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Write Like a ChemistA Guide and Resource$
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Marin S Robinson, Fredricka L Stoller, Molly Constanza-Robinson, and James K Jones

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195367423

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780195367423.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 07 December 2021

Formatting Figures, Tables, and Schemes

Formatting Figures, Tables, and Schemes

(p.523) 16 Formatting Figures, Tables, and Schemes
Write Like a Chemist

Marin S Robinson

Fredricka L Stoller

Molly Constanza-Robinson

James K Jones

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on general formatting guidelines for three commonly used graphics in chemistry writing: figures, tables, and schemes. The major purposes and uses for each graphic are described, and common formatting expectations are shared. Before-correction and after-correction examples are used to identify common formatting errors and ways to correct them. Each section of the chapter ends with a table of useful guidelines. By the end of the chapter, you will be able to do the following: ◾ Know when it is appropriate to include a figure, table, or scheme ◾ Recognize common formatting mistakes in figures, tables, and schemes ◾ Format figures, tables, and schemes in appropriate and conventional ways As you work through the chapter, you will format your own graphic, guided by the Formatting on Your Own task at the end of the chapter. Graphics, in combination with the text, allow authors to communicate complex information efficiently. When done properly, text and graphics work together, reinforcing each other without duplicating information. Like the text, graphics must follow formatting conventions. In this chapter, we call your attention to some common formatting practices. Of course, we cannot address all of the formatting practices in chemistry, nor can we anticipate how these conventions will change over time. Thus, use this chapter for basic formatting information and for insights into the many details involved in a properly formatted graphic. As always, consult The ACS Style Guide and your targeted journal’s Information for Authors for more detailed and current information. Authors use figures (e.g., graphs, illustrations, photographs) to display scientific information. Examples of figures are included throughout the textbook, for instance, an ion source (excerpt 3S), a comet assay (excerpt 4E), a chromatogram (excerpt 9F), and an illustration of hydrogel adsorption (excerpt 131). Figures are numbered consecutively throughout a paper (Figure 1, Figure 2, etc.) and mentioned by name and number in text preceding the figure. Although many figure types exist, by far the most common is the graph. Because of their frequency, we devote this section of the chapter solely to formatting graphs; however, the guidelines presented are applicable to many other figure types as well.

Keywords:   Axes, in graphs, Figures, Information for Authors, Legends

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