1.7: Tables and Illustrations
Place tables and illustrations as close as possible to the parts of the text to which they relate. A table is usually labeled Table, given an arabic numeral, and titled. Type both the label and title flush left on separate lines above the table, and capitalize them as titles (do not use all capital letters). Place the source of the table and any notes in a caption immediately below the table. To avoid confusion between notes to the text and notes to the table, designate notes to the table with lowercase letters rather than with numerals. Double-space throughout; use dividing lines as needed (fig. 1.5).
Any other type of illustrative visual material—for example, a photograph, map, line drawing, graph, or chart—should be labeled Figure (usually abbreviated Fig.), assigned an arabic numeral, and given a caption.
A label and caption ordinarily appear directly below the illustration and have the same one-inch margins as the text of the paper. If the caption of a table or illustration provides complete information about the source and the source is not cited in the text, no entry is needed for the source in the works-cited list. If you provide full bibliographic details in a caption, punctuate the caption like a works-cited-list entry but do not invert the name of the author or artist that appears at the beginning of the caption (fig. 1.6). Otherwise, use commas to separate elements in a caption and provide full publication details in the works-cited list (fig. 1.7).
Musical illustrations are labeled Example (usually abbreviated Ex.), assigned an arabic numeral, and given a caption. A label and caption ordinarily appear directly below the example and have the same one-inch margins as the text of the paper (fig. 1.8).
Although research papers and manuscripts are generally composed in portrait orientation (where the height of the pages is greater than their width), occasionally you may need to include a table or illustration that, for readability, requires landscape orientation (where the width of the pages is greater than their height). To minimize the disruption for readers, avoid alternating between the two orientations when possible; instead, group together figures that appear in landscape orientation (for instance, at the end of your paper).
Punctuation of works-cited-list entries: 5.120.
Students: Submit your research paper written in MLA style for publication in “Writing with MLA Style,” a collection of student essays to appear online. Submissions are due 2 February.