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If I have edited an image for publication, how do I cite it?

Indicate in your caption that you have edited the image. For works that will be published, ensure that you have been granted the rights to do so by the rights holder.
Say, for example, that you have used this digital image of Berthe Morisot’s nineteenth-century painting Reading in your paper:

But instead of inserting the image as is, you have replaced the book in the painting with a picture of a twenty-first-century novel. Your caption might read as follows:

Adapted from Berthe Morisot; Reading; 1873; The Cleveland Museum of Art,

For more on citing captions, . . .

Published 22 May 2019

How do I cite photographs or other images that I use in a PowerPoint presentation or Web project?

Cite an image used in a PowerPoint presentation or Web project the same way you would cite it in a printed paper. See the example in our post on citing a screenshot or frame capture in a caption. As the post explains, if the image is merely illustrative, provide full publication details in a caption. But if you refer to the source of the image elsewhere, the caption should provide only enough detail needed to key to a works-cited-list entry. The list of works cited may be included as the final slide or as the last page of the Web project.  . . .

Published 15 May 2019

How do I cite a GIF?

How you cite a GIF depends on where it appears. If the GIF is part of a larger work, cite the work and refer to the GIF in your prose. As always, key your in-text citation to the first element of the works-cited-list entry:

In a BuzzFeed post on aging, a pair of GIFs demonstrates how much easier it is to lose weight in one’s early twenties than in one’s late twenties (Misener). 
Work Cited
Misener, Jessica. “Life in Your Early Twenties vs. Your Late Twenties.” BuzzFeed, 8 Apr. 2013,

If the GIF is included as an illustration in your essay, . . .

Published 24 January 2019

When should citation information in captions be separated by commas instead of semicolons?

If you provide full bibliographic details in a caption, convert the periods normally used after the elements of a works-cited-list entry into semicolons:

Fig. 1. Vincent van Gogh; The Olive Trees; 1889; Museum of Modern Art, 2001; postcard.

Otherwise, use commas:

Fig. 5. Mary Cassatt, Mother and Child, Wichita Art Museum.

  . . .

Published 6 December 2018

How do I cite a screenshot or frame capture in a caption and in my works-cited list?

The caption usually appears beneath the image. If you discuss the work from which the screenshot or frame capture is taken, the caption should act much like an in-text reference and provide the information needed to key to a works-cited-list entry as well as the time stamp where the screenshot or frame capture appears in the work:

Fig. 1. Still from Berrow, See the Quiet Beauty (2:23).

Work Cited
Berrow, Joya, director. See the Quiet Beauty of Farm Life on the Scottish Isles: Short Film ShowcaseYouTube, uploaded by National Geographic, 6 Feb.

Published 16 May 2018

How do I cite a postcard?

To document a postcard, look for information printed on the card, which usually appears on the back, and determine whether any of the MLA core elements apply to it. The information given may include the name of an artist, the title or a description of the work depicted on the postcard and its date of composition, the institution holding the copyright of the image, and the copyright date of the card. In this case the institution holding the copyright is the publisher, and the copyright date is the date of publication.
Works-Cited-List Entries
Let’s say you want to create a works-cited-list entry for a postcard depicting Vincent van Gogh’s painting The Olive Trees and find, . . .

Published 13 March 2018

How do I indicate that I have permission to use an image or other material in my work?

In published works, credits–that is, permission to reprint images or other material–are given in the front matter, notes, or figure captions. A credit is a form of acknowledgment and must be worded in the way that the owner of the material specifies.
In a student paper, a credit may be given as a courtesy in a note or caption.
  . . .

Published 20 December 2017

How should I format captions for figures that I include in my paper?

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.

Published 28 June 2017

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