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Citing Images

In APA style, an image requires an in-text citation and an entry in References, just like a quotation or paraphrase. Label each image with a caption that includes the bibliographic information of the image. Give each image a figure number (Figure 1, Figure 2, etc.).

If the image is a drawing, rendering, infographic, or other illustration, include:

  • the title of the image
  • the name of the artist or illustrator
  • the date the image was created

If the image is a photograph of a building, include:

  • the name of the building
  • the name of the architect
  • the date the building was completed
  • the location of the building

If the image is a photograph or reproduction of a work of art, include:

  • the title of the artwork
  • the name of the artist
  • the date the artwork was created

If you don’t see all of this information in the caption of the image or the text around it, look for a separate list of image credits. This list is often called List of Illustrations, Illustration Credits, Image Credits, or simply Credits. In books, it may be either at the beginning or at the end of the book.

Note: Museums rarely credit an individual photographer.

At the end of the caption, insert an in-text citation citing the book, website or other source that you got the image from.

Citing an image from a book

In the example below, the caption contains the information about this reproduction of a work of art. The caption in the book provided the title of the work, the artist, and the date it was created (the book gives the date of creation as 1794/1824 because it was created in 1794 and then substantially revised by the artist in 1824).

At the end of the caption is the in-text citation for the book that this image came from.

Citing an image from a book when the artist is unknown

If the artist of the work depicted is unknown, leave that element out of the caption.

At the end of the caption is the in-text citation for the book that this image came from.

Citing an image from a website

In the next example, the in-text citation references the website that this image came from. The website does not have page numbers, so that element is left out of the in-text citation.

Citing an image from a website when the artist is unknown

In the next example, the artist is unknown, so we leave that element out of the caption. Once again, the image is from a website that does not have page numbers, so that element is left out of the in-text citation.

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APA by Format Type: Choose Below

APA (American Psychological Association) style is generally used in the social sciences.  As the publishing standard, APA style also provides guidelines for paper formatting.

Books and monographs, including reference books, dictionaries and other items, are generally cited using the following format:

 

Author, A. A. (year).  Title of work.  Location: Publisher.

Author, A. A. (year). Title of work. Retrieved from http://www.websiteadress

Author, A. A. (year). Title of work. doi: xx.xxxxxxxx

Editor, A. A. (Ed.). (year). Title of work.  Location: Publisher.

 

Please note that APA uses sentence capitalization rules for the title of the item, meaning that generally only the first word, proper nouns, and the first word following a colon are capitalized.  For more specific examples, please refer to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.

Journals are items that are published on a regular basis and are also referred to as 'periodicals'.  There is a general basic format for citing journal articles in APA style.  Please remember that the reference list must be double-spaced with a hanging indent.  Examples are taken from Publication manual of the American Psychological Association unless otherwise noted.

 

Reference:

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. (2015, May). An environmental management system review of the National Park Service: Based on the code of environmental management principles. Retrieved from http://www.epa.gov/compliance/resources/publications/incentives/ems/emsnps.pdf

 

In-text citation

(U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2000)

For items retrieved online, please include the website.  The examples below are general in nature.  Please always double-check your citations using the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.

The FIU Libraries currently has Kindles available for check, with a variety of other e-readers to be available in the future.  In order to cite e-books on the devices, follow the examples below, taken from the APA Style Blog.  

In both cases, the edition of the e-book is related.  The DOI should be included, if available.  For citing particular passages, either paraphrase with correct in-text citations or refer to Section 6.05 of the APA Manual and follow the rules for quotations from online sources.

One of the author’s main points is that “people don’t rise from nothing”  (Gladwell, 2008, Chapter 1, Section 2, para. 5).

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APA Figures

Drawings and photographs can be used to communicate very specific information about a subject. Thanks to software, both are now highly manipulable. For the sake of readability and simplicity, line drawings should be used, and photographs should have the highest possible contrast between the background and focal point. Cropping, cutting out extraneous detail, can be very beneficial for a photograph. Use software like GraphicConverter or Photoshop to convert color photographs to black and white before printing on a laser printer. Otherwise most printers will produce an image with poor contrast.

This image shows a picture of a bathroom.

Photograph

Preparing Figures

In preparing figures, communication and readability must be the ultimate criteria. Avoid the temptation to use the special effects available in most advanced software packages. While three-dimensional effects, shading, and layered text may look interesting to the author, overuse, inconsistent use, and misuse may distort the data, and distract or even annoy readers. Design properly done is inconspicuous, almost invisible, because it supports communication. Design improperly, or amateurishly, done draws the reader’s attention from the data, and makes him or her question the author’s credibility.

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). (See examples above.)

APA Figures

The purpose of tables and figures in documents is to enhance your readers' understanding of the information in the document. Most word processing software available today will allow you to create your own tables and figures, and even the most basic of word processors permit the embedding of images, thus enabling you to include tables and figures in almost any document.

General guidelines

Necessity. Visual material such as tables and figures can be used quickly and efficiently to present a large amount of information to an audience, but visuals must be used to assist communication, not to use up space, or disguise marginally significant results behind a screen of complicated statistics. Ask yourself this question first: Is the table or figure necessary? For example, it is better to present simple descriptive statistics in the text, not in a table.

