Formatting tables and figures

  • Tables need to be formatted yourself, e.g., in Word or Excel, or Latex (put differently, do not merely paste the output from your statistical program in the main text - these are often too elaborate, or do not efficiently combine the results of multiple models)
    • Statistical packages like R have fantastic packages (e.g., stargazer), which allow you to generate publication-ready HTML or Latex tables that you can include in your manuscripts.
    • The same holds for figures; the R package ggplot2 is recommended, but also R’s regular plotting functionality is great.
  • Tables and figures should be understandable without reading the corresponding sections in the manuscript
    • Use a clear title: easy to understand, and comprehensive (e.g., summarize the main point in the title (e.g., “X increases Y”), rather than using generic titles (“Results”).
    • Provide comprehensive table notes wherever necessary.
    • Use clear labels, e.g., for variables
  • Note that you can also combine tables into larger ones, and thereby save space (e.g., tables with the same explanatory variables but different coefficients)
  • Avoid colors, also in figures. Most readers will print your thesis in greyscale.