- Figures are useful when visually presenting data, trends, etc.
- There are many types of figures (See below for full list/description):
- Graphs
- Charts
- Maps

- Each figure is placed on a separate page at the end of the paper
**after**any tables (or after the references, if there are no tables) - Each figure should have a caption below it to describe its contents or any abbreviations
- Be sure that the figures are simple, clean, and free of unnecessary details

## Types of Figures

**Graphs**: Graphs easily convey relationships such as comparisons and distributions- The most common graphs used are
**scatter plots, line graphs, bar graphs, pictorial graphs,**and**pie graphs** - Spreadsheet programs (e.g. Excel) can generate graphs

- The most common graphs used are
**Scatter plots**: Scatter plots are composed of individual dots, which represent the value of a specific event on the scale established by two variables plotted on the*x-*and*y-*axes- A cluster of dots implies a correlation between the two variables
- Scattered dots, however, indicate that there is no correlation

**Line graphs**: Line graphs depict the relationship between quantitative variables- The independent variable is plotted along the
*x-*axis, and the dependent variable is plotted along the axis, and the dependent variable is plotted along the*y-*axis

- The independent variable is plotted along the
**Bar graphs:**There are three main types of bar graphs

Solid vertical or horizontal bars – The independent variable is categorical, and each part represents one kind of datum (singular version of data). An example would be a bar graph of weekly expenses

2. Multiple bar graphs – Multiple bar graphs present more complex information, such as weekly expenses being divided into different categories

3. Sliding bar graphs – In sliding bar graphs, the bars are divided by a horizontal line (the baseline), which enables the representation of data above and below a specific reference point (e.g. high and low expenses vs. average expenses**Pictorial graphs:**Pictorial graphs show quantitative differences between groups- These graphs can be deceptive, so great care must be taken when developing them

**Pie graphs (Circle graphs)**: Pie graphs typically represent percentages and proportions- To ensure reader comprehension, no more than
**five**variables should be compared in a single graph - The segments (or “slices”) should be very orderly: Beginning at 12 o’clock, arrange the segments from largest to smallest, and shade the segments from dark to light (i.e., the largest segment should be the darkest segment)

- To ensure reader comprehension, no more than
**Things to remember when creating figures**- Trying to be creative when creating figures can distort the meaning of the figure, and thus hinder reader comprehension – design flaws are very noticeable to readers
- Make the figure as clear, neat, and clean as possible
- APA specifications for figures go as follows:

”The APA has determined specifications for the size of figures and the fonts used in them. 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. 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. Use circles and squares to distinguish curves on a line graph (at the same font size as the other labels).” – Retrieved from OWL.

## Captions and Legends

- Along with the figure number and title, be sure to include a legend and caption
- The legend and caption appear
**below**the figure - The legend explains the symbols
- The caption explains the figure (i.e., a brief, but complete, explanation as a title)

- The legend and caption appear
- Graphs should
**always**include a legend that explains the symbols, abbreviations, and terminology in the figure- These terms should all be consistent with those used in the text, and those used in other tables/figures