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AMA Help (11th Edition)

AMA: Tables and Figures

Information on this handout is summarized from the AMA Manual of Style (American Medical Association [AMA], 2007). Examples are fictional in content. 



  • Use tables to demonstrate relationships among data and other types of information.
  • Tables should be used to to convey large amounts of data in a scientific manuscript.  Text is preferred if the information can be presented concisely.  
  • In text, refer to every table. 
    • eg. "As shown in Table 2, the..."
    • eg. "(see Table 2)."
  • Tables should be numbered consecutively according to the order in which they are mentioned in the text.
  • Be consistent in the formatting and vocabulary of all tables when writing a paper.

Table Example


See Table I as a guide to the formatting of a table.  This table is an example from the AMA Manual of Syle (AMA, 2007, pg. 83).  

[Click on the table to view full-size]




  • A figure is any type of illustration other than a table (chart, graph, photograph, or drawing).
  • Use figures to complement information in text or to simplify text.
  • Number figures in the order they are first mentioned in text.  DO NOT write "the figure above" or "the figure below."
  • Figures should be large enough to read easily (between 8 point and 14 point font with sans serif typeface) and convey only essential information.  

Figure Example


The following figure and note are each adapted from the AMA Manual of Style (AMA, 2007, pg. 99).

[Click on the figure to view full-size]




Placement of Tables and Figures

According to the AMA Guide (AMA, 2007, pg. 82), tables and figures should have a title, be numbered consecutively as referred to in the text, and should be positioned as close as possible to its first mention in the text.  References to figures should include their respective numbers.  For example:

Patient participation and progress through the study are shown in Figure 1. 


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