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Tables and Figures: Figures

Basics

In APA style, a figure is any representation of information that does not use rows and columns (e.g., a line graph, map, or photograph).

Keep the following in mind when including a figure in your paper:

  • Place the word Figure and the figure number under the figure, flush left in italics. The figure caption goes next to the number in sentence case and plain type.
  • Include a caption after the figure number that describes the figure and the data it is presenting. Do not type captions on a separate page.
  • Avoid use of color in figures; use grayscale shading or cross-hatching when necessary.
  • If you are using data from a source in your figure, be sure to cite the source after the figure description. See our page on Citing Sources for Tables and Figures for examples.

For more on figures, see APA pages 150–167.

Examples of Figures

In this example, the writer created the figure using statistics from a journal article.

Example of figure

Figure 3. Pie chart showing the clergy demographics of the study’s participants. From “Predicting the Mental Health Literacy of Clergy: An Informational Resource for Counselors,” by J. D. Vermaas, J. Green, M. Haley, and L. Haddock, 2017, Journal of Mental Health Counseling39(3), p. 231.


The following is an example of a figure the writer created from their own original data.

example of a figure

Figure 2. Number of hours of television watched per week by age group.