Figures, tables, and footnotes

In a manuscript submitted for publication, figures, tables, and footnotes are placed at the end of the manuscript. In theses and dissertations, such material usually appears at the appropriate point in the text.


  • Number tables consecutively as they appear in your text. Use only whole numbers.
  • Place tables close to where they are first mentioned in your text, but do not split a table across pages.
  • Label each table beginning with the table number followed by a description.
  • Each row and column must have a heading. Abbreviations and symbols (e.g., "%" or "nos.") may be used.
  • Do not change the number of decimal places or the units of measurement within a column.
  • Use a zero before the decimal point when numbers are less than one; e.g., write "0.23" not ".23" unless the number is a statistic that cannot be larger than one.
  • Notes may be added to explain the table contents. These may be general notes or footnotes. The latter are labeled "a, b, c, etc."
  • You may use both single space and double space within a table to achieve clarity.


  • Explain what an abbreviation means the first time it occurs.
  • If an abbreviation is commonly used as a word, it does not require explanation (e.g., IQ, LSD, REM, ESP).
  • Do not use periods within degree titles and organization titles (PhD, APA).
  • Do not use periods within measurements (lb, ft, s) except inches (in.).
  • Use s for second, m for meter.
  • To form plurals of abbreviations, add s alone, without apostrophe (PhDs, IQs, vols., Eds).
  • In using standard abbreviations for measurements, like m for meter, do not add an s to make it plural (100 seconds is 100 s); when referring to several pages in a reference or citation, use the abbreviation pp. (with a period after it and a space after the period).
  • The following abbreviations should NOT be used outside parenthetical comments:
e.g. [use for example]

etc. [use and so forth]
i.e. [use that is]
vs. [use versus]

Referring to another idea or study

For example:

Jones (1998) compared student performance...

In a recent study of student performance (Jones, 1998),...

In 1998, Jones compared student performance...

  • Every source cited in your text -- and only those sources cited in your text -- are referenced in the reference list.
  • If you are referring to an idea from another work but NOT directly quoting the material, or making reference to an entire book, article or other work, you only have to make reference to the author and year of publication in your in-text reference. If you are paraphrasing an idea from another work, you only have to make reference to the author and year of publication in your in-text reference. If you are directly quoting from a work, you need to include the author, year of publication, and the page number for the reference.

Use the author-date format to cite references in text. For example:

  • as Smith (1990) points out,...
    a recent study (Smith, 1990) shows...
  • For two-author citations, spell out both authors on all occurrences.
  • For multiple-author citations (up to five authors) name all authors the first time, then use et al., so the first time it is Smith, Jones, Pearson and Sherwin (1990), but the second time it is Smith et al., with a period after "al" but no underlining.
  • Include a page reference after the year, outside quotes. For example: The author stated, "The effect disappeared within minutes" (Lopez, 1993, p. 311), but she did not say which effect; Lopez found that "the effect disappeared within minutes" (p. 311).
  • If two or more multiple-author references are shortened to the same "et al." form, making it ambiguous, give as many author names as necessary to make them distinct, before et al. For example: (Smith, Jones, et al., 1991) to distinguish it from (Smith, Burke, et al., 1991).
  • Join names in a multiple-author citation with "and" (in text) or an ampersand (&) in reference lists and parenthetical comments. For example: As Smith and Sarason (1990) point out, the same argument was made by in an earlier study (Smith & Sarason, 1990).
  • If a group is readily identified by its initials, spell it out only the first time. For example, "As reported in a government study (National Institute of Mental Health [NIMH], 1991), blah blah . . . " and thereafter, "The previously cited study (NIMH, 1991) found that . . .
  • If citing multiple works by the same author at the same time, arrange dates in order. In general, use letters after years to distinguish multiple publications by the same author in the same year. For example: Several studies (Johnson, 1988, 1990a, 1990b, 1995 in press-a, 1995 in press-b) showed the same thing.
  • For old works, cite the translation or the original and modern copyright dates if both are known, for example: (Aristotle, trans. 1931) or (James, 1890/1983).
  • Always give page numbers for quotations, for example: (Cheek & Buss, 1981, p. 332) or (Shimamura, 1989, chap. 3, p. 5).
  • For e-mail and other "unrecoverable data" use personal communication, for example: (V.G. Nguyen, personal communication, September 28, 2011). These do not appear in the reference list.
  • For quoting electronic documents without page numbers, cite paragraph numbers if given, indicated by the paragraph symbol or the abbreviation "para." in the citation (e.g., Smith, 2000, 17). If there are no paragraph numbers, cite the nearest preceding section heading and count paragraphs from there (e.g., Smith, 2000, Method section, para. 4).

Short Quotations

To indicate quotations of fewer than 40 words in your text, enclose the quotation within double quotation marks. Provide the author, year, and specific page citation in the text, and include a complete reference in the reference list. Punctuation marks, such as periods, commas, and semicolons, should appear after the parenthetical citation. Question marks and exclamation points should appear within the quotation marks if they are a part of the quotation but after the parenthetical citation if they are a part of your text.


