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APA (7th Edition) Referencing Guide

Guide to APA citation style using the 7th Edition of the APA Style Manual.

Using visual works in assignments & class presentations


If the image is for use only in an assignment or a PowerPoint presentation, follow the advice in this section.

In text citations

Please Note: This information has been updated for clarity in September 2021

For assignments and presentations that will never be made publicly available you can just use a normal in-text citation in the note section under the image/figure (see the instructions for what to do for a document that is being made publicly available on our page for Theses and Publications). If you are providing a description as part of your note, you can include the citation as (author, date), or if there is no descriptive information you can just state the source of the image is the author,  (date).

For example:

Note. Original painting hanging in the WAMA Gallery (Smith, 2017).

Note. Sourced from Smith (2017).


We have previously also suggested Note. Source: (Smith, 2017) for brevity, but many people found this confusing, and the point of the note is to provide context for the in-text citation, so the exact wording is not important as long as it is clear. This is still acceptable if you have already used this pattern.

Reference list

Reference the source where the image was obtained from. If an image was viewed in a gallery or online then cite the image directly as a stand alone work. For images included in other sources reference the book, website or journal article that the image came from. 

If the author is the same as the name of the website, omit the name of the website.

Remember to follow the referencing format of the resource you are using (e.g. book, journal article etc.) or include as much information about the image as possible:

  • Author or Creator (author, painter, photographer etc.)
  • Date (normally the date the book/journal/webpage was published, or the date the artwork was created if you are citing original art)
  • Title of the work
  • Material type in square brackets [Photograph] [Clipart] [Online image].
  • Publisher
  • Museum or Institution where the artwork/exhibits is located (if applicable)
  • URL

References for image that come with the software you are using (e.g. PowerPoint, Canva) are not strictly necessary, but acknowledging the source is important to help your lecturers understand what images are and are not your own.

As such, we recommend mentioning that the image you have used was "supplied" by the software. For example, in your Note under the image, you might include:

Note. Image supplied by Microsoft PowerPoint 365

Include the name of the software developer, the software used and the version if possible. If this information is not available, use what you have:

Note. Image supplied by Canva

This would be treated as equivalent to personal communication, and not included in your reference list.

Online images (standalone)

Please note, this is for images that exist as separate entities on the Internet, such as an image in Wikimedia Commons, Flickr, Pixabay, etc.

If the image is included as part of a webpage with other content, cite the webpage as per the example in the box below this one.

Put the in-text citation in the note under the image/figure.


Author, A. A. or Creator, A. A. (Date). Title of image [Online image]. Publisher. http://www.xxxxx


Standalone online image (see note above)

Raphael. (2011). Portrait of a woman [Online image]. Wikimedia Commons.


Chundur, A. (2018). The Mona Lisa: Why do her eyes follow you? [Infographic]. The Leaf.


Hamid, E. (n.d.). Mon-alien-alisa [Clipart]. Vecteezy.

In text

Figure 1

Portrait of a woman by Raphael, 1505-1506.

Portrait of a woman by Raphael

Note. Sourced from Raphael (2011).


Figure 2

Infographic: The Mona Lisa: Why do her eyes follow you?

Note. Sourced from Chundur (2018)

Figure 3

Stylized Mona Lisa.

Note. Sourced from Hamid (n.d.)

Image from a journal article



Author, A. A. (Date). Title of entry. Title of Journal, volume number(issue number), page numbers of the whole article.


Rousset, L., Bernardeschi, C. & Halioua, B. (2019, May). Did Mona Lisa suffer from postpartum thyroiditis? The Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, 33(5). e225-e226.

In text

Figure 2

Close up of Mona Lisa (left eye) by Leonardo da Vinci.

Note. Sourced from Rousset et al. (2019, p. e225).

Image from an eBook



Author, A. A. (Date). Title book. Publisher. DOI or http://www.xxxxx (if applicable)


Kempt, M. (2012). Christ to Coke: How image becomes icon. Oxford University Press.

In text

Figure 3

Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci.

Note. Sourced from Kempt (2012, p. 144).

Clip art or stock image



Author A. A. or Creator, A. A. (Date). Title of work [Clipart]. Publisher. http://www.xxxxx


Wikimedia Foundation. (2009). Stylized Mona Lisa [Clipart]. Wikimedia Commons.

In text

Figure 4

Stylized Mona Lisa.

Note. Sourced from Wikimedia Foundation (2010).

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Creative Commons Licence
Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA) 4.0 International License. Content from this Guide should be attributed to James Cook University Library. This does not apply to images, third party material (seek permission from the original owner) or any logos or insignia belonging to JCU or other bodies, which remain All Rights Reserved.