range of the graph in order to help the readers understand the graph easily.

  6. MELVA MELISA TAMBUNAN
    11. 121. 500. 16
    FKIP BS (A) – 2011

    Incorrect elements in Case 1:
    1. The figure title should not be on the top of the chart. It should have been placed below the chart.
    2. The lines to denote statistical differences among groups in chart is not clear, so, to be more detailed, it should have been placed below chart to separate between key symbols and footnotes.
    3. Points / values of every point of its range should be written. This is to explain more details about the graph.

    Incorrect elements in Case 2:
    1. There is no percentage in the chart. This should be included to indicate the relative proportions and can help the reader to easily understand the content of the chart.
    2. The title of the chart should indicate the contents. It could be “Students’ Research Method for conducting the research project.”

    Incorrect elements in Case 3:
    1. There is no legend in the title. So, it could have been placed at the end of the title. It should be “Table 2 Students’ Method Preference by sex (Male and Female).
    2. There is no footnote to explain more detailed information. It should have been place below the line demarcating the different parts of the table.

    Incorrect elements in Case 4:
    1. The figure title should not be on the top of the chart. It should have been placed below the chart.
    2. There is no number in every point. It could be placed for its range to show the rate of change between two points.

  7. NAME : Rahelia Eta .S
    SRN : 1112150033
    CLASS : BS – B

    Incorrect elements in case 1

    1. The figure title should not be on top of the chart. It should have been placed below the chart.
    2. There is no footnote . It should be included below the lines demarcating the different parts of the figure.
    3. There is no lines demarcating the different parts of the figure. It should be included below the figure title.

    Incorrect elements in case 2

    1. There is no percentage . Percentages should included in the diagram s and the sum of parts adds up to a meaningful whole (100% of something). It can help the reader understand the information in the content
    2. The title of the chart should be indicate the contents. The title should be “Students’ Research Method for Conducting the Research Project”.

    Incorrect elements in case 3

    1. There is no legend. It should be included female and male.
    It should be “Student’s Research Method Preference by Sex”.
    2. There is no footnotes to used to clarify points in the table, or to convey repetitive information about entries, or to denote statistical differences among groups in this table.

    Incorrect elements in case 4

    1. There is no figure number in every point. It should be written to this range.
    2. The figure title should have been placed below the chart.

  8. Here is my answer. Check it out
    Name : desiana sianturi
    SIN : 1112150022

    Incorrect elements in Case 1 :
    The figure title should not be on top of the chart. It should have been placed below the chart.
    There is no Lines of demarcation. Line of demarcation are used to set legend, headers, data, and footnotes apart from one another.
    There is no footnotes below the table to clarify points in the table or to convey repetitive information about entries, or to denote statistical differences among groups.

    Incorrect elements in Case 2 :
    There is no percentage in the pie chart. In the pie chart it should be include percentage to make it easy for the reader to understand the pie chart.
    The title should indicate the contents. It should be “Students Research Method for conducting the research project (N=60)”
    Incorrect elements in Case 3 :
    There is no footnotes below the table to clarify points in the table or to convey repetitive information about entries, or to denote statistical differences among groups.
    There is no Legend in the title of the chart. It should be “Student’s Research Method Preference by Sex (Female and Male)
    Incorrect elements in Case 4:
    The title of the chart it should not on the top of the chart. It should be below of the chart
    There is no number in every point. It should be written to his range.
    Thank you.

  9. Name : Debora Evina Banjarnahor
    NIM : 1112150004
    Class : -A-

    Using Tables and Figures in Scientific Writing
    Thanks Sir ^_^

    Incorrect elements in Case 1:
    1. The figure title must not be on top of the Chart, it should be placed below the chart.
    2. There is no lines demarcating the different parts of the chart. It should be included below the figure title and legend.
    3. There is no lines demarcating the different parts of the figure to separate between key symbols and footnotes.

    Incorrect element in case 2 :
    1. There is no percentage of the chart. The percentage in the pie chart should be included as it will help the reader to understand the content of the chart.
    2. The title of the chart should be indicate the contents. To help the reader get the point of the chart.

