How should I format captions for figures that I include in my paper?
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.
Illustrative visual material other than a table—for example, a photograph, map, drawing, graph, or chart—should be labeled Figure (usually abbreviated Fig.), assigned an arabic numeral, and given a caption:
Fig. 1. Mary Cassatt, Mother and Child, Wichita Art Museum.
The label and caption ordinarily appear directly below an illustration and have the same one-inch margins as the text of the paper. Visit our Formatting a Research Paper page to learn more about including tables, figures, and musical illustrations in papers. You can also read our post on punctuating captions.