Images from various sources [using APA 5th ed.]


The following guidance was written primarily for students of the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries, working on dissertations and other major pieces of work, and including images from their sources in their writing. You should consult appropriate guidance from your department for the use of images in written work.

If you are only using a very few images taken from a source, include the source in your reference list, using the style appropriate to the source, e.g. book, journal, web page, and cite the image in your text as if it were a text quotation.

In APA journals, any type of illustration other than a table, included in the text, is called a 'figure'.

Figures include:
Other depiction

The manual (American Psychological Association, 2001, pp. 176-201) is primarily concerned with the creation of figures, rather than the citation of figures from published sources. However, reference is made to obtaining copyright clearance of figures from such sources prior to submission of an article for publication. This may not be necessary for unpublished student work.

"If you reproduced or adapted your figure from a copyrighted source, you must obtain written permission for print and electronic reuse from the copyright holder and give credit in the figure caption to the original author and copyright holder." (APA, 2001, p. 200)

Number all figures consecutively in the order in which they are first mentioned in the text, (i.e., Figure 1, Figure 2). In the text refer to the figures by their numbers (see Figure 1).

Captions serve as an "explanation of the figure and as a figure title" (APA, 2001, p.199). If there is a caption in the original document, use that.

Where no departmental guidance has been given to the student, include the figure number and the caption in the text. The full details of the source should go in the List of Figures. This decision has been made in order to avoid duplication and minimize the word count.

List of Figures: in a book, dissertation or report the List of Figures follows the Contents page. It should include the Figure number and caption - as in the text - followed by the source of reference. It should also include the page number where the reader can find the image in your work. The sources of the figures do not need to be repeated in the Reference List.

List of Figures

Figure Page
Figure 1. Marjorie in Paris. Smith, J.B. (2008). Marjorie's European adventures. Portsmouth: Pompey Press. 25
Figure 2. Maude in Rome. Patel, R. (2007). Maude's Summer vacation. Retrieved January 28, 2008, from 26
Figure 3. Pablo Picasso: Three figures under a tree, 1907. Rhodes, C. (1994). Primitivism and modern art. London: Thames and Hudson.


Figure 4. Lucian Freud: The Painter's mother, 1982, etching 15x13cm, London, Tate Britain. Smee, S. (2009). Lucien Freud: Beholding the animal. London: Taschen.



In the text of the work or in the Appendix

Figure 1. Marjorie in Paris.

All figures should serve a purpose. When you refer to the figure in the text always refer to the figure number, e.g. "Figure 1 shows how chic Marjorie looked ...". Never refer to it as "the figure above shows ...".


Figure 2. Maude in Rome

If you wish to include an image of a painting or a photograph which you have taken from another source make sure that you include the details of the original work as part of the caption e.g. figure 4 in the above list of figures. Where information about the medium, e.g. oil on canvas, dimensions of the work and the gallery/museum that houses the work are given, include this information in the figure caption.

If you choose to include your figures in the appendix, the American Psychological Association (2001, pp. 299-300) suggests:

"number them separately from any text figures, beginning with 1 and preceding the numeral with the letter of the appendix in which the figure belongs. List appendix figure captions after those of figures included in the main text."

Standard Form

As appropriate for the source.

Citation in Text

See notes above