APA referencing 7th edition

A guide to APA referencing (7th edition). APA stands for American Psychological Association

Referencing Figures (Graphs, Diagrams, Charts, Maps, etc.)

This sub-tab gives examples of how to reference figures that are graphs, diagrams, charts, maps etc.

If you are referencing a Table, please see the Referencing Tables tab.

If you are referencing a Figure that is an Image, Photograph, Clip Art, Stock Image or Infographic, please see the Images, Photographs, Clip Art & Infographics sub-tab.  

For how to handle multiple authors, see 'Referencing Books'.  

The advice below is for Unitec undergraduate assignments.  Postgraduate students & staff, If you are completing theses or an article/book chapter etc. that will be published, please see the section at the bottom of this page.

Figure you have created yourself

Follow this style if you have created a graph, chart, diagram, map etc. by yourself (with information not drawn from elsewhere).

The basic format is:

Figure (no.)

Title of figure

(The figure)

(.... created by author)

Note: (Any further useful information about the figure) - this is optional

For example

Figure 1

Subcontractor hours worked at Kingseat site - 01-05 August 2022

(Chart created by author).

Note: Highlights subcontractors needed in first week of August.

No entry in the Reference list

In-text citation

As explained in Figure 1,     OR    The plasterers and the painters were onsite the most in the first week of August (Figure 1). 


Figure you are reproducing or adapting from elsewhere and inserting into your assignment

The basic format is:

Figure (no.)

Title of figure

(The figure)

Note: Explanations to supplement or clarify information in the figure.  This may include explanations of units of measurement, symbols, abbreviations, shading, colour, etc.  From (information for type of source), Copyright year by the name of the copyright holder.

(For adapted figures, it should be "Adapted from (information for type of source)")


From a book or e-book

Figure 2

Life expectancy across time in Pacific nations







Note: Life expectancy change 1950-2040 across various Pacific nations. From Aging and economic growth in the Pacific region (2nd ed., p. 13), by A. Kohsaka, Routledge. Copyright 2013 by Akira Kohsaka. 

Reference List

Kohsaka, A. (2013). Aging and economic growth in the Pacific region. Routledge. 

In-text citation

As explained in Figure 2,     OR    Life expectancy in the Pacific has gone up (Figure 2). 


From a journal article

Figure 3

Major wetlands in New Zealand territorial areas

Note: Map of New Zealand showing borders of Regional Councils and Unitary Authorities together with major wetlands.  Demonstrates high prevalence of wetlands in some areas that others. From "Wetland management in New Zealand: Are current approaches and policies sustaining wetland ecosystems in agricultural landscapes?", by S. C. Myers, B. R. Clarkson, P. N. Reeves & B. D. Clarkson, 2013, Ecological Engineering, 56(7), p. 113 (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoleng.2012.12.097). Copyright 2013 by Elsevier.

Reference List

Myers, S. C., Clarkson, B. R., Reeves, P. N., & Clarkson, B. D. (2013). Wetland management in New Zealand: Are current approaches and policies sustaining wetland ecosystems in agricultural landscapes? Ecological Engineering, 56(7), 107-120. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoleng.2012.12.097

In-text citation

As shown in Figure 3,     OR    There is a significant group of wetlands in Northland (Figure 3). 


From a website

Figure 4

Permitted work regarding asbestos

Note: Diagram shows that both licensed and unlicensed asbestos removal is useful. From Management and removal of asbestos, by Worksafe, 2017 (https://www.worksafe.govt.nz/topic-and-industry/asbestos/management-and-removal-of-asbestos/). Copyright 2017 by Worksafe.

Reference List

Worksafe. (2017). Management and removal of asbestos. https://www.worksafe.govt.nz/topic-and-industry/asbestos/management-and-removal-of-asbestos/

In-text citation

As shown in Figure 4,     OR    Identifying ACMs is one of the first steps in managing asbestos (Figure 4). 


From a proprietary information source that is not publicly available

Figure 5

Lion feeding chart


Note: Indicates the required feeding amounts for the zoo's lions. From Auckland Zoopersonal communication, April 20, 2022. Copyright 2022 by Auckland Zoo. 

No entry in the reference list

In-text citation

As shown in Figure 5,     OR   The lions are feed twice a day (Figure 5).


Dynamic Maps (e.g. a Google Map or a GIS map (e.g. Auckland Council GeoMaps))?

Dynamic maps are interactive maps where you can alter what you see according to the data that you input.  Examples are Google Maps and GIS maps.  

1) Follow the basic Figure pattern as above for "From a Website"

2) Choose the correct option from below.  

