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Citation Guide- MLA: Citing Images & Tables

Essential information to become a successful "citer"


Photographs, data sets, tables, graphs, and other images are often added into projects or papers to promote or aid understanding. They provide meaningful visuals for the reader. If the illustration or visual image does not enhance the quality of the paper, do not include it in the project.


For an image to be significant and easily identifiable, place it as close as possible to the text in the project where it is discussed.  

It is not acceptable to simply place an image in a project without including identifiable information. All images must include information about its origin.

Here are the directions to properly attribute an image:

  1. Create a label for the image or illustration and place it directly beneath the image. Begin the label with the abbreviation “Fig.,” which is short for figure.
  2. Assign an Arabic number. The image closest to the beginning of the project should be labeled as Fig. 1. The next image in the project should be Fig. 2. and so on.
  3. Provide a caption. The label and caption should appear underneath the illustration.
  4. *If the table or illustration’s caption gives complete information about the source and the source isn’t cited in the text, there is no need to include the citation in the works cited page.

In the text of the project or paper, place a parentheses at the end of the line where the figure is discussed, and include the label.


  1. Create a caption for the image. The caption should be a brief explanation, or title of the contents of the image. Place the caption directly next to the label.
  2. Immediately following the caption, it is acceptable to include the attribution information. If the image is not discussed further in the rest of the paper or project, it is acceptable to include the MLA bibliography format citation below the image and omitted from the bibliography or MLA format works cited page.

Fig. 1. White Studio. “Houdini and Jennie, the Elephant, Performing at the Hippodrome, New York.” Library of Congress, Accessed 12th June 2019.


When adding a table or data set into a project, do not place the label “fig.” below the information. Instead, above the data set, include the label, “Table.” Label tables with “Table,” give it an Arabic numeral, and title it. This information should be located above the table, flush left, on separate lines.

The table’s title should be written in title case form (the first letter of each word is capitalized, except for small, insignificant words).

Underneath the table, provide the source and any notes. Notes should be labeled with a letter, rather than a numeral, so the reader is able to differentiate between the notes of the text and the notes of the table.

Use double spacing throughout.

In MLA format, the first table seen in the project is labeled as Table 1. The second table in the project is Table 2, and so on.

Create a title for the table and place it below the label.

Example 1:

Table 4

International Scholars from India Enrolled at Yale University:



South Korea













Source: “International Scholars Academic Year 2015-2016.” Yale University, Office of International Students and Scholars,
a. The numbers reflect students who are enrolled full-time.

The information included above and below any images or table should be double spaced, similar to the rest of the project or paper.

Example 2:

Information on this Page taken from:

Staff, EasyBib. “MLA Format: Everything You Need to Know Here.” EasyBib, Chegg, 1 Jan. 2019,