I am writing my thesis. In second chapter, I would like to propose a model with a figure. In third chapter, I want to propose a framework which is based on that model. It would be easy for a user to understand the framework if I can have the same figure in chapter three. Is this OK to copy the same figure? Or should I just add reference to the figure in second chapter?

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    The point of writing is to convey information clearly and easily to the reader. Go ahead and put the picture in where needed.
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Nov 4, 2015 at 17:37
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    Thank you very much. I will add 'reproduced from Chapter 2, Figure.1' in the caption, may be. Commented Nov 4, 2015 at 17:41
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    Have you considered adding it in an appendix? Then it's near the end, which may be easier to flip back and forth between.
    – tonysdg
    Commented Nov 4, 2015 at 19:24

3 Answers 3


The reason why we have figure numbers (or for that matter, equation numbers) is to ensure that calling these numbered objects becomes easier, you can identify these things with their labels. In fact, if you keep pasting the figure over and over again, whenever it is needed in the text, you will unnecessarily lengthen your thesis, and confuse the reader, who will scroll back to the earlier instance to see what is the difference from what he/she saw there.

Simply identify it by the figure number, and refer to it as Fig. 1.1 (or whatever it is, more generically,

Fig. \ref{figure_label}

if you are using LaTeX), in all later instances when you feel the need to call it. This befits clarity, conciseness and convention - all three of them.

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    I understand. I just need it once in chapter 3. In all other places, I will just refer. The thing is reader may have to switch a lot from chapter 3 to chapter 2 for every reference to the figure. It's more of choosing between readability and conciseness. Commented Nov 4, 2015 at 18:07
  • @user1890924 - It is true that they would have to switch, but I guess that's inevitable. e.g. consider any of your favorite textbooks. :)
    – 299792458
    Commented Nov 5, 2015 at 3:54

It is not good to insert the same figure every time you refer to it within the same work (a thesis or an article or a book). You have to refer to it, e.g. Fig.2.1.

I do not know where you are from, but this is like a general regulation everywhere.


As @JonCuster's comment says, you certainly can repeat the figure is it helps clarify your text. But don't overdo it, consider just refering back to it.

Perhaps you can give a sort of outline figure when explaining the model, and give a more detailed version to hang your framework on it.

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