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Instructions for Written Work

Figures, pictures , tables and formulae

Figures, pictures, tables and formulae help illustrate and liven up texts. They can be used to emphasise the crucial content of the text. When you describe a design process or do picture analyses, drawings, drafts, modellings and photos are essential parts of your report. The information contained in the figures, pictures and tables should be explained in the text as well, with reference to the figure, picture or table in question. The explanation should be an interpretation of the information in the figure, picture or table, and not a mere reiteration of its content.

Colours may be used to enliven the academic text and to highlight its information content. If colours are used, the information conveyed by them must also be intelligible in black and white. Figures and tables can be framed or unframed, but the choice must be consistently applied. 

Remember accessibility when preparing pictures, figures, and tables. The thesis template includes instructions on accessibility.  

If the text includes lots of figures, pictures and tables, we recommended making separate lists of figures, pictures and tables on the contents page. For more information on adding tables, pictures and figures to the table of contents, see section Table of contents.

Figures and pictures
Figures include e.g. line graphs, vertical bar graphs, horizontal bar graphs, and pie graphs. Maps and drawings fall under figures. Photographs should be entitled ‘Picture’; in other words, all illustration examples except tables should be entitled ‘Figure’ or ‘Picture’.

Mention the student’s name in the caption of pictures over which they themselves have copyright. Also add a mention of the CC licence. 

Drawings and photos can be used electronically with the author’s permission or with copyright over the pictorial material (e.g., one’s own photos and drawings, Microsoft program image banks unless used for third party services (e.g. Theseus)). Information is provided on the currently valid Digital Permission of Kopiosto covering scanning and the use of online material, and further information is available on SeAMK’s intranet. However, the Digital Permission of Kopiosto does not allow the copying or scanning of material the copying and use of which the copyright holder has forbidden. The Permission of Kopiosto does not allow open publishing on the Internet (such as theses).  The bibliography of the present instruction includes a few exhaustive online sources about the copyright of figures, pictures, and pictorial collages, etc.  (Art University Copyright Advice, 2012; IPR University Center, n.d.; Toikkanen, 2012). For more information about the rights of use of the databases of the Library, visit e-library (click on the @ icon). 

Pictures can freely be taken from sources clearly indicating they are copyright-free. If there is a mention of a pictorial material having been published with the Creative Commons license, it can usually be used. However, it is advisable to separately check the definition of the CC rights for each case. For more information about the rights granted by the CC license, see Creative Commons Suomi website  and the instruction Creative Commons -lisensointi opinnäytetöissä. 

Pictorial collages consisting of copyright-protected materials usually require the permission of all the copyright holders of its components, work (see the previous paragraph).  

The origin and copyright of a picture can be found out, e.g., using Google’s  reverse image search

For further information about different permissions for the use of pictorial materials, see this catalogue.

Figures and pictures are consecutively numbered and given headings. They are also referenced, unless made by the author, and the source is included in the bibliography. The template style for figure and picture source references is Figure. The caption, or the number and heading of a figure or picture, is written below the figure or picture in question (Figure 1). The running numbering of figures and pictures is easiest to do with the numbering function of the word processor. Pictures and figures are also accompanied by an alternative text. The template includes instructions on the addition of figures and pictures.  


Figures created by the student, based on, e.g., their own data, must be readable independently. The figure is named in a descriptive manner, and the figure caption is not inserted in the figure itself but in the figure title. To be an independently readable entity, the figure must also include a legend indicating, e.g., the units of measurement used and the size of the data. 



Tables are normally used to present information in numerical form, although the information in tables may also be verbal. Tables are consecutively numbered and given a heading.

The table caption (heading and references) can be added using the specific function of the word processor. The table caption goes above the table. Tables are also referenced, unless made by the author. The template style for the source of a table is TableCaption. Tables, too, are accompanied by an alternative text.  





The same information can often be illustrated using either a figure or a table. Choose carefully between them. The headings of figures and tables should be written in such a way that readers can understand their content without having to read the actual text first.



Formulae should be numbered using their own consecutive numbering from the beginning to the end of the report. Give the number of the formula in brackets on the right of the formula. Formulae and explanatory symbols are indented in such a way that all the formulae and the list of the explanatory symbols start from the same position. Formulae are written using the Formula style. The following example illustrates the positioning of a formula in the text.

The snow load of a roof (s) is defined with the following formula (Finnish Standard Association, 2015, p. 28):



µi      is the form factor of the snow load
 is the characteristic value of snow load on ground
is the wind protection factor (1.0 or 0.8)
Ct    is the heat transfer coefficient, the value of which is usually 1.0


In the text, the above formula is referred to as follows: The snow load of a roof is calculated with formula (1), where...


Chemical reactions are also presented as intented and numbered. In the numbering of reaction equations, the letter R is used in addition to the usual numbers, e.g. R1, R2, R3.  

Accessibility Statement