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Finding and Using Images

Presentations off campus have different copyright rules than in-class presentations. While it may be ok to use an image you found via Google in your in-class presentation, using that same image in a poster at an event off campus may violate copyright. This copyright guide, created by the MRU Copyright Advisor, will help you understand how you can use images in your assignments while still respecting copyright. The Copyright Advisor can be reached at or 403.440.6618 if you have any copyright questions.

Here are some places where you can search for Creative Commons licensed or public domain images where the creator has given you permission up front for their reuse under certain conditions. 

Warning: Once you select an image, use a reverse image search like TinEye to confirm its origins. Some of the images in popular free image sites like Unsplash and Pixabay have been uploaded illegally from commercial stock image sites. 

Citing Images in APA

If your assignment requires you to use images, consider the following:

  • Do you have the right to use the image in your project? (see the MRU copyright guide for more information)
  • How does your instructor want you to cite the photo in your paper, on your slides, or on your poster?
    • with a figure note (see the handout below or chapter 7 of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th edition) 
    • using a regular in-text citation with the image creator's last name and year below the image  e.g. (Smith, 2015)

While the APA manual officially recommends figure notes, your instructor may be okay with you using parentheses - it is best to confirm with them directly.

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Cari Merkley

Phone: 403.440.5068
Office: EL4423U