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APA Citation Style, 7th edition: Figures

Helpful Tip!

Question Mark Beanie

APA Style figures have the following basic components:

  • number: The figure number (e.g., Figure 1) appears above the figure title and image in bold font. Number figures in the order in which they are mentioned in your paper.
  • title: The figure title appears one double-spaced line below the figure number. Give each figure a brief but descriptive title, and capitalize the figure title in italic title case.
  • image: The image portion of the figure is the graph, chart, photograph, drawing, or other illustration itself. If text appears in the image of the figure (e.g., axis labels), use a sans serif font between 8 and 14 points.
  • legend: A figure legend, or key, if present, should be positioned within the borders of the figure and explains any symbols used in the figure image. Capitalize words in the figure legend in title case.
  • note: Three types of notes (general, specific, and probability) can appear below the figure to describe contents of the figure that cannot be understood from the figure title, image, and/or legend alone (e.g., definitions of abbreviations, copyright attribution, explanations of asterisks use to indicate p values). Include figure notes only as needed.

Figures

When you use a figure in your paper that has been adapted or copied directly from another source, you need to reference the original source.  This reference appears as a caption underneath the figure that you copied or adapted for your paper.

Any image that is reproduced from another source also needs to come with copyright permission; it is not enough just to cite the source.

Hints:

  • Number figures consecutively throughout your paper.
  • Figures should be labeled "Figure (number)" ABOVE the figure.
  • Double-space the caption that appears under a figure.

General Format 1 (Figure from a Book):

     Caption under Figure
    Note: Descriptive phrase that serves as title and description. Reprinted [or adapted]
     from Book Title (page number), by Author First Initial. Second Initial. Surname,
     Year, Publisher. Copyright [Year] by the Name of Copyright Holder.
     Reprinted [or adapted] with permission.

 

Example 1 (Figure from a Book):

 

     Caption under Figure
    Note: Short-term memory test involving pictures. Reprinted from Short-term Memory
     Loss (p. 73), by K. M. Pike, 2008, Mackerlin Press. Copyright  2008 by
     the Association for Memory Research. Reprinted with permission.

 

General Format 2 (Figure from a Journal Article):

 

     Caption under Figure
     Note: Descriptive phrase that serves as title and description. Reprinted [or adapted]
     from “Title of Article,” by Author First Initial. Second Initial. Surname, Year, Journal Title,
     Volume(issue), page number. Copyright [Year] by the Name of Copyright Holder.
     Reprinted [or adapted] with permission.

 

Example 2 (Figure from a Journal Article)
 
     Caption under Figure
     Note: Schematic drawings of a bird's eye view of the table (a) and the test phase of
     the choice task (b). Numbers represent the dimensions in centimeters. Adapted from
     "Visual Experience Enhances Infants' Use of Task-Relevant Information in an Action
     Task," by S.-h. Wang and L. Kohne, 2007, Developmental Psychology, 43, p. 1515.
     Copyright 2003 by the American Psychological Association.

 

General Format 3 (Figure from a Website):

 

     Caption under Figure
     Note: Descriptive phrase that serves as title and description. Reprinted [or adapted]
     from Title of Website, by Author First Initial. Second Initial. Surname, Year, URL. Copyright [year] by the Name of Copyright Holder. Reprinted [or adapted]
     with permission.

 

Example 3 (Figure from a Website):

 

     Caption under Figure
     Note: An example of the cobra yoga position. Reprinted from List of Yoga Postures,
     In Wikipedia, n.d., Retrieved October 28, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki
     /List_of_yoga_postures. Copyright 2007 by Joseph Renger. Reprinted with permission.