Skip to Main Content

Art History Research at Yale: How to Cite Your Sources


Citation management tools (examples include Zotero, EndNote, and RefWorks, among others) help you organize and track sources you are using in your research so that you can easily cite them. They save you time in formatting footnotes, endnotes, bibliographies, etc. Which one you use is up to you! Check out this comparison guide.

Citing Images

Consult citation style guides (typically Chicago Manual of Style or MLA Handbook) and note the components below while you are collecting and managing your images—this will save time later when you cite your images. Citation style guides will detail specific formatting, but these are the major parts:

  • Creator’s name
  • Title of work
  • Date of composition
  • Medium
  • Name and location of institution housing the work

Image Management

Keeping track of image citation information can be daunting as you acquire more and more images. Consider using an image management system such as Tropy to help keep them organized, and citation management systems to keep track of other sources.

Citation Styles Basics

Chicago Manual of Style

Researchers in arts fields often use the Chicago Manual of Style. The notes in this system are typically footnotes or endnotes that correspond to superscript numerals within a paper.

Resources for Chicago Manual of Style citations:
The Chicago Manual of Style Online
CiteSource Guide to the Chicago Manual of Style (Trinity University)


  • Appear within the actual text at the foot of the page.
  • Preferred by many for easier reference by readers.


  • Appear at the end of an article or chapter (but before the bibliography).
  • Are preferred over lengthy and unwieldy footnotes.
  • Good places to quote or discuss supplementary material.


MLA: Modern Language Association Style 

MLA Style consists of in-text parenthetical citations and a Works Cited or bibliography section at the end of the paper. Sources are cited in parentheses immediately following the sentence or idea cited within the paper. A Works Cited or bibliography should be at the end of the paper referencing each source used, following these parameters:

  • Only sources that are directly referenced in the paper should appear in the Works Cited list (not supplemental or background reading).
  • The list should be organized in alphabetical order according to the authors' last names. If no author name is given, use the first main word in the title.

Resources for MLA citations:
MLA Handbook (eighth edition)
MLA Formatting and Style Guide (Purdue Online Writing Lab)

Giving Credit and Avoiding Plagiarism

You must give credit whenever you use:

  • another person’s idea, opinion, or theory   
  • any facts, statistics, graphs, images—anything—that is not common knowledge
  • quotations of another person’s actual spoken or written words 
  • paraphrase of another person’s spoken or written words


Check out these sources to understand more about avoiding plagiarism: