How do I cite a photo or other image reproduced in a website article?
Note: This post relates to content in the eighth edition of the MLA Handbook. For up-to-date guidance, see the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook.
When citing an image reproduced in an article on a website, you can generally refer to it in your text and then key the reference to a works-cited-list entry for the article. In the example below, the image, reproduced in an article on a website, is described in prose, and the name of the article’s author is provided in a parenthetical citation that keys to the works-cited-list entry:
A recent article summarizing a study of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa shows a scan of the original Mona Lisa so that readers can judge for themselves whether or not the woman in the painting is smiling (Daley).
Daley, Jason. “So Is Mona Lisa Smiling? A New Study Says Yes.” Smithsonian.com, 17 Mar. 2017, www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/is-the-mona-lisa-smiling-new-study-180962580/.
Another way to cite an image reproduced in a website article is to treat it as a work contained in another work. Using the MLA format template, start your works-cited-list entry with a description of the image, since you are not citing the actual image but a reproduction of it. Then list the title of the article that contains the image as the title of the container, the author of the article in the “Other contributors” slot, and the publication date of the article. In a second container, list the name of the website and the URL:
Digital reproduction of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. “So Is Mona Lisa Smiling? A New Study Says Yes,” by Jason Daley, 17 Mar. 2017. Smithsonian.com, www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/is-the-mona-lisa-smiling-new-study-180962580/.
If the image is altered in any way, characterize the work you are citing accurately in the entry. For example, the same article summarizing the study of Mona Lisa includes a doctored image of the Mona Lisa in which the woman in the painting is frowning. You might cite the image as follows:
Digitally altered image of Leonard da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. “So Is Mona Lisa Smiling? A New Study Says Yes,” by Jason Daley, 17 Mar. 2017. Smithsonian.com, www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/is-the-mona-lisa-smiling-new-study-180962580/.
The website Liberty Puzzles contains an image of the Mona Lisa in the form of a jigsaw puzzle. To cite this image, provide a description in place of a title. Then list the title of the website as the title of the container, followed by the URL. If there is no copyright or other date on the page, provide an access date in the optional-element slot at the end of the entry:
Jigsaw puzzle image of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. Liberty Puzzles, www.libertypuzzles.com/wooden-jigsaw-puzzles/mona-lisa. Accessed 25 Sept. 2018.