Jessup Playbooks Logo

Citation Styles Playbook

The purpose of this playbook is to help you cite the sources used in your academic research.


What are figures?

In APA style, a figure is any kind of visual display, except a table.  Examples of figures: graphs, charts, drawings, maps, photos, infographics, and other illustrations.

What are tables?

Tables typically display numerical values or textual information arranged in columns and/or rows.

Where do figures and tables go in my paper?

There are two options for the placement of figures (and tables) in a paper:

  • Embedded -- figures or tables appear in the text after they are first called out (mentioned).
  • Separate page -- this page will be located after the references list.

NOTE: If you are only citing images without reproducing them in your paper, see the Miscellaneous section.


Figure components

  • Number
    • The figure number goes above the figure in bold (e.g. Figure 1). Number figures consecutively (Figure 1, Figure 2, etc.)
  • Title
    • The figure title appears one double-spaced line below the figure numbers, in italics and title case.
  • Image
    • The image part of the figure is the chart, graph, photograph, drawing or other illustration itself
  • Legend
    • The figure legend (also know as a key), if used, should be positioned within the borders of the figure and explain any symbols used in the figure image.

Note: figure notes can appear below the figure to explain, describe, clarify or supplement information in the image.  Not all figures include notes.  Notes are double-spaced and flush left. Format: Note. Text of the note.


figure example


Table components

  • Number
    • The table number goes above the table in bold. (e.g. Table 1). Number tables sequentially (Table 1, Table 2, etc.)
  • Title
    • The table title goes one double-spaced line below the table number in italics in title case.  (In title case the first letter of major words are capitalized).
  • Headings
    • All tables should include column headings including a heading for the left most column (aka stub heading).
  • Body
    • The table body includes all the rows and columns of a table.  The body can be single spaced, one-and-a-half spaced, or double spaced.
  • Notes
    • Notes describing the contents of the table appear below the table.  Not all tables include table notes.  Notes are double-spaced and located flush left. Format: Note. Text of the note.


example of a table





Additional resources