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MLA Citation Guide

Figures and Images in MLA Papers

If you are using figures, graphics, and images from external sources within your paper, you need to include a Works Cited entry for where the image came from and then a caption underneath the image, using the abbreviation Fig. for figure and number of the figure. Captions should include the creator (in normal order), title of the source, and date.

Self-Created Figure

If the figure or graph was created by you, then only include the caption, beginning with Fig. #. and then explain the figure/graph.


Fig. 1. A sample budget tracking income and expenses.

Screenshots and Stills

Screenshots should cite the location where the screenshot was taken in the Works Cited list and then provide a caption with major details, including the title of the source, the author/creator, and the date (if available).

Screenshot from Website

Because websites can change, include the accessed date in your caption.

Screenshot of Tyree Library

Fig 2. "Lawrence W. Tyree Library," Santa Fe College, accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

"Lawrence W. Tyree Library." Santa Fe College, Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

Still from Film


Fig. 3. Casablanca, directed by Michael Curtiz, 1942.

Casablanca. Directed by Michael Curtiz, Warner Bros. Pictures, 1942.

Still from TV Series

Mad Men

Fig. 4. "Person to Person," Mad Men, created by Matthew Weiner, 2015.

"Person to Person." Mad Men, created by Matthew Weiner, season 7, episode 14, Warner Bros. Productions / Lionsgate Television, 17 May 2015.

Still from Video Game

Stray video game

Fig. 5. Stray, directed by Koola and Viv, 2022.

Stray. Directed by Colas Koola and Vivien Mermet-Guyenet, BlueTwelve Studio / Annapurna Interactive, 2022. Sony PlayStation 5 game.

Screenshot of a Social Media Post

Twitter post

Fig. 6. Ellen DeGeneres tweet, Twitter, 2 Mar. 2014.

DeGeneres, Ellen [@EllenDeGeneres]. "If only Bradley's arm was longer. Best photo ever. #oscars." Twitter, 2 Mar. 2014,

Graphs, Maps, or Figures

For graphs and figures from published works, include a full Works Cited entry for that work, and then provide a caption with the major details, including the author/creator, title, source information, and date (if available). Use the title for the source you are citing, not the title given to a graph or figure. If the title is excessively long, you may use the first few words.

Graph from a Journal Article

Reasons for Playing Video Games

Fig. 6. Kent Nordby et al., "Playing a Video Game," BMC Psychology, 2019. 

Nordby, Kent, et al. "Playing a Video Game Is More Than Mere Procrastination." BMC Psychology, vol. 7, 2019.

Graph in Opposing Viewpoints

Fig. 7. "Majority of People Polled," Tribune Content Agency Graphics, 2023.

"Majority of People Polled Believe AI will Hinder, vs. Help, American Workers' Job Prospects." Tribune Content Agency Graphics, 2023. Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints, Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

Table in a CQ Researcher Report

Table - Civilians Killed at High Rates in Recent Wars

Fig 8. Zarrín Caldwell, "Civilians and War," CQ Researcher, 12 Apr. 2024.

Caldwell, Zarrín. "Civilians and War." CQ Researcher, 12 Apr. 2024.

Graph on a Website

More Than Half of Americans Say They Need More Sleep

Fig 9. Sarah Fiorini and Dan Foy, "Americans Sleeping Less, More Stressed," Gallup, 15 Apr. 2024.

Fiorini, Sarah, and Dan Foy. "Americans Sleeping Less, More Stressed." Gallup, 15 Apr. 2024,

Images from Books

For images from books, include a full Works Cited entry for that work, and then provide a caption with the major details, including the author/creator, book title, and date (if available). If the title is excessively long, you may use the first few words.

Book Illustration

Goodnight Moon

Fig. 10. Margaret Wise Brown, Goodnight Moon, 2005.

Brown, Margaret Wise. Goodnight Moon. Illustrated by Clement Hurd, Harper Collins, 2005.

Graph or Figure from a Book

Mindfulness-Based College

Fig. 11. Eric B. Loucks, The Mindful College Student, 2022.

Loucks, Eric B. The Mindful College Student: How to Succeed, Boost Well-Being, and Build the Life You Want at University and Beyond. New Harbinger Publications, 2022.

Artwork or Photograph

Cite the full artwork or photograph in your Works Cited list and provide a caption underneath the image. The artist/photographer should be listed in normal order (First Name Last Name).


Shepherd's Song by Pierre Puvis de Chavannes

Fig. 12. Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, The Shepherd's Song, 1891.

Puvis de Chavannes, Pierre. The Shepherd's Song. 1891, The Met, Oil on canvas.

Artwork with Unknown Artist

The Seated Scribe

Fig. 13. The Seated Scribe, ca. 2500 B.C.E.

The Seated Scribe. ca. 2500 B.C.E., The Louvre, Paris, Limestone.


First Flight

Fig. 14. John T. Daniels, First Flight, 17 Dec.1903.

Daniels, John T. First Flight. 17 Dec. 1903. Wikimedia Commons,

AI-Generated Images

You only need to include the prompt, tool, and date generated as part of the caption. There is no need for a separate Works Cited list entry.

generated image of students on the moon

Fig. 15. "College students studying on the moon" prompt, DALL-E, version 3, OpenAI, 18 Apr. 2024,

Source: How do I cite generative AI in MLA style? [MLA Style Center]

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