A table is a visual representation comprising of cells arranged in rows and columns, which serves to organise data in an organised manner. Experimental data are often presented in tables, as it provides a convenient and systematic way to note down the data.
The following guidelines should be remembered when constructing tables:
- put headings at the top with data in columns, as opposed to side headings with data in rows;
- box in all headings and tabulations by ruled horizontal and/or vertical lines;
- tabulate in ascending or descending order of the independent variable. For example, when measuring concentration as a function of time, time is the independent variable since the time at which readings are taken is chosen by the experimenter;
- vertically align decimal points in each column. This advice can be extended to include values without decimal points, where powers of 10 should be vertically aligned, as in the worked example; and
- round figures to the same number of decimal places or significant figures.