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Citation Guides

Guides on everything related to citing sources: MLA and APA style, citing websites, and avoiding plagiarism.

MLA Photographs, artwork reproductions, artwork viewed in person

General guidance:

  • The artist's name is given for the "author" element.
  • First give information about the creator of the artwork, then for the website, article, or book in which it was published.
  • If you viewed the artwork in person, see section "Artwork seen in person".
  • The medium is an optional element, and may be included as an optional element, after the final period.
Photographic reproduction of artwork, print book

Last name, First name of artist. Title of Work. Date of composition, Location of original work. Title of Book, edited by Editor's First and Last name, Publisher name, Date of book publication, p. Page number of reproduction. 

Eakins, Thomas. Spinning. 1881, private collection. Thomas Eakins, edited by Darrel Sewell, Yale UP, 2016, p. 102.

Picasso, Pablo. Violin and Sheet of Music. 1912, Réunion des Musées Nationaux. Pablo Picasso, edited by Jesse McDonald, Barnes & Noble, 1993, p. 47.

Photographic reproduction of artwork, online

Important note on Google Images:

  • Google should never be cited as the source of an image. None of the images found on Google (or any other search engine) are actually on Google, it just helps you locate images others have posted online. Click on the button "Visit Page" or click again on the image to get to the website where the image is published, and where you can find the information you need to cite the image.

Last name, First name of artist. Title of Work. Date of composition, Museum/Location of original artwork [skip location and city if same as name of website], City of location. Title of website, Publisher of website, URL. 

Da Vinci, Leonardo. Mona Lisa. 1503-19, Louvre, Musée du Louvre, 

Kruger, Barbara. I Shop Therefore I Am. 1987, The Art History Archive, Lilith Gallery, 

Wood, Grant. American Gothic. 1930, Art Institute of Chicago,

Photograph, online

Last name, First name of photographer. Title of photograph. Date photograph was taken or if not available date uploaded. Title of website, Publisher of website, URL. 

Hartmann, Trish. Southern Leopard Frog. 26 June 2013. Flickr,

Photograph, personal

Brief description of the photograph. Date of photograph, [Or estimate the date in brackets if unknown], personal photograph.

Dorothy Thompson with the Waucoma High School basketball team. [Circa 1933], personal photograph.

Artwork seen in person

Last name, First name of artist. Title of work. Date of composition, Name of museum, city of museum. 

Picasso, Pablo. Violin and Sheet of Music. 1912, Musée National Picasso, Paris.

Wood, Grant. American Gothic. 1930, Art Institute of Chicago.

Example including the medium
  • If the medium is important to your discussion of the work, include it as an optional element, after the final period.

Last name, First name of artist. Title of work. Date of composition, Name of museum, city of museum. Medium of work.

Anatsui, El. Transit. 2002, University of Iowa Museum of Art, Iowa City. Wood and pigment.

MLA Recommendations for image captions in a paper

Captioning images

The MLA Handbook recommends the following practices when images are inserted into the text of your paper:

  • Label each image as a figure (abbreviate to "Fig.") and number in order throughout your paper. See example:Screenshot of a paper with an image and caption
  • Label should be formatted as a caption appearing just below the image. See directions for Microsoft Word below.
  • Label should give identifying information about the image.
    • Option 1: Include a complete MLA style citation for the image in the caption. The citation is the same as a regular citation, but the artist's name is not reversed. If the image is not discussed in your paper, no further citation is needed. For example: Fig. 2. Grant Wood. American Gothic. 1930, Art Institute of Chicago.
    • Option 2: Include partial information about the image, typically the artist's name and the title of the work. Also include a full citation for the artwork in your Works Cited list at the end of your paper.  


Directions: Inserting and formatting an image and caption in Microsoft Word

  1. Click where you want to insert the picture in your document, somewhere near your discussion of the image in your paper and at the end of a sentence.
  2. Click on the "Insert" tab in the main Word menu, then click "Pictures".
  3. Browse your computer's files to locate the picture you want to insert. Double-click the image, and it will appear in your paper.
  4. If needed, resize the image by clicking and dragging on one corner. 
To caption the image:
  1. Change the settings on your image: Click once on the image to select it. In the "Picture Tools/Format" tab, click on "Wrap Text", then "Square". 
  2. Insert a Text Box: Click on the "Insert" tab, then click "Text Box" and "Draw Text Box". Click and hold near the lower left corner of your image, and drag to the right and down, creating an empty box that sits below your image and has enough space for one or two lines of text. 
  3. Click in the empty box and start typing your caption. See above for more information on what information is included in a caption. 
  4. Group your image and caption text box so they can be moved and resized as one: Hold down the Ctrl key and click on the image then the text box. They should both now be selected.
  5. In the "Drawing Tools/Format" tab, click "Group" then "Group" again. Your image and text box should now be showing as one object. You can now drag the image and text box around in your paper so it's showing up where you want it, near where you reference it in your writing. 

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