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APA Style Guide: 7th Edition

Figure Notes & Legend

A general note:

  • explains units of measurement, symbols, and abbreviations that are not included in the legend or defined elsewhere in the figure
  • explains the use of shading, colour, and any other design element that carries meaning
  • is preceded by Note. (Always italicized and followed by a period)
  • includes citations for each source of data used, preceded by 'From' for reprintings and 'Adapted from' for adaptations
    • provide the title, author, year of publication, and source of the material, in that order
  • places copyright attributions for reproduced figures at the end of the note

A specific note:

  • is indicated by superscript lowercase letters
  • is NOT preceded by Note.

*Specific notes are formatted the same for both tables and figures

The following is an example of a table with a specific note (in red):

A probability note: 

  • indicates how symbols are used in a figure to explain values
  • is indicated by p
  • is NOT preceded by Note.

*Probability notes are formatted the same for both tables and figures

The following is an example of a table with a probability note (in red):

 

A legend:

  • explains any symbols, line styles, shading, or pattern variants used in the image portion of the figure
  • displays the same kind and proportion of lettering as that appearing in the rest of the figure
  • is only included when the figure has symbols, line styles, or shadings needing definition
  • should be placed within or below the image

For figure and legend examples, click here.

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