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Visual Literacy: APA Citation

This guide will help you to find, read, cite, edit and present images.

APA (American Psychological Association) Citation Rules

Note:  Performance art does not go in an APA reference list because ephemeral works no longer exist, and so you cannot lead your reader back to the source. Videos of such performances, however, should be included in the reference list

Works of Visual Art

Elements of citation:

Artistslasname, A. A. (Year of composition). Title of Work. [Format]. Place work resides.

Examples citations:

Jevbratt, L. (2005). Migration (a map of the Internet) [Digital visualization]. Retrieved from

Rodin, A. (1902). The thinker [Bronze and marble sculpture]. Paris, France: Musée Rodin.

Wyeth, A. (1948). Christina’s world [Painting]. New York, NY: Museum of Modern Art.

Wyeth, A. (1948). Christina’s world [Painting]. Retrieved from

Film or Video Recordings (including online sources like YouTube)

Elements of citation:

Traditional Film: Producerlastname, A. A. (Producer), & Directorlastname, A. (Director). (Year of publication). Title of video or movie [Motion picture]. Country of origin: Studio.

Online Film: Creatorlastname, A. A. (Date of publication). Title of video [Video file]. Retrieved from URL

Example citations:

Motoki, S. (Producer), & Kurosawa, A. (Director). (1954). Shichinin no samurai [Seven samurai; Motion picture]. Japan: Toho.

Hungrybear9562. (2010, January 8). Yosemitebear Mountain Giant Double Rainbow 1-8-10 [Video file]. Retrieved from


Artistslasname, A. A. (Year of composition). Title of Work. [Format]. Place work resides.

Examples citations:

Carvaggio, M. (1606). Death of the Virgin. [Painting]. Retrieved from

Citing Twitter or Facebook

Example Citations:

Barack Obama. (2009b, October 9). Humbled. 
      [Facebook update]. Retrieved from

BarackObama. (2009a, July 15). Launched American Graduation Initiative to help additional 5 mill. Americans graduate
      college by 2020: [Twitter post]. Retrieved from

Television Broadcast or Series Episode

Elements of citation:

Writerlastname, A. A. (Producer), & Directorlastname, A. (Director). (Year of publication). Title of series [Television broadcast or Television series].  City, state of origin: Studio or distributor. Country of origin: Studio.

Graphic Narratives

Elements of citation:

Writerslastname, A. A. (Writer), & Artistslastname, A. (Illus.). (Year of publication). Title ofwork. City of publication: Publisher.

Example citation:

Moore, A. (Writer), & Gibbons, D. (Illus.). (1986). Watchmen. New York: DC Comics Inc.

Online Maps

Elements of Citation:

Organizationname (Cartographer). (Year). Title of map [Type of map]. Retrieved from URL

Example citation:

Lewis County Geographic Information Services (Cartographer). (2002). Population density, 2000 U.S. Census [Demographic map]. Retrieved from