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MLA 9th Edition Style Guide: Tables and Figures

This guide will assist you in formatting in-text citations and a Works Cited list in the current MLA style.

Guidelines

Here you will find guidelines for when you include a table, map, illustration, image, artwork, picture, line drawing, chart, photograph, graph, figure , etc. in your research paper, essay or writing project. More details available in the MLA Handbook Plus.

Tables

When adding a table to your paper include above the table the label with its corresponding number (Example: Table 1, Table 2, etc.) and title of the table. If a title is not available then add a brief description of the table.

Immediately below the table include the caption. The caption includes the source of the table and optionally, a note.

Here is an example from the MLA Handbook Plus:

 

Figures

A figure can be a map, illustration, image, artwork, picture, line drawing, chart, photograph, or graph.

When adding a figure to your paper include immediately below the figure the label with its corresponding number (Example: Fig. 1, Fig. 2, etc.) and the caption.

Important to note about the caption

  1. If the caption provides all the information about the source of the figure, and you have not cited the source in your paper, then you don’t need to add it to your Works Cited list
  2. The caption should be written exactly as you would in a Works Cited List, except for one important difference (you don’t invert the name of the author). Example: Instead of Smith, John, the caption would start John Smith
  3.  If the caption does not provide all the information about the source of the figure, separate with commas the information given and add the complete citation to your Works Cited list

Here is an example from the MLA Handbook Plus. In this example the caption has information about the figure separated by commas. The complete citation would then appear in your Works Cited list as in the citation below.