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MLA 8th referencing style

A guide to using MLA 8th referencing style

About referencing film and television

In the MLA Handbook 8th edition, there are a number of optional elements that can be included in your citation that, though while not core elements of the citation, make it easier for a reader to follow up on your citation. See the full MLA Handbook for further details. You may also wish to refer to the MLA Style Centre's FAQ section, which includes a number of additional details and/or clarification about citing film and television. Questions include:

  • How do I cite a work streamed through an app?
  • How do I cite information about a movie from a Web site like IMDB?
  • How do I cite a special feature from a DVD?

Film

Reference Example
Note

If your discussion of the work focuses on the contribution of a particular person (e.g. director or actor), you would put them in the place of the author, followed by a descriptive label. If you are referencing the work without focusing on a particular person's contribution, begin with the title and include information about other people's contribution in the position of other contributors.

In-text

Capra's classic starred James Stewart as George Bailey (It's a Wonderful Life)

OR

It's a Wonderful Life has a number of animals roaming the set... (Capra)

Reference list

It's a Wonderful Life. Directed by Frank Capra, performance by James Stewart etal., RKO, 1946.

OR

Capra, Frank, director. It's a Wonderful Life. RKO,1946.

Endnote reference type

Book

If you are focusing on a contributor, their name should be entered into the author field as you would a corporate author with a comma in the name with the description included in the field. For the above example, the name would go into the author field as Capra,, Frank, director.

DVD or Video

Reference Example
Note

If focusing on the contribution of a particular person begin the entry with their name, followed by a description. For more information about author descriptions refer to the MLA Handbook pp. 22-24.

In-text

In Ed Wood, Burton takes a novel approach to the biopic genre...

Reference list

Burton, Tim, director. Ed Wood. Touchstone, 1994.

Endnote reference type

Book

Generic

If you are focusing on a contributor, their name should be entered into the author field as you would a corporate author with a comma in the name with the description included in the field. For the above example, the name would go into the author field as Burton,, Tim, director.

Film - accessed online

Reference Example
Note

Treat films sourced online as you would an online journal article or eBook, where you will need to indicate the container it is held in. For more information, refer to the MLA Handbook pp. 31, 33.

Access dates are optional elements that may be useful if the source is accessed on a platform where the material may be altered or removed.

In-text

Stoker was director Park Chan-wook's English language debut...

Reference list

Stoker. Directed by Park Chan-wook. Performed by Mia Wasikowska et al., Fox Searchlight, 2013. Netflix, www.netflix.com/WiMovie/70254927. Accessed 16 Nov. 2015.

Endnote reference type

Film or Broadcast

Generic

You will need to manually edit the output for this style in the plain text version of the document to change the order so that the title appears first, as the default is for director to appear first in the bibliography. You will also need to manually edit the style to add the word 'Accessed' before the access date.

Television program - Episode on a DVD

Reference Example
Note

Information you include about other contributors will be on a case-by-case basis. Include information on other contributors (e.g. writer, director, producer, actor/s) if they are important to your research or to the identification of the work. For more information, refer toMLA Handbook pp. 37-38.

In-text

...("Amuse-Bouche")

OR

"Amuse-Bouche", the second episode of Hannibal, explores the desire to find human connection...

Reference list

"Amuse-Bouche." Hannibal: Season 1, written by Jim Danger Gray, directed by Michael Rymer, episode 2, Twentieth Century Fox, 2013, disc 1.

Endnote reference type

Television Episode

You will need to manually edit the output for this style in the plain text version of the document to include information such as additional contributors and disc number.

Television program/Radio program - Broadcast

Reference Example
Note

Information you include about other contributors will be on a case-by-case basis. Include information on other contributors (e.g. writer, director, producer, actor/s) if they are important to your research or to the identification of the work. For more information, refer to MLA Handbook pp. 37-38.

In-text

...("Welcome to Happyland")

OR

In this Life Matters segment, Joel Carnegie discusses the work of an artist engaged in a street art project in the slums of Manila.

Reference list

"Welcome to Happyland." Life Matters, narrated by Joel Carnegie, Radio National, ABC, 13 Nov. 2015.

Endnote reference type

Television Episode

You will need to manually edit the output for this style in the plain text version of the document to include information such as additional contributors.

Television program - Episode streamed online

Reference Example
Note

Treat films sourced online as you would an online journal article or eBook, where you will need to indicate the container it is held in. For more information, refer to the MLA Handbook pp. 31, 33.

Access dates are optional elements that may be useful if the source is accessed on a platform where the material may be altered or removed.

In-text

...("Jewel's Book")

OR

In "Jewel's Boot is made for walking"...

Reference list

"Jewel's Boot is Made for Walking." Deadwood, directed by Mark Tinker, season 1, episode 11, HBO, 2004. Informit EduTV, edutv.informit.com.au/watch-screen.php?videoID=957976. Accessed 16 Nov. 2015.

Endnote reference type

Television episode

You will need to manually edit the output for this style in the plain text version of the document to change the order so that the title appears first, as the default is for director to appear first in the bibliography. You will also need to manually edit the style to add the word 'Accessed' before the access date.