How do I cite an image found through an online search engine like Google Images?
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.
To cite an image found through Google using the image-search function, you must identify the website—that is, the container—where the image was posted. For example, let’s say you found this image of The Muleteer by searching “Pompeii” and then “Bodies.”
Viewing the image thumbnail in the search-results list is not sufficient. You must click through to view the image on the site where it was posted: Decoded Past.
Since the artwork is contained in a blog post on a website, the works-cited-list entry would be composed of two containers:
Sheldon, Natasha. Photo of The Muleteer. “Human Remains in Pompeii: The Body Casts,” by Sheldon, 23 Mar. 2014. Decoded Past, decodedpast.com/human-remains-pompeii-body-casts/7532.
A second option would be to refer to the title of the image and its author in the body of your paper and then key your in-text citation to an entry for the blog post in the works-cited-list entry:
Sheldon, Natasha. “Human Remains in Pompeii: The Body Casts.” Decoded Past, 23 Mar. 2014, decodedpast.com/human-remains-pompeii-body-casts/7532.