Google Maps, Apple Maps or similar

Figure 6

Route from Unitec Mt Albert Campus to Unitec Waitākere Campus.





Note: Fastest driving route from the Unitec Mt Albert campus to the Unitec Waitākere campusFrom [Driving directions from Unitec Mt Albert campus to Unitec Waitakere campus], by Google, n.d. (https://bit.ly/3rnR8Yo). Copyright 2022 by Google.

Reference List

Google. (n.d.). [Driving directions from Unitec Mt Albert campus to Unitec Waitakere campus]. Retrieved April 14, 2022 from https://bit.ly/3rnR8Yo

In-text citation

As shown in Figure 6....  or it takes about 12 minutes to drive to the Unitec Waitakere campus (Figure 6). 

(Google Maps have no date, so use n.d.  They also have no title so describe the map you have generated and put it in rectangular brackets.  As Google Maps is a dynamic map website, include a Retrieval date.)

(Google Maps URLs are very long, so shorten the URLs with a tool like bit.ly)


GIS Maps (e.g. Auckland Council GeoMaps)

Figure 7

Auckland Unitary Plan Building Zones near the Unitec Mt Albert campus

Note: Auckland Unitary Plan GIS map showing a range of zoning areas near to the Unitec Mt Albert campus. From Auckland Unitary Plan operative in part planning maps (15 November 2016), by Auckland Council, 2016 (https://unitaryplanmaps.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/upviewer/). Copyright 2016 by Auckland Council.

Reference List

Auckland Council. (2016). Auckland Unitary Plan operative in part planning maps (15 November 2016). Retrieved November 11, 2020 from https://unitaryplanmaps.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/upviewer/

In-text citation

As shown in Figure 7....  the Unitary Plan has various building zones (Figure 7). 


Referencing a Graph/Diagram etc that you have not inserted into your assignment?

If you are referring to a graph/diagram etc. that you have not reproduced in your assignment, do your in-text citation as per the source of the image or graph you are using (e.g. book, journal article, web page).  (Note: if you can replicate the figure in your assignment, you should)

e.g. (for an online e-book)

In-text citation

...there are common cycles in business (Tiffany et al., 2012, p. 99).

Reference List

Tiffany, P., Peterson, S. D., & Barrow, C.. (2012). Business plans for dummies (3rd ed.). John Wiley & Sons


Postgraduate Students & Staff - Copyright Requirements

If you are inserting a figure into a thesis or published publication, you need to get permission to use that graph, chart etc. Once you have that permission, you should add to the end of the Note: beneath your figure: Reprinted with permission OR Adapted with permission.  If you are using a Creative Commons image, insert the details of the relevant license.  If the figure is in the public domain (i.e. out of copyright), add: In Public Domain.


Creating a graph etc. using information from multiple sources?

In the case that you are creating a graph, chart etc. with information from multiple sources, please check with the Learning Advisor team or your Subject Librarian for the correct way to do this.

Things to remember

Authors' names: Authors' names should always be Surname, Initial. Initial.  e.g. Smith, L. M.

Editors' names: If you are referencing the whole book the editors' name should be Surname, Initial. Initial, e.g. Walker, S. J.

If however, you are referencing a chapter of an edited book the editors' name should be Initial. Initial. Surname. eg. In S. J. Walker (Ed.).

Italics: Only the book title should be in italics.  If you are referencing a chapter in a book, the title of the chapter should not be in italics.

Capitalisation: The first letter of the first word of a title should be capitalized as should the first letter of the first word of any subtitle.  Everything else should be in lower case unless it is a proper noun or an abbreviation that is always written in capitals.

Splitting a URL: If your URL needs to be split do not insert a hyphen. Break the URL before a punctuation mark.  Do not add a full stop at the end of the URL as this may appear to be part of the URL and cause retrieval problems.

Secondary Sources: You can only reference information that you have actually seen.  If that book or journal article quotes another piece of work that you also want to quote, you need to cite the information as a secondary citation.

For example, you read a book by Sandvoss, in which he paraphrases Taylor - "Taylor identifies hooliganism as a response to social control..."

If you have not read the item by Taylor you would reference the Sandvoss book.  New to APA 7th, include the date of the original work.  

Reference List

Sandvoss, C. (2003). A game of two halves: Football, television and globalization. Routledge.

In-text citation

Taylor (1971, as cited in Sandvoss, 2003, p. 2) identifies hooliganism as a response to social control.  

OR  .... one view is that hooliganism is a response to social control (Taylor, 1971, as cited in Sandvoss, 2003, p. 2)