Skip to Main Content

Citing Sources: Images, Charts, Graphs, Maps & Tables

Is It a Figure or a Table?

There are two types of material you can insert into your assignment: figures and tables.

A figure is a photo, image, map, graph, or chart.

A table is a table of information.

For a visual example of each, see the figure and table to the right.

Still need help?

For more information on citing figures in MLA, see Purdue OWL.


Reproducing Figures and Tables

Reproducing happens when you copy or recreate a photo, image, chart, graph, or table that is not your original creation. If you reproduce one of these works in your assignment, you must create a note (or "caption") underneath the photo, image, chart, graph, or table to show where you found it. If you do not refer to it anywhere else in your assignment, you do not have to include the citation for this source in a Works Cited list.

Citing Information From a Photo, Image, Chart, Graph, or Table

If you refer to information from the photo, image, chart, graph, or table but do not reproduce it in your paper, create a citation both in-text and on your Works Cited list. 

If the information is part of another format, for example a book, magazine article, encyclopedia, etc., cite the work it came from. For example if information came from a table in an article in National Geographic magazine, you would cite the entire magazine article.

Figure Numbers

The word figure should be abbreviated to Fig. Each figure should be assigned a figure number, starting with number 1 for the first figure used in the assignment. E.g., Fig. 1.


Images may not have a set title. If this is the case give a description of the image where you would normally put the title.

Figure (Photo, Image, Graph, or Chart) Inserted Into a Paper

Fig. X. Description of the figure from: citation for source figure was found in.


Label your figures starting at 1.

Information about the figure (the caption) is placed directly below the image in your assignment.

If the image appears in your paper the full citation appears underneath the image (as shown below) and does not need to be included in the Works Cited List. If you are referring to an image but not including it in your paper you must provide an in-text citation and include an entry in the Works Cited List.


Black and white male figure exercising

Fig. 1. Annie Green. "Yoga: Stretching Out." Sports Digest, 8 May 2006, p. 22. 


Yellow printed skirt by designer Annakiki. Faces on skirt.

Fig. 2. Pauline Cheung. "Short Skirt S/S/ 15 China Womenswear Commercial Update." WGSN. 4 June 2016, p. 2.

Table Inserted Into a Research Paper

Source: Citation for source table was found in.

Above the table, label it beginning at Table 1, and add a description of what information is contained in the table.

The caption for a table begins with the Adapted from, then the complete Works Cited list citation for the source the table was found in. For example, if it was found on a website, cite the website. If it was in a journal article, cite the journal article.

Information about the table (the caption) is placed directly below the table in your assignment.

If the table is not cited in the text of your assignment, you do not need to include it in the Works Cited list.


Table 1

Variables in determining victims and aggressors

Table from a journal listing variables in determining victims and aggressors

Adapted From: Mohr, Andrea. "Family Variables Associated With Peer Victimization." Swiss Journal of Psychology, vol65, no. 2, 2006, pp. 107-116, Psychology Collection, doi: