When you have to write a research paper, you may want to refer to an image that you have found in Google images. Regardless of the citation style you are going to use, you should not directly cite Google images, but you will have to click on the image and visit the web page where it appears. Therefore, to cite the image, you must cite the source and the information will be similar, although the format will vary depending on whether you use the citation style of the American Psychological Association (APA, in English), that of the Association of Modern Languages of America (MLA) or Chicago / Turabian.
Method 1 of 3: Use the APA format
Step 1. Include the name of the artist
A citation in APA always begins with the author's last name. In the case of an image, you will need the last name and first initial (at least) of the person who designed or created the image you want to quote.
- In the full entry of the reference list, you will include this person's last name first, followed by a comma, and their first initial, as well as their middle name (if available). For example: "Dingle, L.".
- If you go to the main website, you can get the person's name, although you may also need to do some more research. Always try to search for the name of the person who created the image, but if you can't come up with the artist's name after a reasonable search, you can leave this information blank and start with the title instead.
Step 2. Provide the date the image was published
After the artist name, the year the image was created or published should appear in parentheses. This is another item that can be difficult to find using an online image.
- For example: "Dingle, L. (2016)".
- If you can right-click on the image, you may find additional information, including a date. This may also be available in the text around the image.
Step 3. Include the title and format of the image
If the creator of the image has given you a title, include it in normal and capital letters, as you would write a normal sentence. If the image does not have a title, include a brief description of the image in brackets.
- For example: "Dingle, L. (2016). [Untitled Sydney Harbor photo]".
- If the image is titled, write the title in normal font, capitalizing the first word of the title and all proper names. For example: "Dingle, L. (2016). Sydney Opera House - Vivid 2016".
Step 4. Provide the direct link to the web page where you found the image
The purpose of the citation is to allow readers to find the cited work as easily as possible. Therefore, the link should point to the exact image that you have used as precisely as possible. Try to find a permanent link, as the content can change. Also include the date you accessed the image.
- No period is placed at the end of the URL that closes the quote. Dates are in the day-month-year format without abbreviations.
- For example: "Dingle, L. (2016). Sydney Opera House - Vivid 2016. Retrieved October 12, 2017 from
Step 5. Use the artist's last name and year of publication for in-text citations
When mentioning the image in the text of a research paper, you should frequently include a parenthetical citation that directs readers back to the full citation in the reference list.
- The standard form is "last name, year". For example: "(Dingle, 2016)".
- If you can't find the artist's name, use whatever information appears first in the full quote. In the case of titles, you can use a keyword (just make sure it will lead the reader to the correct citation).
Method 2 of 3: Use the Chicago Style
Step 1. Enter the name of the artist
In a full Chicago or Turabian quote, you should always start with the name of the person who created the image if you can figure it out. Presents the first name in "last name, first" format.
For example: "Dingle, Luke"
Step 2. Provide the date the image was created
After the artist's name, provide the date the image was created or published. You can find this information on the website or by right-clicking on the image.
- For the Chicago style, you will need a full date in day-month-year format, if you can locate it. If not, include all the information you have.
- For example: "Dingle, Luke. June 2016."
Step 3. Include the image title
The next part of the Chicago or Turabian style quote gives the reader the title of the image. Capitalize the sentence style, that is, capitalize the first word of the title and all proper nouns.
- For example: "Dingle, Luke. June 2016. Sydney Opera House - Vivid 2016."
- If the image is not titled, write a short description of the image so that the reader can find it on the page. For example: "Dingle, Luke. 2016. Untitled image of Sydney Harbor."
Step 4. Tell where you found the image
In the last part of the full quote, provide a direct link to the URL where you located the image online, along with the title of the website itself. The Chicago style does not require you to indicate the date you accessed the image.
For example: "Dingle, Luke. June 2016. Sydney Opera House - Vivid 2016. From Photography by Luke Dingle,
Step 5. Use the author-date system for in-text citations
Chicago and Turabian have two in-text citation methods. You can use footnotes or parenthetical citations in the same text to return the reader to the full citation in the bibliography or reference list.
- If you are going to use the parenthetical citation, you would indicate the artist's last name and the year the image was created. For example: "(Dingle, 2016)".
- If you don't have the artist's last name, use the first few words in the full quote or a keyword that directs the reader exactly to the correct full quote.
Method 3 of 3: Use the MLA format
Step 1. Start with the name of the artist
Try to find out the full name of the person who created the image and use it to start the quote in "last name, first" format. Avoid using initials if possible.
For example: "Dingle, Luke"
Step 2. Provide the image title
The next piece of information in the MLA citation is the title of the image you are going to cite. If the image is a work of art, such as a painting or photograph, write the title in italics.
- For example: "Dingle, Luke. Sydney Opera House - Vivid 2016".
- If the image does not have a title, write a brief description of the image in normal font. For example: "Dingle, Luke. Untitled photograph of Sydney Harbor."
Step 3. Include the date the image was created
If the image is online, you will need a specific date in day-month-year format if available. For physical works of art, such as paintings or photographs, you will only need the copyright year.
- For example: "Dingle, Luke. Sydney Opera House - Vivid 2016. 2016".
- If you can't find a creation or publication date for the image, use the abbreviation "n.d." instead of the date.
- If you need to cite an online image of a physical work of art, you will need to add the location where the work is located, if possible. For example: "Klee, Paul. Twittering Machine. 1922. Museum of Modern Art, New York."
Step 4. Provide information about where you found the image online
For the last part of the MLA appointment, provide a direct link to the page where the image is located online, as well as the date of access to it.
- Include the name of the web page in italics followed by the URL. Next, place a period and start a new sentence to write the date in which you accessed the image in day-month-year format.
- For example: "Dingle, Luke. Sydney Opera House - Vivid 2016. 2016. Photograph by Luke Dingle, photography.rakuli.com/landscapes. Accessed October 12, 2017."
- When you include a URL, you only need the www.- part of the address for an MLA citation (you can omit the leading part of "http:" or "https:").
Step 5. Use an indicative phrase in the text
Online sources usually don't require an MLA-style parenthetical citation when talking about them in a job. Instead, mention enough information in the text that the reader can find the full quote in the "Works Cited."
For example, "The colors and lights of the annual Sydney Vivid Festival are manifested in Luke Dingle's photograph of the Sydney Opera House."
- Always try to find the original creator of an image. Do not refer only to the web page where you found the image. Try running an image search to find other copies or contact the website owner to see if you can locate the original creator.
- In the case of online images, it can be difficult to find all the information you need for an appointment. If you can't locate a piece of information, drop it and move on to the next part of the quote. Make a good faith effort to find as much information as you can, and talk to a teacher or librarian if you need help.