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Visual Literacy: Attribution

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


An attribution is a less formal way to identify and acknowlege an image. Simpler. It is often used for presentations or papers or other formats that do not require a formal citation style.


Be consistent with how you attribute!

For example, if you are using a Creative Commons license image, include a link to the Creative Commons license page.

A Few Examples...

          Found on Wikimedia Commons

          Study falling rain by Mariokleff (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

          Found on Google Images

          Biting Apple (food). Retrieved 5.12.12:

          Found on Flickr Images

          Funny Signs or Pictures by DrJohnBullas, 2010 (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

          What elements should I include when attributing?

            Attribute an image or visual media source for presentations, papers, etc. that do not require a specific publication style.

            Include the following elements in your attribution:

            • Title of the work
            • Creator of the work
            • Creative Commons type of license, if applicable
            • Hyperlink to website from which the work was retrieved

            Include the following elements if you have them:

            • Year(s) when it was composed/completed
            • Materials involved in creating the work
            • Institution that houses the work
            • Date the work was retrieved