Referencing and Citing Sources

Why is it important to reference?

A reference is a way of indicating to the reader, in an orderly form, where information has been obtained. References must be cited because they acknowledge the sources used, and enable the reader to consult the work and verify the data that has been presented.

A reference should provide the information needed to find the original source material.

Students need to understand why and how to cite their sources and make this a habit from the start. This will save time and energy when its time to upload the work.

Acknowledging the work and the ideas of others

IB students must always acknowledge all the sources used in any work submitted for assessment. Give the source details of all the images, text extracts and quotes you refer to in your work, including work or ideas of another artist, person or source that you have paraphrased or summarized. 

Sources include (but are not limited to) images, books and websites. Here are some other sources that should be referenced:

  • participation in practical workshops
  • exhibitions and exhibition catalogues
  • filmed interviews with visual arts professionals
  • lectures and lecture notes
  • audio recordings and soundtracks
  • newspaper articles and magazines
  • online groups and forums
  • feedback and advice from others
  • films, television and other media

Referencing Images

When citing images the recommended format is:  Artist / Title / Date / Media / Source

When citing texts, present in the following order: Author / Title / Publisher / Date / Page or Website

When citing work you have seen in an exhibition, state this as a primary source. 

When citing work found on the internet, you must include the artist and the details of the work, not simply the URL where you found it. Include the date you accessed the page, along with the URL in your sources page, not necessarily in text, to keep it clean.

Format for Referencing an Image

Artist  Leonardo da Vinci

Title   Mona Lisa ( La Gioconda)

Date  1503-17

Medium Oil on poplar panel

Size 77 x 53 cm

Source Musee du Louvre, Paris

Referencing and citing sources in the each of the assessed Components

Referencing in the Process Portfolio

Students should use in text citation in Process Portfolio screens whenever someone else’s work is quoted or summarized. References can come from many different sources, including books, magazines, journals, newspapers, emails, internet sites and interviews. Students should also cite their own work as such.

Referencing in the Comparative Study

In text citations for images should include an image label with title, artist, date and medium, and a number that corresponds to the sources page where the full citation ( including source) is included.

 Students are required to submit a list of sources for the Comparative Study as a separate document.

As soon as you know you would like to refer to an image or text, collect the reference information in a Word document. Doing this will save you a lot of time later when you compile your bibliography.

Referencing in the Exhibition

When directly referring to another artists work or ideas that have significantly influenced your work, you can cite this briefly in the Exhibition Texts

Referencing in the Extended Essay

Referencing is critical is in the Extended Essay. All EEs should include in text citation, fully referenced images and a final bibliography.

What is an in-text citation?

A citation is a shorthand method of making a reference in the body of an essay, which is then linked to the full reference at the end of the essay. A citation provides the reader with accurate references so that he or she can locate the source easily. How sources are cited varies with the particular documentation style that has been chosen. Page numbers should normally be given when referencing printed material: in some styles this will be in the citation, in others in the full reference. Once again, it is important to emphasize that there must be consistency of method when citing sources.

What is a Bibliography?

A bibliography is an alphabetical list of every source used to research and write the essay. Sources that are not cited in the body of the essay, but were important in informing the approach taken, should be cited in the introduction or in an acknowledgment.

Find out more about writing a Bibliography, academic referencing styles in Bibliographies, Citation, Referencing

You may choose the referencing style you prefer or the one used by the school, but it is important to be consistent throughout, see Bibliographies for acceptable documentation styles

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Comments 6

Chek Leung 12 March 2017 - 09:24

Hello Heather, would it be sufficient if students use numbered footnote when citing their image sources?

Heather McReynolds 12 March 2017 - 19:24

Do you mean for the CS? It is probably sufficient but i tell students to at least caption each image with title, artist, and then a numbered footnote for the rest of the info

Phil Simmonds 13 October 2017 - 08:27

Size is very important - especially for unfamiliar work. Even with a very well known work like Dali's Persistence of Memory, students are often surprised about how tiny it is. it is also important for students to give sizes for their own work in PP

Heather McReynolds 14 October 2017 - 18:07

True, in some pieces it's especially important... but good idea to include size whenever referencing.

Daryl Bates 26 October 2017 - 04:20

How does a citation in the EE look of the author's own photo?

Heather McReynolds 26 October 2017 - 10:42

Daryl, add "author's own photo" and cite the rest as usual. I would place this at the end of the citation.

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