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FLEET LIBRARY | Research Guides

Rhode Island School of Design

LAS E350: Global Literary Modernisms

Resources for preparing your weekly presentations


RISD students understand the incredible value of images. We create them, share them, dissect them, re-purpose them, and obsessively collect them. In many ways, images resemble texts.

You should always caption (cite) images you use in your academic work. This provides context and allows your reader/viewer to find the image for themself. It gives credit to the image's creator, whether they took the photo, drew the illustration, or created the graph. It tells your reader/viewer what they are looking at.

In MLA style, images are called "figures" and are numbered.

Label your figures starting at 1. The caption is placed directly below the image, but you can also make a list at the end of your presentation.


Fig. 1. Photo of Franz Kafka from: [MLA citation for place found e.g. book, article, website].

To cite an artwork, see this quick guide.


Finding images of artwork is not the focus of this project. But you may have a great excuse to include an artwork in your presentation - did the author run in artistic circles? Did someone photograph or paint an important, related social movement? Use your judgement. Images go a long way in setting the tone of a presentation.

More likely, you'll be seeking images that highlight important aspects of the writer's life:

  • Portraits or photos of your subject
  • Images depicting the time period, geographic area, social context
  • Images of their work (i.e. book covers, archival documents)

Where you find these things will vary depending on your assigned topic.

  • Books are an excellent place to find images - check to see if a biography, memoir, or account of their literary movement exists! Then you can scan and re-use any image, copying the caption you find (sometimes a list in the back or front of the book).
  • Magazine articles may also prove fruitful. Look for interviews or features about your writer. This is true of both print magazines and digital versions.
  • Wikimedia Commons or advanced Google searches. Try limiting the "site or domain" option to .edu or .org for better caption info.
  • Museum websites often have incredibly rich image collections - the trick is figuring out which museum to explore (and then actually locating their collections page).
  • Check out the below image databases too: