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Citing and Referencing (APA): Images (incl. maps, charts and diagrams)

More information coming soon - let Mrs Toerien know if you need help citing an image and she will put a suitable example up here.

IB students must make sure they refer to the "Documentation Checklist" (p.14) and "Elements to be Included in a Reference" (p.16-17) in Effective Citing and Referencing (IBO, 2020) throughout the writing process, and when proofreading their work. This supersedes any requirements of APA (but any major differences will be clearly noted in this LibGuide).

Captioning images that you add to your writing

All images that you use in your text must have a suitable caption giving:

  •  A Figure number (e.g. Figure 1:) to allow you to refer to it in your writing. An image that is not referred to at all in the text has no place in an academic essay. Figures must be in number order, which can be a pain if you add a new one. It is worth using the automatic tools in Word, which will adjust both your figure numbers and you in-text references if you add a new one.
  • A title. This should be the original title of the image if there is one, or your own description if not.
  • A citation similar to the one you would use for a quotation, unless the image is your own work in which case it should say (own photograph/graph/chart) etc. If available, your citation should include a page number. See below for examples.

You must then include the source of the image in your bibliography.

When you refer to the image in your text you do not need to cite it again.

e.g. You write "It is clear from Figure 2 that..." NOT "It is clear from Figure 2 (Ferguson, 2013, p.17) that...."

Captioning images using the tools in Word

Captioning 1
Captioning 2
Captioning 3
Captioning 4
Captioning 5
Captioning 6
Captioning 7
Captioning 8
Captioning 9

Referring to figures in your text and updating the numbers when you add new ones

Images in text 01
Images in text 02
Images in text 03
Images in text 04
Images in text 05
Images in text 06
Images in text 07
Images in text 08
Images in text 09
Images in text 10

Artwork available from a museum or gallery

If the artwork is publically available to be viewed in person at a musuem or gallery, then it is best to reference the original artwork, as below. If is not, then reference the source where you viewed it (e.g. a book, journal or webpage). If the artwork does not have a title, then describe it in square brackets (e.g. [Pile of yellow books] [Oil on canvas]).

See What does "Medium" mean? for advice on describing your image.

Structure: Artist, A. (Year). Title of artwork [Medium]. Name of musuem, City, State (if in USA), Country. Retrieved from: URL if available.

Example: Van Gogh, V. (1887). Piles of French novels [Oil on canvas]. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Van Gogh Museum. Retrieved from: .

Art (main bibliography)


Citing images not available in museums and galleries

For works of art that can be found in public musuems or galleries it is usually best to cite the original in a museum rather than the image you have found in a book or on a website. See the Artwork available from a museum or gallery box for how to do this.

For most other images, just cite the original source (e.g. a book, journal or a website) in the same way as you would for a direct quotation (see links for examples). Note that:

  • If your source has page numbers you should give the page the image is located on in the picture caption, as you would for a direct quote. To do this, right-click on the citation and choose "Edit citation". Put the page number and tick "supress title".
  • For images from books and journal articles use the author, title and publication date of the book or article, rather than e.g. the artist or photographer. You might then want to name the artist in your text:
    e.g. Matisse's 1905 painting Portrait of Madame Matisse, The Green Stripe (Williams & Wilson, 1996, p.202) clearly demonstrates that...
    this is why it is better to cite the image from a museum instead, if possible, so that the citation becomes:
    Portrait of Madame Matisse, The Green Strip
    e (Matisse, 1905) clearly demonstrates that...
  • For images from websites, it is often best to cite the direct URL of the image rather than the whole page (right click on the image and choose 'View image' to find this URL). If the image has no obvious title, then describe the image in square brackets in the title field. If available, use the author of the image (e.g. the photographer) rather than the author of the webpage.
  • If it is your own image then it does not need a citation. Just put (own photo)* after the title in the caption to show that you haven't just forgotten to reference it. This does not then need a bibliography entry.

*or (own drawing) etc.

What does "Medium" mean?

Medium describes the type of image. It could be something very simple such as:

  • [Painting]
  • [Photograph]
  • [Map]
  • [Sculpture]
  • [Installation]
  • [Image]

Or you might want to be more descriptive e.g.:

  • [Oil in canvas]
  • [Watercolour]

You can decide on the exact wording.  Be consistent though - don't describe some images just as [Painting] and others as [Watercolour]

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Mon-Fri: 08:30-21:15
Sat: 08:00-16:00
Sun: 14:00-18:00