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How to Cite a Video Documentary in APA


The American Psychological Association established a style guide for citing various sources, from interviews to books. Used primarily for academic writing concerning the sciences, APA style requires a particular format when citing a documentary in the reference list and in text. Documentaries, primarily used for instruction, are common secondary sources. Cite a documentary in APA style by listing information such as producer, director, publication date, and the name of the studio that produced or distributed the documentary.

Use this format when citing a documentary in the reference list: Producer's last name, First initial. (Producer), & Director's last name, First Initial. (Director). (Publication year). Title of documentary [Medium]. Country of origin: Studio name.

Italicize the title of the documentary in the citation and write only the first letter of the first word in the title and subtitle in uppercase. For example: The story of science: Power, proof and passion.

Indicate the medium of publication by stating "DVD," "VHS" or "Motion Picture" if you watched the documentary in a movie theater.

Cite a documentary that's not widely available by including the words "Available from," followed by the distributor's name and address. Put this information in parentheses.

Reference this example when citing a documentary in APA style: McAfee, K. (Producer) & Hanon, J. (Director). (2004). Beyond the gates of splendor [DVD]. United States. (Available from Every Tribe Entertainment, 4040 Vineland Avenue Suite 220, Studio City, CA 91604).

Write a parenthetical citation in the text of your paper by listing the documentary's title and publication year in parentheses. For example: (Inside job, 2010).