How to Cite a Script

Writing a research paper or article of significance requires correct citations of the material used and quoted in the text. Unless citations are put in the prescribed manner, the whole paper might be classified as plagiarized work and rejected. Sometimes, there are dilemmas about the appropriate use of citations. One such example is the method of citing a film script within the text. The difficulty lies in the fact that in most cases, such works are not published, yet are the intellectual property of the author used for a particular film. According to leading referencing guidelines, film scripts may be classified as manuscripts -- since technically that is what they are.

Write the author's last name at the beginning of the citation line. Place a comma after the last name, then add the author's first name. Put a period after the name is completed.

Write the name of the film you are quoting in italics (after the name of the author) followed by a period.

Write the publisher's name, if there is any. In most cases, the script of the movie will not be a published document; hence, it should be treated like an unpublished manuscript. In such a case, after you write the title of the script, you need to add the words, 'not published' or 'unpublished'. Follow that with a period.

Write the year the film script was created after the script's publisher. If this is not available, write 'no date'. Mention the page/ pages you are quoting at the end in the following format -- for example, 'pp145-147'. It should look like this: "Ferguson, Allan. 'The Alien'. Unpublished manuscript, 2002. Pp 145-147."

Use steps 1-4 to cite information/quotes obtained from a film script that is available online. The only difference here would be that after the year of completion of the manuscript, you would need to add the URL from where you accessed the said script.

The citation would read: "Ferguson, Allan. 'The Alien'. Unpublished manuscript, 2002." (the website quoted here is fictitious).

  • Be consistent with how you cite the matter throughout the text; sometimes, even if you do not follow the exact guidelines of referencing, your style would be accepted.
  • When in doubt, it is always best to check with the institution that will receive the paper you are writing and follow its instructions.
Items you will need
Name of the movie script author
Name of the movie script (Manuscript)
Name of the city where the script was published (if this has been published)
Publisher's name (if this has been published)
Page number from where the citation has been picked
URL of the script (if it is taken from an online source)