Museums & Athletes: Field of Vision: MLA

Library Guides and Web Resources


MLA is generally used by the humanities disciplines (Literature, Performing and Visual Arts, Languages, etc.). For more information, consult the guide directly.

Using and Citing Images and Visuals

Images and illustrations should be labeled as figures and numbered in the order in which they are referred to in the text (in-text, refer to the images by figure number e.g see fig. 3). If your image is a table or musical score, different formatting rules apply (consult the MLA handbook for more information). The figure number should appear beneath the image and be followed by a caption, which should include a brief title, and/or an explanation of the figure, and source information. If all images and visuals contain a full citation in the caption, there is no need for a separate entry in the Works Cited page.

Basic format for a caption: Artist or Creator Name (First Last), Title of Work, Date of Work, Institution/Org./Company holding work, Institution City; Citation for Source of Image (web, database, book, etc.)

For instance:

Fig. 5. From a series the artist began in 1949 titled "Homage to the Square." Josef Albers, Homage to the Square: New Light, 1967, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago; The Art Institute of Chicago, Web, 12 January 2012.

NOTE: MLA no longer requires URLs; however, you may want to use them if the work will be difficult to find without this information. 

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