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How to Cite a Chart in APA

by Petra Wakefield, Demand Media

    Charts display a variety of data you may wish to refer to while writing an academic paper. To cite the data appropriately, reference the chart in both the reference list and the text of the paper. The "Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association" (APA) does not give specific directions for citing charts; follow the general APA guidelines for referencing graphical data and indicate that the data is in chart form.

    Step 1

    State the name of the author or publishing organization. For example, "Smith, A. J." or "U.S. Census Bureau."

    Step 2

    Give the date of publication in parentheses. For example, "(2008)."

    Step 3

    Write the title of chart followed by "[Chart]." For example, "Population growth in Brazos County [Chart]." If the chart is untitled, give a short description within square brackets; for example, "[Chart of population growth in the 19th century]."

    Step 4

    Give any publication information necessary to retrieve the chart. If the citation begins with the author's name, for example, give the name of the organization they performed the research for in italics. If the chart was published in a book, give the editor's name, if applicable, book title in italics, page number of the chart, publication location and publisher: "In A. Smith (Ed.), Historical Data (p. 50), New York: Publisher." If the chart was published in a journal article, give the journal name in italics, volume number in italics, issue number and page number. For example, "In The Journal of Chemical Education, 10(5), 50."

    Step 5

    List the URL if you retrieved the chart online. For example, "Retrieved from www.data.com/chart"

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    Tips

    • Cite the chart in the text with the author's name and year of publication: "according to Smith (2008)" or "(Smith, 2008)."
    • If the chart is in an article you already have in your reference list you do not need a separate reference for the chart. Simply give the page number of the chart when you refer to it in the text: for example, "(Smith, 2008, p. 50)."
    • Use the same format for graphs, photos and other graphical data.

    References

    About the Author

    Petra Wakefield is a writing professional whose work appears on various websites, focusing primarily on topics about science, fitness and outdoor activities. She holds a Master of Science in agricultural engineering from Texas A&M University.