Relation of Tables or Figures and Text. Because tables and figures supplement the text, refer in the text to all tables and figures used and explain what the reader should look for when using the table or figure. Focus only on the important point the reader should draw from them, and leave the details for the reader to examine on her own.

Documentation. If you are using figures, tables and/or data from other sources, be sure to gather all the information you will need to properly document your sources.

Integrity and Independence. Each table and figure must be intelligible without reference to the text, so be sure to include an explanation of every abbreviation (except the standard statistical symbols and abbreviations).

Organization, Consistency, and Coherence. Number all tables sequentially as you refer to them in the text (Table 1, Table 2, etc.), likewise for figures (Figure 1, Figure 2, etc.). Abbreviations, terminology, probability level values must be consistent across tables and figures in the same article. Likewise, formats, titles, and headings must be consistent. Do not repeat the same data in different tables.

Figures

Figure Checklist

  • Is the figure necessary?
  • Is the figure simple, clean, and free of extraneous detail?
  • Are the data plotted accurately?
  • Is the grid scale correctly proportioned?
  • Is the lettering large and dark enough to read? Is the lettering compatible in size with the rest of the figure?
  • Are parallel figures or equally important figures prepared according to the same scale?
  • Are terms spelled correctly?
  • Are all abbreviations and symbols explained in a figure legend or figure caption? Are the symbols, abbreviations, and terminology in the figure consistent with those in the figure caption? In other figures? In the text?
  • Are the figures numbered consecutively with Arabic numerals?
  • Are all figures mentioned in the text?

As tables supplement the text, so should each figure.

Captions and Legends

For figures, make sure to include the figure number and a title with a legend and caption. These elements appear below the visual display. For the figure number, type Figure X. Then type the title of the figure in sentence case. Follow the title with a legend that explains the symbols in the figure and a caption that explains the figure:

Figure 1. How to create figures in APA style. This figure illustrates effective elements in APA style figures.

Captions serve as a brief, but complete, explanation and as a title. For example, “Figure 4. Population” is insufficient, whereas “Figure 4. Population of Grand Rapids, MI by race (1980)” is better. If the figure has a title in the image, crop it.

Graphs should always include a legend that explains the symbols, abbreviations, and terminology used in the figure. These terms must be consistent with those used in the text and in other figures. The lettering in the legend should be of the same type and size as that used in the figure.

When you use a figure in your paper that has been adapted or copied directly from another source, you need to reference the original source.  This reference appears as a caption underneath the figure that you copied or adapted for your paper.

Any image that is reproduced from another source also needs to come with copyright permission; it is not enough just to cite the source.

Hints:

  • Number figures consecutively throughout your paper.
  • Double-space the caption that appears under a figure.

General Format 1 (Figure from a Book):

Caption under Figure

     Figure X. Descriptive phrase that serves as title and description. Reprinted [or adapted]
     from Book Title (page number), by Author First Initial. Second Initial. Surname,
     Year, Place of Publication: Publisher. Copyright [Year] by the Name of Copyright Holder.
     Reprinted [or adapted] with permission.
Example 1 (Figure from a Book):
     Caption under Figure
     Figure 1. Short-term memory test involving pictures. Reprinted from Short-term Memory
     Loss (p. 73), by K. M. Pike, 2008, New York, NY: Mackerlin Press. Copyright  2008 by
     the Association for Memory Research. Reprinted with permission.
    
General Format 2 (Figure from a Journal Article):
     Caption under Figure
     Figure X. Descriptive phrase that serves as title and description. Reprinted [or adapted]
     from “Title of Article,” by Author First Initial. Second Initial. Surname, Year, Journal Title,
     Volume(issue), page number. Copyright [Year] by the Name of Copyright Holder.
     Reprinted [or adapted] with permission.
Example 2 (Figure from a Journal Article)
     Caption under Figure
     Figure 1. Schematic drawings of a bird's eye view of the table (a) and the test phase of
     the choice task (b). Numbers represent the dimensions in centimeters. Adapted from
     "Visual Experience Enhances Infants' Use of Task-Relevant Information in an Action
     Task," by S.-h. Wang and L. Kohne, 2007, Developmental Psychology, 43, p. 1515.
     Copyright 2003 by the American Psychological Association.
General Format 3 (Figure from a Website):
  Caption under Figure
     Figure X. Descriptive phrase that serves as title and description. Reprinted [or adapted]
     from Title of Website, by Author First Initial. Second Initial. Surname, Year, Retrieved
     from URL. Copyright [year] by the Name of Copyright Holder. Reprinted [or adapted]
     with permission.
Example 3 (Figure from a Website):
     Caption under Figure
     Figure 1. An example of the cobra yoga position. Reprinted from List of Yoga Postures,
     In Wikipedia, n.d., Retrieved October 28, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki
     /List_of_yoga_postures. Copyright 2007 by Joseph Renger. Reprinted with permission.
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