Skip to Main Content

Undergraduate Thesis

Images and Figures

images and figures

When to Cite Images

A common misconception about images is that if you found it online you do not have to cite it. Wrong! Any image you did not create yourself must be cited, both below the image in the caption and in your list of figures.

Do you need to cite images you create yourself? No. Just include a (by author) in your image caption so that we know you created it.


Figures of any kind need to have a Figure Number and a Caption below the figure. The caption is a brief, descriptive phrase about the image. 

  • If you are not the creator of the image you are using, you must include a citation: (Last Name of creator, Year). If there is no creator listed, please use the title instead. ("Title", year).
  • If this is an original image and you are the creator, include (by author) instead of a citation.

Here is the order of elements you need below every figure:

1. Figure Number

2. Caption

3. Citation or (by author)

List of Figures

Your List of Figures includes all of the images/graphs/tables/charts/etc. that you include in your thesis. This list is organized by figure number. Here are all of the elements in order:

1. Figure Number

2. Figure Caption

3. APA Reference (if it is not YOUR figure)

4. Page Number in thesis where figure is used.


Note: APA Reference indicates whose work you are using. It lets us know where this image came from. Use all APA standard rules to create this (see References section).

Want to see where this located in your thesis? Please reference this Back Matter Page.

RICHARD WELSH LIBRARY at NewSchool of Architecture + Design

1249 F Street San Diego CA 92101

619 684 8783