Avoid instructions such as "See Table 2" and "Refer to Figure 6"

Reading time
1 mins
Avoid instructions such as "See Table 2" and "Refer to Figure 6"

The use of figures and tables as adjuncts to text is common in research papers. These adjuncts supplement the text: figures, for example, can convey information that may be impossible to convey through words, and tables can present data more efficiently than text. Readers of research papers know this. In fact, in leafing through a document, readers often stop at tables or figures to get a sense of what the document is about.

Figures, tables, appendixes, and similar adjuncts are numbered and referred to in the accompanying text by their numbers; readers are familiar with this convention and do not need to be specifically asked to consult such adjuncts through explicit instructions. Authors are well-advised to refer to the table or the figure when the relevant finding is mentioned, as in "Seeds germinated faster when incubated at temperatures higher than 25 °C (Table 2)" or "One of the adverse side effect of the drug was skin rash (Figure 6)" and leave the rest to the reader rather than employ such expressions as ""See Table 2," "Refer to Figure 6," and "Turn to Appendix A."

Be the first to clap

for this article

Published on: Jan 23, 2014

Communicator, Published Author, BELS-certified editor with Diplomate status.
See more from Yateendra Joshi


You're looking to give wings to your academic career and publication journey. We like that!

Why don't we give you complete access! Create a free account and get unlimited access to all resources & a vibrant researcher community.

One click sign-in with your social accounts

1536 visitors saw this today and 1210 signed up.