Issue For August 7, 2006
Writing Question of the Week
This is usually a question submitted by an OWL user to the OWL Tutors. If you have a question you need answered quickly, ask one of our OWL Tutors or call the Writing Lab's Grammar Hotline at 765-494-3723. And remember, both services are free for everyone!
What is the difference between a Table and a Figure in a paper? In additon, when using APA style, do either tables or figures need to appear on a separate page? If so, should the text that refers to the table or figure appear before or after the separate page?--John
In APA, visuals fall into two categories: tables and figures. In other words, anything other than a table, for example, a bar graph, an organization chart, a photograph, a pie chart, these are all figures. It's up to you where you want to place your tables and figures, as part of the text or at the very end in appendices. A general rule of thumb is that if the table or figure provides essential information (for example, a table that summarizes demographics of your research participants or a pie chart that represents a major finding in your research) it should be close to the text that accompanies it. It doesn't matter if it comes before the accompanying text or after, so long as you have some kind of textual cue that refers your readers to the right table or figure. For example, when reporting on a major finding, you may say, "As Figure 5 suggests, 80 per cent of the respondents to the survey are having problems with this new technology..." You would, of course, need to label Figure 5. See the APA Publication Manual (5th ed.) pp. 147-175 for information about Tables, and pp. 176-201 for information about Figures.
Hope this helps.--OWL Tutor
The OWL Help Nest
Each week we publish Purdue OWL News readers' requests for advice or information and the responses from other Purdue OWL News readers.
I edit engineering documents and often find people writing, "The purpose of this section is to create a basis of comparison to future conditions." To me, this seems wrong on two accounts, but I am not sure. First, I think it should read "base" rather than basis. However, I can't seem to find any information about the proper usage of these words. Second, I think it should read "for comparison" rather than "of comparison." But again, I am unsure. My rewrite of the sentence would read, "The purpose of this section is to create a base for comparison to future conditions." Does anyone know which is more correct and why? --Danica Rhoades, Boise, Idaho
When I edit, I challenge myself to reduce the initial word count by ten percent. I would rewrite the sentence for wordiness. "This section defines a standard for future comparisons."--Ezra Adams, Episcopal Day School
Why are some items referred to in the plural when they are actually singular? For instance, "a pair of jeans." You can only wear one at a time. When purchasing the item there is no requirement to purchase them in pairs. --Ed Hanson
English uses the plural with "pair" for a number of things whose most striking feature is two identical, connected halves, like pants, tights, jeans, glasses, binoculars. --Tamara
Next Week's Questions
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What's Happening on the OWL at Purdue
- OWL Eye On...OWL Search. OWL users will be happy to know that a search bar has been added for OWL at http://owl.english.purdue.edu/. While this makes use of Google's index of the OWL, we think it will help you find what you're looking for quickly. Eventually, this will be replaced with a powerful, on-database search.
What's Happening in the Writing Lab
- OWL Eye On...Writing Lab Closed Until August 21. The Writing Lab will be closed until August 21, the first day of fall classes at Purdue. Everyone enjoy the rest of the summer!
This week's OWL News was edited by Karl Stolley, OWL Webmaster.