Social Sciences: Tables, Figures and Other Graphics

For the proper preparation of Tables and Figures in Social Sciences, please consult the most recent edition of the Chicago Manual of Style (CMS).

  • You can also access an online version of CMS through the Harvard's HOLLIS portal (Harvard Online Library Information System)

The CMS has close to 20 types of tables - and almost as many figure types.

  • Each of the examples it gives may be typical for that type of table or figure, but there is no one typical type of table or figure that applies to every situation

Here are some highlights from the Chicago Manual of Style in regard to preparation of tables:

  • No single table should be considered a prototype - each represents a pattern and may be adapted
  • Tables should be carefully designed and constructed with care
  • Each table should be simple and understandable - all readers should be able to comprehend the details
  • Text should highlight & summarize the underlying message - it should not duplicate details from the table/figure

For further advice on table preparation, consult the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.