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How to Format Graphs, Charts & Figures in APA

NOTE: This is a basic guide to formatting charts, graphs, and figures in APA. You should always follow your professor’s instructions about layout, style and citations and consult this guide as a reference.

 

How to Insert a Graph or Chart on Your Computer

Click on the insert tab at the top of Microsoft Word.

Choose the preferred graph for the data.

Insert data and format graph.

APA Charts & Figures

Sizing

Figures of one column must be between 2 and 3.25 inches wide (5 to 8.45 cm). Two-column figures must be between 4.25 and 6.875 inches wide (10.6 to 17.5 cm). The height of figures should not exceed the top and bottom margins.

Titling & Labeling

APA does not require a title within the chart itself. BUT all figures need be numbered and have a title in a caption below the chart.

Text

The text in a figure should be in a san serif font (such as Helvetica, Arial, or Futura). The font size must be between eight and fourteen point.

Alignment

APA does not specify an alignment. However, charts and figures should be near the text in which they are referenced. All charts and figures must be referenced in text as “Figure.”

For example:

APA Figure

APA Graphs

Sizing

Figures of one column must be between 2 and 3.25 inches wide (5 to 8.45 cm). Two-column figures must be between 4.25 and 6.875 inches wide (10.6 to 17.5 cm). The height of figures should not exceed the top and bottom margins.

Titles & Labels

APA does not require a title within the graph itself (except in research papers for classes). BUT all figures need be numbered and have a title in a caption below the graph.

Text

The text in a figure should be in a san serif font (such as Calibri, Helvetica, Arial, or Futura). The font size must be between eight and fourteen point.

Alignment

APA does not specify an alignment. However, graphs should be near the text in which they are referenced. All graphs must be referenced in text as “Figure.”

Line Graphs

Use circles and squares to distinguish curves on a line graph (at the same font size as the other labels).

For example:

APA Bar Graph

APA Tables

Sizing

Tables should be at least 2 columns and 2 rows. Two-column figures must be between 4.25 and 6.875 inches wide (10.6 to 17.5 cm). The height of figures should not exceed the top and bottom margins.

Titling & Labeling

APA requires a title above the table after the figure number. Tables should be labeled “Table” followed by the number. Titles should be in italics, but labels should be in plain text.

Text

The text in a table should be consistent with the font in the rest of your paper. The font size must be between eight and fourteen point.

Alignment

APA does not specify an alignment. However, tables should be near the text in which they are referenced. All tables must be referenced in text as “Tables.”

For example:

APA Table

REMEMBER:

This page is for a quick reference that includes the basics of APA and MLA formatting for charts, graphs, and images. For more detailed information see The APA Manual of Style or The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (available in the LINK). And always follow your professor’s instructions.

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