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Finding Images: Citing Images

Find free sources for images and learn about copyright as it pertains to images.

MLA Style (8th edition)

When creating a citation for an image for your Works Cited, you should use the following elements when possible:

  • Artist or creator's name (last name first; skip this section if no artist or creator is listed)
  • Title of the work, italicized
  • Date created
  • Medium (photograph, digital image, etc.)
  • Website where you found the image, italicized
  • URL of the website (do not include the http:// portion)
  • Date accessed (viewed)

A sample citation from the ImageQuest database:

Penguins. Photograph. Britannica ImageQuest, Encyclopedia Britannica, 25 May 2016. Accessed 6 Oct 2017.

Chicago Style (16th edition)

You may create a note for your illustrations when using Chicago Style.

  • Figure number
  • Artist or creator's name 
  • Title or brief description, italicized
  • Date created
  • Medium (usually photograph or digital image)
  • Website or database, in italics
  • URL of website where the image was originally shown
  • Date accessed

The citation will typically look like this:

Figure 1. John Smith, John, Statue of Liberty, 2012. Photograph. (accessed July 4, 2017).

APA Style (6th edition)

Use the following elements when creating a reference in APA Style:

  • Artist or creator's name (last name, first initial)
  • Date image was created (in parentheses)
  • Title or brief description, italicized followed by [Digital image] or [Photograph]
  • URL of website where the image was originally retrieved

Smith, J. (2017, January 5). Statue of Liberty [Digital image]. Retrieved from