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Quick guide to better tables in your science PhD thesis or journal manuscript

Tables are a crucial part of your manuscript and thesis as they hold so much information.

It's really important to take the time to format your tables correctly and make sure the data is complete and understandable. 

I like to think of the 'one-page rule' when considering if my table is complete. 

Ask yourself: If I printed out my table, along with the title and table footnotes, could a good undergrad/MSc student working in my lab understand what I did?  (without seeing the rest of the manuscript).

This doesn't mean you need to include all the methods and literally everything you did, but - at a minimum - the groups, sample sizes and type of analysis should be clearly indicated.

Above, I've posted a quick guide to the most common errors I see in tables, so you can avoid these same mistakes in your thesis or manuscript.

If you need more help, then click the green area on the right of this page to join our free workshop and learn how to write polished figure and table titles!


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Simple, bite-sized tips from an English scientific editor, delivered as short videos you can watch in less time than it takes to drink a coffee.

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