Formatting Tables

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| By Sarah Cook
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Sarah Cook
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Formatting Tables - Quiz

Test your understanding of the APA Style rules on tables by working through this short exercise. Each question provides the correct answer, and you'll also be able to see all the correct answers at the end of the exercise.
For more information on formatting tables, please see pages 125-150 in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (2010) (hereafter referred to as the APA manual). Please also see Table Tips from the APA Style Blog.


Questions and Answers
  • 1. 

    Why should an author use a table in an academic essay or thesis?

    • A.

      To repeat and therefore emphasize information explained within the discussion

    • B.

      To provide supplemental information to the discussion i.e., information that isn't critical to the discussion but that may be of interest to the reader

    • C.

      To provide, contrast, or compare data that is more easily understood in table form than via expression in the text

    • D.

      To add an illustration to the document

    Correct Answer
    C. To provide, contrast, or compare data that is more easily understood in table form than via expression in the text
    Explanation
    An author may use a table in an academic essay or thesis to provide, contrast, or compare data that is more easily understood in table form than via expression in the text. Tables can present complex data in a clear and organized manner, allowing readers to quickly grasp the information being presented. By using a table, the author can effectively highlight key points, trends, or patterns in the data, enhancing the overall understanding and impact of the essay or thesis.

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  • 2. 

    What information should appear directly above the table?

    • A.

      No information is required

    • B.

      Table number and title

    • C.

      Table caption

    • D.

      Table reference

    Correct Answer
    B. Table number and title
    Explanation
    See the example on page 129 in the APA manual for more information.

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  • 3. 

    The table number: 

    • A.

      Can include suffix letters to show relationships between tables e.g., Table 1a, Table 1b

    • B.

      Should not include suffix letters. Instead, number all tables with Arabic numerals in the order they are first mentioned in the text e.g., : Table 1, Table 2

    • C.

      Should be in the same font as the rest of the text but should be italicized 

    • D.

      Should be in a larger font e.g., Times New Roman, 14 pt but not italicized

    Correct Answer
    B. Should not include suffix letters. Instead, number all tables with Arabic numerals in the order they are first mentioned in the text e.g., : Table 1, Table 2
    Explanation
    The table number should be in the same font as the rest of the document (e.g., Times New Roman, 12 pt), and should not have any additional formatting. No suffix letters should be used. Tables included in appendices should be numbered using the appendix letter and an Arabic number e.g., Table A2 is the second table in Appendix A. See page 128 in the APA manual for more information.

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  • 4. 

    The table title, which appears above the table, should be:

    • A.

      In sentence case and italicized

    • B.

      In sentence case but no italics

    • C.

      In title case but no italics

    • D.

      In title case and italicized

    Correct Answer
    D. In title case and italicized
    Explanation
    The table title should be in title case and italicized. This means that the first letter of each major word in the title should be capitalized, and the title should be formatted in italics. This helps to distinguish the table title from the rest of the text and makes it stand out.

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  • 5. 

    Within a table, the line-spacing should be:

    • A.

      Either single- or double-spaced, depending on what makes the text most readable

    • B.

      Single-spaced

    • C.

      Double-spaced

    Correct Answer
    A. Either single- or double-spaced, depending on what makes the text most readable
    Explanation
    The line-spacing within a table should be either single- or double-spaced, depending on what makes the text most readable. This means that the spacing can be adjusted based on the content and layout of the table to ensure that it is easy to read and understand. It allows for flexibility in choosing the appropriate line-spacing to enhance readability.

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  • 6. 

    Every cell in the table should have a full border so that every vertical and horizontal line appears in the table.

    • A.

      True. Lines help readers understand relationships between data.

    • B.

      False. Lines should be restricted to those needed for clarity. Spacing between columns and rows, and/or alignment of data demonstrates relationships, not lines.

    Correct Answer
    B. False. Lines should be restricted to those needed for clarity. Spacing between columns and rows, and/or alignment of data demonstrates relationships, not lines.
    Explanation
    See page 141 in the APA manual. Also, please see the sample tables in Chapter 5 of the manual; in particular, please note that none of the tables use vertical lines or cell borders.

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  • 7. 

    What information can appear in the table note, which appears beneath the table? Choose all that apply.

    • A.

      A general note, which explains the table and any abbreviations or symbols.

    • B.

      A specific note, which explains a particular section of the table.

    • C.

      A probability note, which explains how abbreviations and symbols have been used to "indicate p values and thus the results of tests of statistical hypothesis testing" (American Psychological Association, 2010, p. 139).

    • D.

      If the table was first published elsewhere (i.e., the table isn't the author's original work), the reference for the table appears in the general note. In a thesis or major project, authors must obtain written copyright permission from the original author to use previously-published illustrations, and copyright permission statements should also appear in the note.

    Correct Answer(s)
    A. A general note, which explains the table and any abbreviations or symbols.
    B. A specific note, which explains a particular section of the table.
    C. A probability note, which explains how abbreviations and symbols have been used to "indicate p values and thus the results of tests of statistical hypothesis testing" (American Psychological Association, 2010, p. 139).
    D. If the table was first published elsewhere (i.e., the table isn't the author's original work), the reference for the table appears in the general note. In a thesis or major project, authors must obtain written copyright permission from the original author to use previously-published illustrations, and copyright permission statements should also appear in the note.
    Explanation
    Please see pages 138-141 for more information on table notes. Please also see the table notes in Chapter 5 of the APA manual for more examples and sample wording. For sample wording to acknowledge that copyright permission has been granted, see the figure caption on page 158 in the APA manual.

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  • 8. 

    If the document uses portrait page orientation, but an author wants to change the orientation for a table:

    • A.

      Tables must follow the same page orientation as the rest of the document and may appear on a larger page (e.g., 8.5"x14").

    • B.

      Tables may have a landscape page orientation, but the page should be the same size as the rest of the document (e.g., 8.5"x11").

    Correct Answer
    B. Tables may have a landscape page orientation, but the page should be the same size as the rest of the document (e.g., 8.5"x11").
    Explanation
    When deciding between using portrait or landscape page orientation for tables, please consider what will make it easiest for the reader to read the table. For example, portrait page orientation is easiest for people reading documents on a computer versus in print.

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  • 9. 

    To fit a table on one page, it is acceptable to shrink the page margins.

    • A.

      True

    • B.

      False

    Correct Answer
    B. False
    Explanation
    Page margins should be consistent throughout the document. Unless you've been directed otherwise by your instructor, provide one inch (2.5 cm) margins on all sides of the document.

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  • 10. 

    When referring to a table in-text, direct the reader to the table by referring to:

    • A.

      The appropriate page number: "As shown in the table on page 10".

    • B.

      The table title: "As shown in the table titled Word Table Example"

    • C.

      The table number: "As shown in Table 2".

    Correct Answer
    C. The table number: "As shown in Table 2".
    Explanation
    Please see page 130 in the APA manual for more information. Avoid using page numbers to direct readers to a table because the page numbering could change during the development or publication of the document.

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  • Current Version
  • May 08, 2023
    Quiz Edited by
    ProProfs Editorial Team
  • Dec 12, 2014
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    Sarah Cook
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