Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

MLA 9th Edition Style Guide: Tables and Illustrations

Overview

This page covers how to insert tables, other images, and videos into a paper or presentation.

Tables and musical examples have their own format. Any other type of image, including charts,graphs, and videos uses the figure format.

Tables (MLA 1.7)

To insert a table follow this procedure:

  1. Insert a table as close as possible to the text to which it relates.
  2. Give the table a number and title and place these flush left above the table on separate lines.
  3. Below the table add a caption giving the source information and, optionally, any notes about the table. In the caption, use commas between source elements and do not reverse the author's last name.

Table 1

Hate Crimes in 2019: Incidents, Offenses, Victims and Known Offenders

Offense type Incidents1 Offenses Victims2 Known
offenders3
Total 7,314 8,559 8,812 6,406
         
Crimes against property: 2,811 2,811 3,064 1,598
Robbery 125 125 149 227
Burglary 114 114 129 64
Larceny-theft 284 284 297 179
Motor vehicle theft 19 19 19 9
Arson 60 60 78 40
Destruction/damage/vandalism 2,152 2,152 2,316 1,045
Other5 57 57 76 34
         

 

Adapted from U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Uniform Crime Reporting Program, 2019 Hate Crime Statistics, 2019, table 2, ucr.fbi.gov/hate-crime/2019/topic-pages/tables/table-2.xls.

The URL is linked in the example above because this example appears on a website. Normally this is not done in a paper or presentation.

Also add the table to the works-cited-list and give complete citation information, unless the table is not cited in the text of the paper.

Figures (MLA 1.7)

Any type of image other than a table or musical example, including graphs and charts, is treated as a figure.

Follow this procedure:

  • Insert the image.
  • On a new line underneath the image type Fig. (an abbreviation for Figure), a number, and a caption.

In the caption a distinction is made between whether the image is a source or not.

When the image is a source, use a caption that gives brief information pointing your reader to the complete entry on the works-cited-list. Use commas between the pieces of information in the caption.

If the image is not a source, then include complete citation information in the caption and do not add it to your works-cited-list. Punctuate as you would a works-cited-list entry, but do not reverse the author's name.

Example 1:

If the image comes from a book or website that is being used as a source, i.e. there are in-text citations for it throughout the paper, then consider it a source. An entire video embedded in a presentation or paper should also be considered a source and use this format. If you are going to analyze an included image, then it is a source. For instance, you are writing a paper about the Pantheon for your Architecture class, and you include an image of the architectural plan of the Pantheon and then proceed to analyze it, that is a source. Or you are writing a paper for Humanities about Leonardo's Mona Lisa, and you include an image of the painting, the image is a source.

This chart comes from an article in Gallup News. If the whole article is used in your paper or presentation, then it is a source, and therefore the caption is brief and refers to a complete entry on the works-cited-list. The caption uses commas.

U.S. Support for Affirmative Action for Racial Minorities

Fig. 1. Lydia Saad, "Americans' Confidence," 30 July 2021.

The complete information would then appear on your works-cited-list:

Saad, Lydia. "Americans' Confidence in Racial Fairness Waning." Gallup News, 30 July 2021, news.gallup.com/poll/352832/americans-confidence-racial-fairness-waning.aspx. Accessed 10 Nov. 2021.

The URL is linked in the example above because this example is published on a website. Normally this is not done in a paper or presentation.

Example 2:

If the image is purely an illustration, then it is not a source. Include complete citation information in the caption and do not add it to your works-cited-list. Punctuate as you would a works-cited-list entry, but do not reverse the author's name.

For this example imagine that you are giving a presentation on Aztec creation myths. You want to include an image of the the Aztec goddess Coatlicue in your PowerPoint. Coatlicue is one of the goddesses featured in one of the creation myths. Your presentation is not about Coatlicue, and you are not going to analyze the image of her that you are including. The purpose of the image is to add some visual interest to your presentation. This is an illustration. Include the complete citation information in the caption and do not add it to your works-cited-list.

Coatlicue, an Aztec goddess

Fig. 2. Steven Zucker. Photograph of Coatlicue, c. 1500, Mexica (Aztec). Flickr, 20 Jan. 2015, www.flickr.com/photos/profzucker/16816048015.

Note: The URL is linked above because this example is published on a website. It would not usually be linked on a paper or presentation. (Link it in a presentation if you are planning to click on it in the course of the presentation.)

Because this image is published on a publicly available web page, the licensing information is also included:

Used under a (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) license.

If your paper is only going to be turned in to your professor and will not be published in any format, including on the web, then there is no need to include the licensing information.

Musical Examples

Musical examples use Ex. for example instead of Fig. for figure, but otherwise follow the figure format.

Need Help?

Use our Ask a Librarian service for chat, email, or text a librarian

The Valencia College libraries do not welcome solicitation of resources to be added to our LibGuides. This includes but is not limited to vendors, search engine optimizers, placement of ads, products, or any other requests. Our LibGuides are carefully curated resources developed in partnership with faculty, staff, and students to support specific assignments, courses, events, and other related purposes at Valencia College. The Valencia libraries reserve the right to ignore LibGuide resource solicitations, and/or block persistent requests from groups or individuals to add or promote links in our LibGuides.