    Incorrect element in case 3 :
    1. There is no footnotes to used to clarify points in the table, or to convey repetitive information about entries, or to denote statistical differences among groups in chart.
    2. There is no legend in title. It should be “ Table 2. Students’ Research Method Preference by Sex ( Female and Male )”.

    Incorrect elements in case 4 :
    1. The title should not on the top of the top of the chart. It should have been placed below the Chart.
    2. The figure number in every point should be written to his range, it indicated that more precise values.

  10. Name : Mei Pangaribuan
    SIN : 11 12 15 00 15
    Class : A

    Good night sir, here I send my assignment (Using Tables and Figures in Scientific Writing). Thank you.

    Incorrect elements in Case 1:

    1. The figure title should not be on the top of the chart. It should have been placed below the chart.
    2. There is no lines demarcating the different parts of the figure. It should have been placed below chart to separate between key simbols and footnotes.
    3. There is no footnotes to clarify points table or to denote statistical differences among groups.

    Incorrect elements in Case 2:

    1. The title of the chart should indicate the contents. It should be “ Students’ Research Method for conducting the research project (N =60).”
    2. There is no percentage of the chart to show relative proportions. The percentage of the chart should be included as it will help the reader to understand the content of the chart.

    Incorrect elements in Case 3:

    1. There is no legend in title. It should be “ Table 2 Students’ Method Preference by sex ( Female and Male)”
    2. There is no footnotes to clarify points in the table, or to convey repetitive information about entries, or to denote statistical differences among groups.

    Incorrect elements in Case 4:

    1. The figure title should not be on the top of the chart. It should have been placed below the chart.
    2. There is no number in every point. It should be placed for its range to show the rate of change between two points.

  11. YULIA LESTARI TARIHORAN
    111 21 500 41
    FKIP BS – B

    Incorrect elements Case 1:

    1. The figure title should not be on top of the chart. It should have been placed below the chart.
    2. The Categorical Variables should not be on below Agreement Scale. It should have been placed exact below the Bar (Data).
    3. There is no key to symbols. It should have been placed below the Categorical Variables.
    4. There is no footnotes. It should have been included below the Keys to Symbols and the Lines demarcating the different parts of the figure also should have been included.

    Incorrect elements Case 2:

    1. There is no percentages in the Pie charts. It should have been included in order to help the readers understand the information in the Pie chart.
    2. The title of the chart should be indicating the contents. The title should have been changed into “The Most Preferred Students’ Research Designs of Conducting the Research Project (N=60)”
    3. There is no clear explanation below the Pie Chart. It should have been ncluded clear and brief interpretation below the line chart.

    Incorrect elements Case 3:

    1. There is no footnote to clarify points in the table, or to convey repetitive information about entries, such as place and time the data are surveyed.
    2. There is no Legend in the title. It should have been changed into “ Table 2. Students’ Research Method Preference by Sex (Famale and Male)”

    Incorrect elements Case 4

    1. The figure title should not be on top of the chart. It should have been placed below the chart.
    2. There is no information about the score 40-100. What the numbers mean? It should have been included the word “Mean Score” besides the figure numbers (40-100) in order to help the readers understand the information.
    3. There is no figure number in each graph. The figure number should have been included in each graph in order to help the readers understand the graph’s development easily.

  12. CIANLY SRIWISESA

    1112150047

    Incorrect elements in case 1

    1. The figure title should not be on top of the chart. It should have been placed below the chart.

    2. There is no lines demarcating the different parts of the figure. It should be included below the figure title.

    Incorrect elements in case 2

    1. There is no percentage. It should included in the diagram. It can helpful the reader to understand the diagram in this content.

    2. The title is not suitable with this content. It should be students research method for conducting the research project.

    Incorrect elements in case 3

    1. There is no legend. It should be included female and male.

    2. There is no footnotes to used to clarify points in the table, or to convey repetitive information about entries, or to denote statistical differences among groups in this table.

    Incorrect elements in case 4

    1. The figure title should not be on top of the chart. It should have been placed below the chart.

    2. There is no figure number in every point. It should be written to his range.

  13. Name : Mega Intan Sari
    NIM : 111210012

    Incorrect elements in Case 1:
    1. The figure title should not be on top of the chart. It should have been placed below the chart.
    2. There is no footnotes to used to clarify points in the table, or to convey repetitive information about entries, or to denote statistical differences among groups in chart.
    3. There is no Lines demarcating the different parts of the figure to separate between key symbols and footnotes.

