This section explains how to format and reference images (which are called figures) and tables in APA style.
A table is textual or numerical information presented in columns and rows.
A figure is any other visual element in your work. This might be a graph, diagram, picture or photograph.
Please note that this version of the guidance was introduced in September 2022, and is a simplified version of table and figure referencing in APA. All taught students are permitted to use this simplified guidance, but should not be marked down for using the official APA format for table and figure references.
Researchers who are publishing work using APA referencing will still need to provide a full copyright attribution, as instructed in the APA Manual or on this hidden page of the guide.
Use these guidelines if you have created a table or figure yourself (e.g. a table or graph made up of data you collected in an experiment, a photograph that you have taken, etc.). If you have adapted a table or figure from another source, you should use the tabs above for referencing guidance instead.
If you have copied or adapted a table or figure from another source, or if you have taken information from a source and put it into a table/figure yourself, you must include an in-text citation underneath the table or figure. Follow the usual rules for in-text citations (e.g. using 'et al.' for three or more authors).
You must also include an entry in your list of references, using the normal referencing format for whatever type of source you have taken the table or figure from.
You must also give a normal list of references entry for the type of source you have taken the table or figure from. There is no special way to reference a table or figure: if you took it from a book, write a normal book reference.
The only exception to this is if you are referencing a piece of artwork, photograph or a similar stand-alone image, which has a different reference format. See the Artwork and Photographs section for more information.
Sometimes, you may have made a table or figure yourself which includes information from multiple sources. The best way to reference this will vary depending on your circumstances. Below are examples of different options. If you are unsure which to use, contact your Academic Liaison Librarian.
For all of these options, you must also include an entry in your list of references for every source you have included in your table or figure.
If the information in your table or figure can be easily split up, you can describe the sources for each section underneath. Some possible examples are below:
If your table or figure has a lot of text in it (e.g. a table comparing definitions, or a diagram including lots of written information) you may find it easier to include an in-text citation within the body of the table or figure itself, following the normal in-text citation rules.
If you have used lots of different sources, and it is not practical to include an in-text citation within the body of your table or figure, you can use a specific note. Specific notes are superscript letters (a, b, c) which you can put throughout your table or figure wherever you have used information from another source. You can then put the superscript letters underneath, with the corresponding in-text citation.
If you took different pieces of information from the same source, use the same letter. You then only need one in-text citation for that source.
You must also include an entry in your list of references for every source you have included in your table or figure.
Some assignments, like posters and presentations, may require you to add images simply to increase the visual interest or attractiveness of your work. For others, including some artistic assignments, it may not be practical to follow the usual guidance for referencing images.
The instructions below will help you to reference in these circumstances.
Consider whether the image adds meaning or content to your assignment. If the image does add meaning to your work (e.g. a diagram of a heart or a painting by the artist that your assignment is about) you should always reference it.
For students studying Art, Design, or other similar courses, every image you include in your assignment is likely to add meaning to your work, so you must reference every image.
If it is not practical to reference in the normal way (for example, if adding an in-text citation underneath the image would interfere with the artistic merit of your work) scroll down to the Alternative In-Text Citation Formats section.
On the other hand, sometimes you may add images to your work just for decoration. For example, you might add a generic stock image of a nurse into a PowerPoint presentation about professional standards in nursing. In this case, you may not need to reference it at all. See the next section for more information.
In APA style, you do not need to reference clip art or stock images from places which say they do not require a reference/attribution. You can see more information about this on the APA website. (Note that this webpage talks about copyright. If you are a student using the images for educational purposes in an assignment, you do not need to worry about copyright.)
This means that you do not need to reference:
You do still need to reference images from sources that require attribution, even if the image has only been included to make your assignment more attractive. If a source does not mention attribution either way, or you are ever unsure, it is safer to include a reference than not.
When your assignment is more visual, it is not always practical to follow the usual guidelines about referencing images. It might be acceptable to miss out the figure number and title, and/or move the in-text citation. Always check with your module leader before deviating from the usual guidelines.
You can see some possible examples in the PowerPoint document below.
You must include an entry in the list of references for every in-text citation you have added to your assignment.
You must include an in-text citation. If you are including a copy of the artwork of photograph in your work, click the Table or figure reproduced from another source tab, above. If you are just talking about a piece of artwork or a photograph, see the normal in-text citation section for more information.
The Three Ps of Pain Management
Adapted from Glasper et al. (2014, p. 152)
Five Countries With the Most Summer Olympics Medals Won 1886 - 2016
Adapted from Statista (2016)
Perceived Usefulness of Google Scholar by Postgraduate Students
|Perceived usefulness||Strongly agree||Agree||Disagree||Strongly disagree|
|1. Google Scholar enables quick completion of research||16.1%||33.2%||41.3%||9.4%|
|2. Google Scholar makes research work easier||13.1%||23.2%||41.7%||21.9%|
|3. Using Google Scholar enhances my searching effectiveness||11.2%||43.9%||37.7%||7.2%|
|4. I can find many relevant articles with one search in Google Scholar||13.9%||41.7%||34.5%||9.9%|
|5. The resources in Google Scholar relate well to my research||13.9%||43.1%||24.2%||23.3%|
Adapted from Tella et al. (2017)
Confidence of Students Before and After Learning Intervention
|Confidence before workshop||Confidence after workshop|
|Learning objective 1||56%||92%|
|Learning objective 2||45%||93%|
|Learning objective 3||39%||85%|
Percentage represents proportion of participants rating themselves 'confident' or 'very confident' against each learning objective.
Lanchester Stanhope Phaeton
From Lanchester Interactive Archive (1895)
List of References
Glasper, A., Coad, J., & Richardson, J. (2014). Children and young people's nursing at a glance. Wiley.
Lanchester Interactive Archive. (1895). Side view of the Lanchester 5 hp Stanhope Phaeton, the first all British 4-wheel, petrol car. https://catalogue.lanchesterinteractive.org/records/LAN/7/30
Statista. (2016). Olympic Summer Games medal table (total medals won) from 1896 to 2016. https://www.statista.com/statistics/262864/all-time-summer-olympics-medals-table/
Tella, A., Oyewole, M., & Tella, A. (2017). An analysis of perceived usefulness of Google Scholar by the postgraduate students of the University of Ilorin, Nigeria. South African Journal of Information Management 19(1), a793. https://doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v19i1.793
Data in Table 1 reproduced in this guide under the Creative Commons (BY) 4.0 License. To view a copy of this licence, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Lanchester Interactive Archive image reproduced in this guide under the Creative Commons (BY-NC-ND) 4.0 License. To view a copy of this licence, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
If you have questions not answered in this guide:
If you would like a hard copy of this quick guide, please ask at the Welcome Desk in Lanchester Library.