Reference Pictures In Essay


It is important to note that the guidelines available in the APA manual are relatively limited.  We have analysed  the guidelines closely, contacted the APA Style Editor and consulted the APA blog to provide the following guidance.
In this guide the word figure refers to all images including, Photographs, Paintings, Drawings, Charts, Diagrams, Graphs, Tables, etc
Any image used in your assignment requires a caption. If the image is not your own work it also requires an intext citation to the original source.


A caption should include

  • The word Figure (with a capital letter and in italics)
  • A number (from 1, in numerical order)
  • A title for the figure or brief description of the work
  • An in text citation for the reference of the source (if not your own work), which includes the Author(s), date and page number for the source, i.e. (Smith, 2010, p.13)


If you got the image from

  • A BOOK, reference it as you would a quotation from a book
  • A JOURNAL, reference as you would a quotation from a journal
  • A WEB PAGE, reference it as you would a quotation from a web page


Image etc. taken from a book source

Figure 1. Social distances of animals (Fowler, 2008, p. 13)


Fowler, M. (2008). Restraint and handing of wild and domestic animals (3rd ed.). Ames, IA: Wiley Blackwell.


Image taken from a journal

Figure 2. Male holotye of Hypsiboas gladiator (Kholer et al., 2010, p. 584).


Kohler, J., Koscinski, D., Padial, J. M., Chaparro, J. C., Handford, P., Lougheed, S. C., & Riva, I. (2010). Systematics of Andean gladiator frogs of the Hypsiboas pulchellus species groug (Annuar, Hylidae). Zoologica Scripta, 39(6), 572-590. doi:10.111/j.1463-6409.2010.00448.x 


Image taken from the internet

Figure 3. Fantail vector (McMillan, 2009).


McMillan, T. (2009). Fantail vector. Retrieved from

What should be included:

Where you include any images in your essay, thesis or work, you can describe them as figures. You will need to include them in reference.

  • Figures need to be numbered e.g. Figure 1. or Fig.1 or Figs. 1,2,3. and captioned (described),  place caption directly under the image.
  • Number all Figures in the order they first appear in the text. 
  • Figures must be referred to in the main body of the text.
  • Refer to them in the text by their number.

In-text citations should include the author/artist/designer and date.

The Reference List should include the author/artist/designer, date, title, format, publisher, viewed date and <URL>.

Example image with caption:

Figure 1: RMIT buildings - Brunswick Campus by Margund Sallowsky, RMIT University, 2006.


Figure 1. (Margund Sallowksy 2006) captures the inventive building design at Brunswick Campus

Reference list:

Sallowksy, M 2006, RMIT buildings - Brunswick Campus, digital image, RMIT University, viewed 12 January 2012, <>.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *