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How to Put a Video Source on an Essay in MLA Format


When citing videos, Modern Language Association style provides guidelines for writing titles and referencing your sources. In addition to noting the medium and the title of your work, you can include additional information on your Works Cited page about the performers in a movie or series.

Writing Video Titles in Text

In MLA, the formatting of the titles of works depends on whether they are short or long works. Short works -- such as poems, essays and TV episodes -- are placed in quotation marks, while long works -- such as publication names, book titles and movie titles -- are written in italics. For example, the name of a TV show would be written in italics, while the title of a single TV episode would be written in quotes: "Blink" is an episode from the third season of the new Doctor Who.

Movies: Works Cited List

To cite a movie on your Works Cited list in MLA, first list the name of the movie in italics, followed by the name of the director. List the name of the company that released the movie, then the year of release and the medium in which you watched the movie -- if you watched the movie in a theater, the medium is "Film":

The Holy Mountain. Dir. Alejandro Jodorowsky. ABKCO Music and Records, 1973. Film.

Performers, such as actors, may be included in your citation after the director. If you watched the movie on DVD or VHS, include that format as the medium:

The Core. Dir. Jon Amiel. Perf. Aaron Eckhart, Hilary Swank, Stanley Tucci, Delroy Lindo. Paramount Pictures, 2003. DVD.

TV Episodes: Works Cited List

TV episode citations vary based on whether you're citing a broadcast or a recorded episode. Episode titles are placed in quotes before the series title. For a broadcast, the company that produced the show and the station that broadcast the show are used in place of the author, and you list the date of the broadcast, as follows:

"Black Blizzard." Carnivàle. HBO. WIUN, Madison. 5. Oct. 2003. Television.

If you watched a recorded version of the show instead, list the writer or writers and director, as well as the release date of the recording and the medium:

"Black Blizzard." Carnivàle. Wri. William Schmidt. Dir. Peter Medak. HBO, 2005. DVD.

If you're referencing multiple episodes, you may cite the entire series instead -- list the series title and the name of the creator, plus the medium on which you watched it:

Carnivàle. Created by Daniel Knauf. HBO, 2005. DVD.

Online Videos

To cite a video you found online, begin with the author's name or screen name, if a name is not available. Include the name of the video in quotes, and note that it is an online video. Include the name of the site hosting it in italics, the name of company that runs the website and the date the video was posted. After noting that it is a Web source, note the access date: the last day you viewed the video:

Day[9]. "Blizzard Arcade Night: Worm War with Ben Brode, Grubby and more!" Online video clip. YouTube. YouTube, 21 Dec. 2014. Web. 26 April 2015.

In-Text Citations

When you reference or quote the content of a video source in your paper, place an in-text citation after the reference to note your source. You can note your source either by its title -- use the episode title if you're referencing a TV episode -- or the name of the writer, director or one of the performers:

  • The nameless title character undergoes transformation in an alchemical vessel (The Holy Mountain).

  • Zimsky snaps: "You may have nothing to lose, you may have nothing to lose, you may have nothing to lose, but I have my life to lose thank you very much" (Tucci).

  • One cannot tell whether the storm is supernatural, or the horrible reality of the Dust Bowl ("Black Blizzard").

About the Author

Jon Zamboni began writing professionally in 2010. He has previously written for The Spiritual Herald, an urban health care and religious issues newspaper based in New York City, and online music magazine eBurban. Zamboni has a Bachelor of Arts in religious studies from Wesleyan University.

Photo Credits
  • Aleksandr Lazarev/iStock/Getty Images