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MLA Style

Your guide to citations and works cited in MLA Style, 9th Edition

Inserting Images into Your Assignment

Any images used in your paper should be copyright free.

Always ask your instructor on how images should appear in your paper. If no instructions are given, MLA has some guidance:

  • Start by labelling the image with a Figure number (any visual display that is not a table is considered a figure).
  • Place the figure as close as you can to the related text.
  • Place the full Works Cited entry in the caption for your image but do not invert the author's name (it should appear first name last name). If the image is not cited in text, no Works Cited entry is needed. Otherwise, create a caption and a Works Cited entry for your image.
  • Include a date of access if the image does not have a publication date.

When referring to your image in the text of your paper, refer to it by the figure number.

For example:

  • As shown in fig. 2.
  • As compared in the image (see fig. 7).

In Your Paper

Example of how to include an image, with a caption and Works Cited entry

Insert the image in your paper following the format, below.

Fig. 1. Image of a padlock

Works Cited

"Padlock". Clipart Library, Accessed 7 Dec. 2023.

Example of how to include an image with the full Works Cited entry in the caption

Fig. 1 Chris McCorkle. Bubbles! 2006. Flickr,

As the full Works Cited entry is in the caption and the image is not cited in-text, no entry is needed in the Works Cited list.

More sample figures can be found on MLA Style Center.

Image from a Website, Known Photographer

Works Cited

Creator's Surname, Given Name. "Title or Description of Image." Date. Name of Website, URL.

Tierney, Stephen. "Transporter Bridge: Middlesborough." 28 Sept. 2013. Flickr,         

In-text Citation

(Creator's Surname).


Image from a Website, Unknown Photographer

If the creator is unknown, begin the reference with the title or description of the image.

Works Cited

"Title or Description of Image." Website Name, Uploaded by Name or Username, Uploaded Date, URL. 

"Portrait of a Man." Flickr, uploaded by Wim van der Groef, 23 May 2009,

In-text Citation

("Title or Description of Image").

("Portrait of a Man"). 

Image from a Library Database

Works Cited

Creator's Surname, Given Name. Title or Description of Image. Date of Creation. Database Name, URL.

Freed, Leonard. USA. New York City. 1956. 1956. Artstor,

In-text Citation

(Creator's Surname).


Stock Image or Clip Art

Works Cited

Creator's Surname, Given Name. “Image Title or Description of Image." Website Name, Publication date, URL.

Darby, Ronda. "Snow Covered Pine Trees." Unsplash, 16 Nov. 2015,

In-text Citation

(Creator's Surname).


Artwork in a Museum

Works Cited

Creator's Surname, Given Name. Image Title. Date Created, Museum/Institution, Location.

Cartier-Bresson, Henri. Juvisy, France. 1938, Museum of Modern Art, New York City.

In-text Citation

(Creator’s Surname).


Artwork on a Museum Website

Works Cited

Creator's Surname, Given Name. Image Title. Creation Date. Name of Museum, Location. Website Name, URL. Access Date.

Boudin, Eugene. On the Beach, Sunset. 1865. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City. The Met, Accessed 12 Nov. 2021.

In-text Citation

(Creator’s Surname).


Unpublished Images: Your Own Photos or Artwork

Works Cited

Your Surname, Given Name. Image description (including format) or Image Title. Day Month Year taken. Author’s personal collection.  

Smith, John. Photograph of Cats Being Fed. 11 Aug. 2001. Author’s personal collection.

In-text Citation

(Your Surname).


Open License Statement

MLA Style by Centennial College Libraries is licensed under a CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0 license unless otherwise stated.

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