    Incorrect element in case 2 :
    1. There is no percentage of the chart. the percentage in the pie chart should be included as it will help the reader to understand the content of the chart.
    2. The title should indicate the contents. It should be “Students’ Research Method for conducting the research project (N = 60)”

    Incorrect element in case 3 :
    1. There is no footnotes to used to clarify points in the table, or to convey repetitive information about entries, or to denote statistical differences among groups in chart.
    2. There is no Legend in title. It should be “ Table 2. Students’ Research Method Preference by Sex (Famale and Male)”

    Incorrect elements in case 4 :
    1. The figure title should no be on top of the chart. It should have been placed below the chart.
    2. There is no number in every point should be written to his range.

    Thanks 🙂

  14. Name : Tuti Haryati Sihite
    NIM : 1112150044
    class : BS B

    Incorrect elements in Case 1:
    1. The figure tittle should not be on top of the chart. It should have been placed below the chart.
    2. There is no Lines demarcating the different parts of the chart. It should be included below the figure title and legen.
    3. There is no footnotes. It should be included below the Lines demarcating the different parts of the chart.

    Incorrect elements in Case 2:
    1. The title of the chart should be indicate the contents. To help the reader get the point of the chart. so,it should be “Students’ Research Method for conducting the
    research project.
    2. There is no percentage of each part of the chart. The percentages in the pie chart should be included. It will helpful the readers to understand the contents.

    Incorrect elements in Case 3:
    1. there is no legend in the title.it shoul have been placed at the en of the title. It should be “ Table 2. Student’s Research Method Preference by Sex (Famale and Male)”
    2. There is no footnotes to show the detail information about the table. It shoul have been place below the line demarcating the different parts of the table.
    2. The discussion explained about the selection of students how to research using statistical analysis,and the table doesn’t show the statistic.So, the explenations should have explained only about the content of the table.

    Incorrect elements in Case 4:
    1. The figure title should not on the top of the top of the chart. It should have been placed below the cart.
    2. The figure number in every point should be written to his range. It indicated that more precise values.

    1. Hi Tuty I just want to give little correction for your answer above.
      In the Incorrect Elements in Case 2:
      in the sentence “Students’ Research Method for conducting the research project (N=60)”
      pay attention to the use of capital letters
      particularly in writing titles, it should be changed into
      “Students’ Research Method for Conducting the Research Project (N=60)

      Thank you 😉

  15. Hardianti Aprilianing Tias
    11 121 500 49
    BS-B

    Incorrect elements in Case 1:

    1. The figure title should not be on top of the chart. It should have been placed below the chart.

    2. There is no footnote. It should be included in the bottom of the key to symbols and Lines demarcating the different parts of the figure is also should be included.

    3. The number in every point should be written to his range. It indicated that more precise values.

    Incorrect elements in Case 2:

    1. The percentages in the table should be included. It will helpful to understand the contents.

    2. The title should indicate the contents of the table. It should be “Students’ Research Method for conducting the research project (N=60)”

    3. The discussion should be pointed out and discussed how his presentation of the contents of the table has been created.

    Incorrect elements in Case 3:

    1. The Legend of the figure should be included (female and male).

    2. In the discussion explained about the selection of students how to research using statistical analysis, but the table does not show statistics. The discussion should not offend statistic analysis. Discusses the use of methods it is enough.

    Incorrect elements in Case4:

    1. The figure title should not on the top of the top of the chart. It should have been placed below the cart.

    2. The figure number in every point should be written to his range. It indicated that more precise values.

    3. In the discussion of the contents of this table is not in accordance with the table. In the table indicates that peer feedback had the highest score. But in the discussion that has the highest score is the teacher feedback.

    1. Hi Tyas I just want to give little correction for your answer above.
      In the Incorrect Elements in Case 2:
      in the sentence “Students’ Research Method for conducting the research project (N=60)”
      pay attention to the use of capital letters
      particularly in writing titles it should be changed into
      “Students’ Research Method for Conducting the Research Project (N=60)
      Thank you 🙂

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