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How to Cite a Graphic in APA Format


In addition to citing books and reference materials, you must also cite graphics when you include them in your American Psychological Association (APA) style paper. Individuals in the social science and behavioral science fields are the primary users of APA style. The APA Style guidelines are published in a reference book titled, "The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association."

Write the author's name, the author's role in the image creation and the year the author created the image. Then include the type of work, the date you retrieved the image and the web address from which you retrieved the image.

Use this APA style format when citing a graphic in APA Format. Include all punctuation and italicize the work title.

Author (Author role). (Year image created). Work title [Work type], Retrieved Month Day, Year, from: Web address

For example, a photograph taken of Muhammad Ali by Gordon Parks in 1970, titled "Muhammad Ali," would be cited as follows:

Gordon Parks (Photographer). (1970). Muhammad Ali [Photograph], Retrieved March 24, 2011, from: http://art2art.org/more_parks.htm

Because "Muhammad Ali" is the title of the photograph, it would be placed in italics.

Use this APA Style format to cite a graphic that does not include an author.

Work title [Work type]. (Year image created). Retrieved Month Day, Year, from: Web address

Using the Gordon Parks photograph, assuming you did not know who took the picture, it would include the following elements:

Muhammad Ali [Photograph]. (1970). Retrieved March 24, 2011, from: http://art2art.org/more_parks.htm

In this case, do not italicize the work title.

Use the following format to cite an image when you cannot locate the author, title and date. Do not italicize the title:

[Subject or work title]. Retrieved Month, Day, Year, from: Web address

Example using the Gordon Parks photograph:

[Untitled photograph of a boxer]. Retrieved March 24, 2011, from: http://art2art.org/more_parks.htm

About the Author

Based in New York, Kate Bluest has been writing for various online publications since 2005. She has participated in several writing workshops, including the MIT Writing Workshop. Bluest holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration from SUNY Empire State College.