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APA Citations (7th ed.): Basics & Formatting

This guide will help you learn how to properly cite sources in APA style and how to avoid plagiarism.

Tables & Figures

A table or figure is an effective choice to present the results of multiple statistical tests or many descriptive statistics.

Be selective in choosing how many tables & figures to include in your paper. Readers may get confused if there are too many tables & figures.

Referring to Tables & Figures in the Text

In the text, refer to every table and figure by its number--known as a callout. You should also tell readers what to look for in that table or figure when you refer to it.

     As shown in Table 2, the cognition scores...

     Figure 1 shows the potential improvement of...

     ...the results of the survey (see Table 3).

     ...of the comparisons (see Figures 1 and 2).

Do not write "see the table above" (or "below") or "the figure on page 32." This prevents errors due to shifting during the editing process.

Formatting Tables & Figures

Tables & figures follow the same structure:

  • A table or figure number
  • A table or figure title
  • A body (for tables) or an image (for figures)
  • Table or figure notes, as needed

APA recommends using your word-processing program to create tables. If you copy and paste tables from another program into your word-processing program, you may need to adjust the formatting to comply to APA guidelines.

Figures can be created in a variety of programs, such as Excel, PowerPoint, Photoshop, and Illustrator. The figure should be of sufficient resolution to produce high-quality images.

Placement of Tables & Figures

There are two options for the placement of tables & figures in a paper.

  1. Place all tables & figures on separate pages after the reference list (with each table on a separate page followed by each figure on a separate page).
  2. Embed each table & figure within the text after its first callout.

Follow specifications of your instructor if you have been asked to include tables & figures in your paper.

All tables & figures should be aligned with the left margin regardless of where they appear in the paper. When embedding a table or figure in the text, position it after a full paragraph. Place the table or figure so that it fits on one page if possible.

If text appears on the same page as a table or figure, add a double-spaced blank line between the text and the table or figure. Put a short table or small figure at the beginning or end of a page rather than in the middle.

Tables & figures that support but are not essential to the text may be placed in one or more appendices or in supplemental materials. See p. 198 in the manual for more information.

Reprinting or Adapting Tables & Figures

If you reprint or adapt a table or figure from another source in your paper, you must include a copyright attribution in the table note or figure note indicating the origin of the reprinted or adapted material in addition to a reference list entry for the work.

You may also need to obtain permission from the copyright holder to reprint or adapt the table or figure. See pp. 387-390.