In following APA style, I put my tables and figures at the end of the paper, after the references. For example, here they explicitly say to put them at the end.

One of my committee members told me that this was incorrect and that she "didn't even bother looking" at my tables and figures. In retrospect, I didn't include a list of them in the table of contents. But as far as I can tell, the placement is still correct: I've seen people insert tables and figures in-text in theses, but this is seemingly not what you're supposed to do according to the APA manual. I've tried to see if different rules apply somehow to a dissertation and haven't found anything official. There are also no guidelines specific to tables and figures at my university.

Am I wrong here? If so, please refer me to some concrete source I can use for the future! And if not, how am I supposed to submit it without correcting my committee member?

  • At my university, we have students place figures and tables in the body of their document or in appendices. Our formatting guidelines also trump whatever style guide they're using. See if your university has a formatting manual of sorts - you should talk to the appropriate office. Commented Jul 12, 2017 at 4:23

2 Answers 2


If you are submitting a manuscript to a journal using APA style, then you typically put tables and figures at the end of the manuscript.

If you are using APA style to guide your thesis, then tables and figures will almost always go in the body where they are presented in text.

APA style is principally a guide for manuscript submission.

If you are using it to develop your own formatted document (e.g., a thesis), then you need to adapt it. In general, you should read any specific guidelines for thesis formatting provided by your institution. After that, it can be helpful to examine several examples of theses, ideally at your own institution.

  • Thanks, I suppose I will just move them. Unfortunately there were no specific guidelines regarding the images, or even things like what to include in the table of contents. The guidelines just deferred to respective styles, except for the pagination. Someone from the department showed me theirs and it was just in APA style as usual. I guess that's just how it goes.
    – user69940
    Commented Jul 12, 2017 at 4:52

Thanks for the responses. Just to clarify, I did end up checking back with the department office again to probe in case I missed something, and there were no other guidelines other than the generic ones I initially used.

Perhaps some elements of the formatting for theses are fairly common and thus what my committee member was expecting, but there was nothing from the department or the college that spoke to such things. The guidelines are actually really loose and only define how to structure the page margins, numbering, and to not include running heads. Everything else just defers to respective writing styles.

Honestly while I understand the expectation there, I was kind of annoyed to be accused of being careless when I just followed the institutional guidelines. I suppose at the end of the day it was a kind of departmental deficiency. I will keep it in mind though for the future, thanks.

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