One of the most popular forms of displaying information in a report is through the form of tables. There are many students who love tables, love the simplicity that it offers and insert it in their report at every opportunity they get. This is especially true if they are working with a lot of data, and a lot of numbers. They find it easy to put all the numbers in a table, and rather than explain what the meaning behind all the data is, they prefer to let the table speak for itself.
But this is not always a good idea. Sometimes having a table in the report can be counterproductive. Rather than add to the content, it can distract the reader from the actual meaning behind what the writer has written. Therefore, before using a table the students should ask themselves some questions.
The most important question that they should be asking themselves is if the table is necessary. If they can write the content rather than use a table then they should go for the writing option. The second factor that they should consider is if all the comparable tables are presented in the same uniform style. Readers would like to compare the data shown in different tables. If the tables are structured differently, they would struggle to make the comparisons. That is why there should be uniformity in the size of the tables, the fonts of the words and the presentation of the numbers.
There should also be some written content presented leading up to the table. If the writers simply were to show the table, the readers will not understand what it is. That is why they should give ample explanations, and then use the table only as assistance to what they have written.