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MLA Style Guide

Image from a Book

It is often acceptable to simply refer to the image in your text, and then refer to the book as a whole in your works cited. For example:


If the image itself, or the content of the image (sculpture, painting, etc.) has an artist and/or title associated with it, or if it is central to your argument, treat the image as the work, and treat the book as the container when referencing.



Note: In the first example, there is a period after the first date. This is because the date is the last element that refers to the image. The remaining elements refer to the book (container). In the second example there is a comma after the first date, because the location following the date is in reference to the image. Refer to the core elements of MLA for further guidance regarding punctuation.


In-text Citation Guidelines



If you include the image as a figure in your paper, refer to the figure in parenthesis. use "figure" or "fig." with the accession number of the image.


Consider this a sentence describing the image (figure 1).


Consider this a sentence describing the image (fig. 1).



If you refer to the image in text, but do not include it as a figure in your paper, cite as usual, including the author/artist/creator's last name, and the page number.


In a discussion of the connection between ancient monuments and astronomy, Murphy includes a photograph of the stars over Newgrange (95).


A photo of the stars over Newgrange illustrations the collection between ancient monuments and astronomy (Murphy 95).

Remember, in-text citation formatting changes depending on a number of factors.