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APA Help (7th Edition)

Figures and Images

Figures

  • A figure is any type of illustration or nontextual depiction of information other than a table (chart, graph, map, photograph, or drawing).
  • Use figures to complement or simplify the text of a paper.
  • In text, refer (callout) to every figure. 
    • eg. "As shown in Figure 2, the..."
    • eg. "(see Figure 2)."
  • Number figures in the order they are first mentioned in text beginning with Figure 1.  Figure numbers should be in bold and flush to the left one double-spaced line above the figure title.
  • Italicize the figure title
  • DO NOT WRITE "the figure above" or "the figure below."
  • Figures should be large enough to read easily (between 8 point and 14 point font with sans serif typeface) and convey only essential information.
  • Ensure that figures are simple, clear and consistent in presentation and vocabulary.
  • Ensure data are plotted accurately and the grid scale is proportioned.
  • Place labels close to the identified item.
  • Axis labels on graphs should be parallel to their axes.
  • Figure notes provide clarification the contents of a figure not already included in the figure or the figure legend.
  • Double-space the note and place it below the figure.
  • The figure legend (key) should be positioned within the borders or below the figure, when possible, and should explain any symbols in the figure.

Figure Examples

Example

The following figures and notes are each adapted from:

American Psychological Association (2019). Tables and figures. APA Style. https://apastyle.apa.org/style-grammar-guidelines/tables-figures/index

[Click on the figure to view full-size]

Note. Basic Figure Components.  Adapted from "Basic Components of a Figure" by American Psychological Association, 2020, Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.), p. 226 (https://doi.org/10.1037/0000165-000). Copyright 2020 by the American Psychological Association.

 

 

Note. Sample figure (map) showing proper copyright attribution.  From "Figure 7.14 Sample Map" by American Psychological Association, 2020, Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.), p. 244 (https://doi.org/10.1037/0000165-000). Copyright 2020 by the American Psychological Association.

 

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