A Brief Manual On How To Cite Pictures In A Research Paper


It is common to have a photograph in your research paper. Like every other information that is not originally yours, credit must be given to the source. Both APA and MLA formatting styles provide a guide on how to cite the picture. The instructions differ depending on the sources of the photograph. The photographs may be obtained from books, museums or institution, from a website, database or from unspecified digital sources. There is need to distinguish all these sources. Here are the rules to follow.

  • A Photo Obtained From the Museum
  • You need to give the first and last names of the photographer. The information is followed by the title given to the photo. The details that follow are the year the photograph was created. The name of the institution or museum then follows with the last detail is the location of the institution or museum. All this information is contained on the plague adjacent to the image. This formula applies to citations in both APA and MLA.

  • Citing an Image From a Book
  • The structure of citation requires you to begin with the attributed photographer. The last name on comes first when making the citation. The name is followed by the title of the photograph as displayed in the book. Follow this information with year of creation. These details are provided on the image. The title of the book follows. This title is underlined or written in italics depending on instructions and formatting style. When writing the title, the city and the publisher must be included in that order. The year of publication follows and finally the page the photo was obtained from. If the book is a 2nd or 3rd edition, etc, these details must be included. It makes it easier to trace the photo. This format applies for both APA and MLA research paper formatting styles.

  • Photo From a Website
  • The first details to provide are the name of the photographer as indicated on the website followed by the title of the image. The title may be given at the top or bottom. In other cases, a short description is given at the bottom. Some images give details of the sources. Include such sources as museum it was originally obtained or institution. The title of the website or article is then followed by the date, month and year the information was obtained. For images obtained from a research paper database, a similar format is followed for both MLA and APA.

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