How to Use Illustrations in Essays

How to Use Illustrations in Essays
5 (100%) 1 vote

Pictures can convey more information than words, and sometimes, illustration can help you support your arguments and communicate your point clearly. However, you shouldn’t use illustrations to make your essay longer. Your illustrations should serve a rhetorical purpose and be relevant. When including images in your essays, you should also make sure that they meet the format requirements. Thus, we recommend that you check out these tips from so that you can use illustrations properly, strengthening your arguments.


Include an illustration near the text that refers to it. Place it where it makes sense and make sure that it fits inside 1-inch margins that you should use in MLA documents. Each image in your paper must have a caption with a number and the word “from.” After this, you should provide the source of the illustration. Your caption will look like this: “Fig. 2. Billy eats lunch in his room from.”

To complete the caption, provide the source of the illustration. You can format sources the same way as you do in the works cited section. For instance, if you’re including an illustration from a book, you should provide the author’s name, followed by a comma, and the title of the book written in italics. After this, include information on the city where the book was published, publisher or institution, and year, in brackets. This should be followed by the page number: “(City: Publisher, 2003) 34.”

To refer to the caption within the text, use the format “fig. 2.” Don’t capitalize such references. Pictures can communicate a lot of information. However, you should make sure that all your pictures are relevant, and don’t overuse them.


Make sure that the size of your images meets the APA requirements. For instance, if an image spans one column, it should be 2-3.25 inches wide. If a figure takes two columns, it must be 4.25-6.875 inches wide. The height of an image should also fit within the top and bottom margins.

When formatting your images according to APA, you should also caption them. According to the rules of APA style, you should use an 8-12 pt sans-serif font (for example, Arial). Include a capitalized word “Figure” and a number for a particular illustration. After this, include a short version of the title and explain the relevance of this figure.

The caption should end with a sentence that begins with words like “Adapted from” or “Taken from” and ends with a citation of the source. For instance, when using a picture from a book, provide the author’s name, followed by a period, and the year of publication in brackets. Put another period and provide the title of the publication in italics, followed by the page number in brackets: “(pp. 56).” After this, provide the publisher location and name: “New York: Publisher.” When referring to the figure in the main body, capitalize the reference. For example, you can write: “In the Figure 3, you can see…”

With us you get

  • 10+ years experience in the custom writing market
  • A wide range of services
  • Satisfied and returning customers
  • 6-hour delivery available
  • Money-back guarantee
  • 100% privacy guaranteed
  • Professional team of experienced paper writers
  • Only custom college papers
  • Free amendments upon request
  • Constant access to your paper writer
  • Free extras by your request
Chat now