She stated, "Students often had difficulty using the APA style" (Jones, 1998, p. 199), but she did not offer an explanation.

According to Jones (1998), "Students often had difficulties using the APA style, especially when it was their first time" (p. 199).
  • Add emphasis in a quotation with italics, immediately followed by the words [italics added] in brackets.
  • Expand or clarify words or meanings in a quotation by placing the added material in quotes. For example, "They [the Irish Republican Army] initiated a cease-fire."
  • Use three dots with a space before, between, and after each (ellipsis points). Do not use dots at the beginning or end of a quotation unless it is important to indicate the quotation begins or ends in mid-sentence.

Long Quotations (block quotes)

Place quotations longer than 40 words in a free-standing block of text, and omit quotation marks. Start the block quotation on a new line, indented 1.27 cm from the left margin.

  • Double-space the whole block. At the end of the block, provide author, year, and page citation.

According to Jones (1993):

  • Students often had difficulty using the APA style,
    especially when it was their first time citing sources.
    This difficulty could be attributed to the fact that many
    students failed to purchase a style manual or to ask
    their teacher for help. (p. 199)


  • Do not use "and/or." Write things out. For example, "Monday, Tuesday, or both" is preferable to "Monday and/or Tuesday."
  • Use parentheses to introduce an abbreviation, for example, the galvanic skin response (GSR).
  • Spell out common fractions and common expressions (e.g., one-half).
  • Use numerals for numbers 10 and above, or for lower numbers when they are grouped with numbers 10 and above (e.g., from 6 to 12 hours of sleep).
  • To make plurals out of numbers, add s only, with no apostrophe (e.g., the 1950s).
  • Use combinations of written and Arabic numerals for back-to-back modifiers (five 4-point scales).
  • Use combinations of numerals and written numbers for large sums (e.g., over 3 million people).
  • Use numerals for exact statistical references, scores, sample sizes, and sums (i.e., multiplied by 3, or 5% of the sample). Here is another example: "We used 30 subjects, all two year olds, and they spent an average of 1 hr 20 min per day crying.
  • Use metric abbreviations with figures (e.g., 4 km) but not when written out (e.g., many meters distant).
  • Use the percent symbol (%) only with figures (5%) not with written numbers (i.e., five percent).


  • Capitalize formal names of tests (Stroop Color-Word Interference Test).
  • Capitalize major words and all other words of four letters or more, in headings, titles, and subtitles outside reference lists, for example, "A Study of No-Win Strategies."
  • Capitalize names of conditions, groups, effects, and variables only when definite and specific. (Group A was the control group; an Age x Weight interaction showed lower weight with age.)
  • Capitalize specific course and department titles (GSU Department of Psychology, Psych 150), but do not capitalize when referring to generalities (any department, any introductory course).
  • Do not capitalize generic names of tests (Stroop color test). "Stroop" is a name, so it remains capitalized.
  • Do not capitalize names of laws, theories, and hypotheses (the law of effect).


  • Do not use commas to separate parts of measurement (9 lbs 5 oz). Use the metric system, as a rule.
  • Use commas before "and" in lists, for example, height, width, and depth.
  • Use commas between groups of three digits, for example, 1,453.
  • Use commas to set off a reference in a parenthetical comment (Patrick, 1993).
  • Use commas for seriation within a paragraph or sentence. For example, "three choices are (a) true, (b) false, and (c) don't know." Use semicolons for seriation if there are commas within the items. For example, (a) here, in the middle of the item, there are commas; (b) here there are not; (c) so we use semicolons throughout.
  • Use commas in exact dates, for example, April 18, 1992 (but not in April 1992).


  • Do not hyphenate -ly and superlative words (e.g., widely used test, best informed students).
  • Do not hyphenate common prefixes (posttest, prewar, multiphase, nonsignificant) unless needed for clarity (e.g., pre-existing).
  • Do not hyphenate foreign, letter, numeral terms (a priori hypothesis, Type A behavior) when the meaning is clear without it (e.g., least squares solution, heart rate scores).
  • Hyphenate adjectival phrases (role-playing technique, high-anxiety group, two-way analysis).
  • Hyphenate compound adjectives preceding nouns (client-centered therapy, t-test scores).
  • Hyphenate if the base is an abbreviation or compounded (pre-UCS, non-college bound).
  • Hyphenate if the base word is capitalized or a number (pre-Freudian, post-1960).
  • Hyphenate if the words could be misunderstood without a hyphen (re-pair, un-ionized, co-worker).


  • Do not italicize common foreign abbreviations (e.g., vice versa, et al., a priori).
  • Do not italicize or underline for mere emphasis.
  • Italicize the titles of books and articles, species names, introduction of new terms and labels (the first time only), words and phrases used as linguistic examples, letters used as statistical symbols, and volume numbers in reference lists.