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Canadian Health Care for Foreign Trained Professionals

As with any question about citation, it is best to check with your instructor before citing images. They may have special instructions that differ from these.

What are figures? Graphs, charts, maps, drawing, photographs or screen captures

Cite 3 times:

1. In the text:

  • Name your figures (Figure 1, Figure 2, etc)
  • Introduce the figure in the text, explaining why it is there, and include an in-text citation based on the material source (which contains the page number).

2. In the caption, underneath the figure:

Figure 1. Descriptive caption of image. From Image title, by Creator’s Name, Year of creation, Database/URL.  Copyright Date by Name of Copyright Holder. Adapted/Reprinted with permission (if applicable). 

3. In the reference list:

  • Format the reference according to its material type - For example if image is in a book, format reference as a book citation; if from a journal, a journal citation.

More on Image Citing, Figure and Table Building from APA: 

See APA Style Blog, "Figure Construction: Resisting the Urge to Obscure".

  • See rule 2.13, Appendices and Supplemental Materials (APA, 2010, p. 39, p. 127).
  • See rule 5.04, Formatting Tables and Figures (APA, 2010, p. 127).
  • Rules describing the construction of figures is found on pages 150 - 167 of APA's publication manual (APA, 2010).
  • See APA Style Blog, "Figure Construction: Resisting the Urge to Obscure".  
  • See APA Style Blog, "Table Tips", see comment by Stephanie, dated January 24, 2011 at 11:44 PM.
Journal Article
As shown in Figure 1 (Murray, 2011, p. 73) the artist demonstrates....

As shown in Figure 1 (American Psychological Association, 2010, p. 41) the table.....

Sharing Site
As shown in Figure 1 (Coursey, 2002) the artist demonstrates....

In Figure 1 (Mohawk College Library, 2014) we see the Institute for Applied...

Your Creation
  • No reference citation is needed beyond naming the Figure.
In Figure 1 the comparison indicates...

Journal Article

Photographic image of Suzanna Moodie

Figure 1. Photographic image of Suzanna Moodie. Adapted from 'These vistas of desolation': Image and poetry in Margaret Atwood and Charles Pachter's The Journals of Susanna Moodie, by P. Murray, 2011, British Journal Of Canadian Studies, 24, p. 73. Copyright 2011 by British Journal of Canadian Studies. Adapted with permission


Figure of a book example

Figure 1. Pages 1 and 2 of the sample paper written in APA format. Adapted from Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed. p. 41), by American Psychological Association, 2010, Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Copyright by American Psychological Association. Adapted with permission.

Sharing Site

 Dachshund in a Mexican dress

Figure 1. Dachshund in Mexian costume. [Photograph]. Adapted from Lee Coursey, 2006. ( In the public domain.


IAHS building

Figure 1. Institute for Applied Health Sciences at McMaster (IAHS) [Photograph]. Retrieved from Mohawk College Library, 2014 ( Copyright 2014 by Mohawk College Library. Used with permission.

Your Creation

  • If a figure contains an image / chart / diagram, etc. you created, the image caption does not need to include a retrieval statement.

Sketch of a Dachshund dog

Figure 1. An original line drawing of a Dachshund showing how you can make your own drawing.

Journal Article
Murray, P. (2011). 'These vistas of desolation': Image and poetry in Margaret Atwood and Charles Pachter's The Journals of Susanna  Moodie. British Journal Of Canadian Studies, 24(1), 69-84.

American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Pychological Association (6th ed.).Washington, DC: Author.

Sharing Site
Coursey, L. (2006). "Dachshund in Mexican costume" [Photograph]. Retrieved from

Mohawk College Library. (2014). Institute for Applied Health Sciences at McMaster (IAHS) [Photograph]. Retrieved from

Your Creation

No reference citation is required for a figure that contains an item you created yourself.