Skip to Main Content

Introduction to Turabian Citation Style

Figures and Turabian Style

Figure is a broad term used in Turabian to describe images and illustrations you reference in your research. Figures include:

  • Photographs
  • Maps
  • Drawings, diagrams, and analytical graphics
  • Tables and charts
  • Paintings, sculptures, and other works of art.

Figures can be original images, reproductions printed in books and journal articles, or images accessed online via a website or database. All figures, including your own, need a citation.

The Turabian approach to citing figures is to write a caption. Instead of a footnote, write a caption to go underneath each figure in your paper. And instead of including figures in a bibliography, Turabian style recommends separating them into their own list of figures

Ask your instructor about their preferences before you begin citing figures.

Citing a Figure

Cite a figure in a caption. A figure caption should be single-spaced, left-aligned, and immediately below the figure it describes. Use the same font type and size as the main body of your paper.

There are important pieces of source information you will want to include in a caption. Recommended format for figure captions:

Figure #. Figure title. Credit line, a brief statement that identifies the creator, date, and location of the figure. URL for figures accessed online. 

In general, when writing the credit line in a figure caption, you can default to the source’s recommended note format.

Examples: Citing Figures in Figure Captions

Figure from a book

Figure 1. Isometric diagram of the atrium of the Museum of Modern Art, New York City. Drawing by Eric J. Jenkins in Drawn to Design: Analyzing Architecture Through Freehand Drawing (Basel, Switzerland: De Gruyter, 2013), 143.

Figure from an image database

Figure 2. Exterior of The New Museum of Contemporary Art. Designed by Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, commissioned 2002, opened 2007. Photograph by Ralph Lieberman, 2008. New York City.

Figure from a journal article

Figure 3. Table: “Visions of agglomerated Paris.” From Theresa E. Enright, “Illuminating the Path to Grand Pari(s): Architecture and Urban Transformation in an Era of Neoliberalization,” Antipode 46, no. 2 (2014), 392.

Figure from a website

Figure 4. A Vermont window, also called a “witch window.” Photograph by Larry Lamsa, July 13, 2012. Craftsbury, Vermont.

Browse theses and dissertations from the School of Architecture, Planning & Preservation in the Digital Repository at the University of Maryland (DRUM) for more examples of figure captions.

Creating a List of Figures

This list usually follows a table of contents but precedes the main body of your paper. Title your list “Figures” or “Illustrations.”

List all figures in the order they appear in your paper. Include the number you assigned to the figure, its title, and the page number on which it appears in your paper. All individual list items should be single-spaced. Leave a blank line between each list item.

A list of figures is not meant to replace figure captions. All figures included in your paper must also be named and credited within a caption on the page they first appear.