When you are penning down the dissertation, it is important for you to choose the best way to convey your idea to your target audience, especially if you are intending to use data in the form of tables, graphs, or images that assist you in constructing and supporting your argument.
Most often, data summaries take the form of tables or figures. As a good rule of thumb if you can present your results in a clear and crisp manner in a sentence or two, you need not include table or figure. However, if the data is too huge or complicated to be described in a couple of sentences, then it is advisable to use figures and tables. This is so because, these elements can convey huge amounts of information without cluttering up the text and also serve as quick references for your reader (only if included in a right way).
Guidelines to include figures and tables
Figures are of two forms: graphs and images. Images or diagrams are normally used to explain concepts or theories, on the other hand, graphs are used to present the data in a form that is easy for the target audience to understand. However, It is important to note that the figures are not a replacement for text. You must still explain theories, concepts and explain your data in text. The figures are used only to help the reader to understand what has been written pertaining to the data.
Figures serve a purpose. If you are including them only to enhance the look of your dissertation, then incorporating them is not a good idea. Rather than improving the look, they will create confusion among your readers and divert them away from the crucial concepts.
Figures must be titled appropriately and be numbered consecutively throughout the dissertation. After the numbering, include a short and concise title below the figure itself. When figures are used they must be referred to the text. For e.g., “Gravitational force at different points are presented in figure 1” or “Gravitational force at different points (figure 1).
Tables are typically used to present information of your research findings. Presenting raw data in the result section is not advisable. This is because the information can be meaningless or hard to extract. This is when including table comes into the picture. A table presents the summary of your data and should include the mean, standard deviation and sample size statistics. Note that the title and the table number must appear above the table (unlike for figures). Tables must be clearly formatted, with the minimum number of vertical and horizontal lines to separate significant elements. If a table spans multiple pages, the word appears on the last line of the table before the break appears on each page where a break occurs. However, if you haven’t included the table number in a consecutive manner, take help from proofreaders offering dissertation proofreading service in Canada and get it refined.
In addition to the above mentioned guidelines, do not forget to follow guidelines set by your university while implementing tables and figures.
If at any stage you need some help in ensuring that the title included above/below table/figure describes them in the right manner, do not hesitate to consult proofreaders providing dissertation proofreading service in Canada.