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CMS Format: Tables and Figures

CMS Format

CMS refers to a research format described in the Chicago Manual of Style. This format is often used for history, philosophy and religion papers; instructors in other disciplines may also prefer CMS format.

Tables and Figures

Tables present numeric or verbal information in columns and rows. Figures are other images, such as charts, graphs, diagrams, photographs, maps, etc.

  • Place tables and figures immediately after the first paragraph in which they are mentioned if there is room; otherwise, they may be placed on the next page.
  • When referring to tables and figures in the text, use the number, not wording such as "as shown in the table below."
  • Acknowledge sources in notes immediately below the table or figure.
  • Unless the same sources are cited elsewhere in the paper, they need not be included in the Bibliography.

Format for Tables:

  • Place table number and title above the table at the left margin, with a full-width horizontal rule below.
  • Use sentence-style capitalization for the title.
  • Place source citations under the table as follows:
    • Insert a blank line between table and citation
    • Align citation with left margin and use single spacing
    • Place the word Source in italics, followed by a colon, followed by source information, including:
      • The words "Data from" or "Adapted from"
      • The author's full name
      • The title of the source
      • Publication information
      • Location
  • Place explanatory notes (if any) on a new line after source identification

Format for Figures:

Place figure number and caption below the figure, aligned with left margin, as follows:

  • Place the word Figure in Roman type, followed by the number and a period
  • Write the caption using sentence-style capitalization
  • Separate caption and source with a period
  • Begin source line with appropriate wording such as Data from, Photograph by, etc., and include source information as above

Exception: For musical scores, the figure number and caption appear above the figure.


Sample Tables and Figures