Alright, here's a quickie...  The process of rendering 
a jpg or gif is not the least comfusing thing in the 
world, so i'm gonna' give you the confidence needed to 
actually hit the 'go' button when you need to (you'll
see what i mean in a second)...

(This'll be brief compared to how i normally type)

Step 1:  The Render Globals dialogue.

  Open up the Render View (Window -> Rendering Editors ->
                           Render View).

  Open the Render Globals dialogue (Options ->
                                    Render Globals).

  Change the Image Format to GIF (gif) or JPEG (jpeg).

  You may want to make sure the Frame/Animation Ext. is 
    set to simply  name.ext  - if it is not, you will get a
    sequence of frames (most likely all the same).

Step 2:  Now it's time to Render.

  Go to Maya's Rendering toolset (F5 hotkey).

  Select the (Save) Batch Render command.
    (Render -> (Save) Batch Redner).

  Now here's the stumper!  See how it only -looks- like it
    allows you to save a .mb or .ma file?  Well it's actually
    saving that .mb AND a .gif/.jpg file!  Maya's rendering
    program is external to Maya itself, so when Maya does a
    batch render, it actually saves a render scene (.mb or .ma)
    and executes its external renderer on that scene!  As an
    added bonus it keeps a hook on the render process so you
    can view the progress of the batch render (and cancel it) as
    if you were actually running a renderer from inside Maya, but
    that's just for show ...  Anyways, save that .mb file
    and wait for the batch render to complete (it'll show progress
    in the lower-right blueish window - for now it just says
    "Result 1" - telling you the batch render was successful).

  Once the render completes, find the directory your current
    project resides in (either something you defined, or
    and traverse to the /images subdirectory.  Your beautiful
    .gif or .jpg (respectively) will be sitting there just
    waiting for you to put it on the web! to animate those images LINK.