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MLA Guide

This guide contains information to help you cite your sources in MLA format.

Citing Images or Graphs

Please see below for MLA guidelines on how to cite images or graphs from the web or from a database.

Citing an Image or Graph from the Web

Format: Author(s). “Title of Image/Graph.” Title of Website in Italics, Website Publisher (if different than title), Date of Publication/Posting, URL.

Example: “Kim Kardashian.” Vanity Fair, Condé Nast, 11 Jan. 2004,

Example 2: Lange, Dorothea. "Migrant Mother." Prints & Photographs Reading Room Collection, Library of Congress, 11 Jan. 2004,

Example (No Title): Penguin sitting on rock. National Geographic, Accessed 9 Feb. 2021.

Example (Artwork): Van Gogh, Vincent. The Starry Night. 1889. MoMALearning, Museum of Modern Art,

*Note: For images without titles, create a descriptive title in plain text – no italics, no quotes. Capitalize only the first word and any proper nouns.
*Note: Italicize titles of formal art work and include the date of creation after the title with a period. The Starry Night. 1889.
*Note: Include an accessed date at the end if no date of publication/posting is available.
*Note: Image URLs should be from the actual website that hosts the image. Be careful with this. If you use Google or another search engine to find the image, if you copy the URL it may give you Google's search URL rather than the actual URL of the image's website.
*Note: You can usually omit the http:// unless needed to hyperlink.
*Note: For URLs longer than 3 lines, you can shorten the URL. Always retain the host (main website) of the URL.

Citing an Image or Graph from a Database

Format: Creator(s). "Title of Image/Graph." Title of Source (if given), Publisher, Date. Database Name, URL.

Example: Johnson, Clinton. "Boston Street Scene." Library of Congress, 1895. Credo Reference,

Example: "Daily Time Spent on Social Networking by Internet Users Worldwide from 2012 to 2022 (in Minutes)." Digital 2022: Global Digital Overview, We Are Social / DataReportal / Hootsuite, 26 Jan. 2022. Statista,

Citing Images in a Presentation

MLA gives two different ways to cite an images in a presentation or paper depending on how you are using the image in your presentation. The difference depends on whether the image is just for illustration or decoration (a stand along image), or if you're going to refer to this image in your presentation (the image itself is part of the content of your presentation.

Option 1: Image is for Illustration or Decoration (not going to talk directly about the image during your presentation).

In this case, list the entire citation information in the caption of the image. Do not list it on your Works Cited page at the end.

Option 2: Image is Part of the Presentation (going to talk about the image specifically during your presentation)

​In this case, you'll still include a caption for the image, but the caption will only include an in-text citation, and the entire citation information will go on the Works Cited page like you with a regular source.


See the two different ways you could use the image below in a presentation, and how the citing would differ.

​Option 1: If the image below is on a slide about massage therapists, but you don't directly talk about the image, then you'd include the full citation information in the caption for the image. See below.

chair massage

Fig. 1: Cuttingham, Alyssa. Massage Chair. Massage & Bodywork, vol. 28, no. 3, Dec. 2016, p. 14. Vocational and Career Collection,,sso&db=imh&AN=imh984947&site=ehost-live&scope=site&custid=s9007306.

Option 2: If you're displaying this image of the massage chair in order to talk about the correct positioning and demonstrate how someone should sit in the chair, meaning that you'll talk about this image and what it shows, then you would include the citation information in your Works Cited, and the caption would just include an in-text citation.

Fig. 1: Correct Positioning in a Massage Chair (Cuttingham 14).

Works Cited

Cuttingham, Alyssa. Massage Chair. Massage & Bodywork, vol. 28, no. 3, Dec. 2016, p. 14. Vocational and Career Collection,,sso&db=imh&AN=imh984947&site=ehost-live&scope=site&custid=s9007306.

Citing Artwork in a Project

There are several ways to cite Artwork in a project in MLA format.

When you include artwork directly into your paper or presentation, it should be labeled as "Fig." with a number, followed by a period. (Example: Fig. 1.).

Under the image, place a caption that will start with the Figure label and number. Then you have options for how to finish the caption.

Option 1

Give the full MLA citation for your source. Do not invert the creator's name (if you have one listed). 

If you include the full MLA citation in your caption and you do not cite the source again in your project, you do not need to include the source in your Works Cited.

Vincent Van Gogh's "Self Portrait" 1889

Fig 1. Vincent Van Gogh. Self Portrait. 1889. National Gallery of Art, 

Option 2

Give basic information about your source such as the creator of the image, title, year, and any other important information. If you do not include the full MLA citation, your source must be added to your Works Cited page.

Vincent Van Gogh's "Self Portrait" 1889

Fig. 1. Vincent Van Gogh, Self Portrait, oil on canvas, 1889.

Works Cited

Van Gogh, Vincent. Self Portrait. 1889. National Gallery of Art,