English: skills for learning
English: skills for learning

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

English: skills for learning

6 Referring to visual information

In essay and report writing, it may be necessary to include visuals such as a picture or a diagram. To help the reader see the relevance of these visuals, it is important to refer to them in the text.

To achieve this, it is necessary to give the visual a number (Figure 1, Table 1, etc.) and a title indicating its theme. This allows the writer to refer to the visual using one of these phrases:

  • As can be seen in Figure 1 ...
  • According to Figure 1, ...
  • Figure 1 shows …
  • Figure 1 indicates that …
  • As shown in Figure 1 ...

In the example text used in Activity 10, the figure has been given a number and a title, and the writer refers to it in the central part of their text by using the phrase ‘as can be seen in Figure 1’.

Activity 10

By signing in and enrolling on this course you can view and complete all activities within the course, track your progress in My OpenLearn. and when you have completed a course, you can download and print a free Statement of Participation - which you can use to demonstrate your learning.

Click on 'SIGN IN to enrol' to get started.

You can find out more about registering and OpenLearn in our FAQs.

Images and diagrams can be used to illustrate the points made in the text. However, readers will understand the relevance of these visuals if the text clearly refers to them.


Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has over 40 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus