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APA 7th Referencing Style Guide

General guidelines

A figure may be a chart, a graph, a photograph, a drawing, or any other illustration or nontextual depiction. Any type of illustration or image other than a table is referred to as a figure.

 

Figure Components

  • Number: The figure number (e.g., Figure 1) appears above the figure in bold.
  • Title: The figure title appears one double-spaced line below the figure number in Italic Title Case.
  • Image: The image portion of the figure is the chart, graph, photograph, drawing, or other illustration itself.
  • Legend: A figure legend, or key, if present, should be positioned within the borders of the figure and explain any symbols used in the figure image.
  • Note: A note 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). Notes are double-spaced and flush left. Not all figures include notes.

 

General rules

  • In the text, refer to every figure by its number. For example, As shown in Figure 1, ... 
  • There are two options for the placement of figures in a paper. The first option is to place all figures on separate pages after the reference list. The second option is to embed each figure within the text.
  • If you reproduce or adapt a figure from another source (e.g., an image you found on the internet), you should include a copyright attribution in the figure note, indicating the origin of the reproduced or adapted material, in addition to a reference list entry for the work. Include a permission statement (Reprinted or adapted with permission) only if you have sought and obtained permission to reproduce or adapt material in your figure. A permission statement is not required for material in the public domain or openly licensed material.
  • Important note for postgraduate students and researchers: If you wish to reproduce or adapt figures that you did not create yourself in your thesis, dissertation, exegesis, or other published work, you must obtain permission from the copyright holder/s, unless the figure is in the public domain (copyright free), or licensed for use with a Creative Commons or other open license. Works under a Creative Commons licence should be cited accordingly. See Using works created by others for more information. 

Please check the APA style website for an illustration of the basic figure component & placement of figure in a text.

More information & examples from the  APA Style Manual p225–250

From a book

Figure reproduced in your text

Note format - for notes below the figure

Note. Explanations to supplement or clarify information in the image. From [or Adapted from] Book Title (page number), by First Initial. Second Initial. Author Surname, year, Publisher. Copyright year by Name of Copyright Holder [or In the public domain or Creative Commons license abbreviation]. Reprinted with permission [or Adapted with permission] if permission is sought and obtained.

Example:

Figure example

In-text citation:

This is clearly indicated in Figure 1,...

Reference list entry:

Rasmussen, E. J. (2009). Employment relations in New Zealand (2nd ed.). Pearson.

 

Referring to a figure in a book

If you refer to a figure included in a book and do not include it in your text, format the in-text citation and the reference list entry in the usual way, citing the page number where the figure appears.

In-text citation:

... interpretations of the portrait Mona Lisa (Gombrich 1995, p. 203).

Reference list entry:

Gombrich, E. H. (1995). The story of art (16th ed.). Phaidon.

From an article

Figure reproduced in your text

Note formatfor notes below the figure

Note. Explanations to supplement or clarify information in the image. From [or Adapted from] “Title of Article,” by First Initial. Second Initial. Author Surname, year, Journal Title, Volume(issue), page number (url or doi if from an ejournal). Copyright year by Name of Copyright Holder [or In the public domain or Creative Commons license abbreviation]. Reprinted with permission [or Adapted with permission] if permission is sought and obtained.

Example:

Figure example

In-text citation:

As shown in Figure 2, there are five groups of factors that influence...

Reference list entry:

Jahan, N., & Rahman, S. (2016). Factors that obstruct tourism development in Bangladesh. CLEAR International Journal of Research in Commerce & Management, 7(9), 48–55.

 

Referring to a figure in an article

If you refer to a figure in an article and do not include it in your text, format the in-text citation and the reference list entry in the usual way for an article, citing the page number where the figure appears.

In-text citation:

... in the installation Talking about the Weather (Randerson, 2007, p. 446) ...

Reference list entry:

Randerson, J. (2007). Between reason and sensation: Antipodean artists and climate change. Leonardo40(5), 442–448. https://doi.org/10.1162/leon.2007.40.5.442

From a library database

Figure reproduced in your text

Note format - for notes below the figure

Note. Explanations to supplement or clarify information in the image. Title of the database. Copyright year by the Name of Copyright Holder.

Examples:

              

 

                        

 

In-text citation:

As Figure 1 shows, sales of meat pies ...

As shown in Figure 2, ...

Reference list:

EconData. (2019). Hong Kong: visitor arrivals Jan 1996–Jul 2019 [Graph]. EMED Emerging Asia database.

The Nielsen Company. (2011). The market location and dollar sales of meat pies in New Zealand, March 2009–March 2011 [Graph]. Nielsen Market Information Digest New Zealand.

From a website

Figure reproduced in your text

Note format - for notes below the figure

Note. Explanations to supplement or clarify information in the image. From Title of Webpage, by First Initial. Second Initial. Author Surname [or Group Author], year, Site Name [omit if same as Group Author] (url). Copyright year by Name of Copyright Holder [or In the public domain or Creative Commons license abbreviation]. Reprinted with permission [or Adapted with permission] if permission is sought and obtained.

Example:

           

In-text citation:

As shown in Figure 5, ...

Reference list:

Department of Conservation. (n.d.). Sirocco the kākāpō conservation superstar. https://www.doc.govt.nz/nature_kakapo/sirocco

 

Referring to a figure on a webpage

If you refer to a figure on a webpage and do not include it in your text, format the in-text citation and the reference list entry in the usual way for a webpage,

Not every reference to an artwork needs a reference list entry. For example, if you refer to a famous painting, as below, it would not need a reference.

In-text citation:

... facial expression reminiscent of Munch’s The Scream.

 

Finding image details for your figure caption or reference

  • Many images found online have few details, but always check for extra information by:
    • clicking on or hovering your mouse over the image
    • looking at the bottom of the image
    • looking at the URL
  • If there is no title, create a short descriptive one yourself and put it in square brackets e.g. [...]
  • For more guidance, see Visual works