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


Any video, DVD, television show or movie can be cited. If you talk about aspects of a video, such as the camera angles, sets or acting, you will want to cite that video in your writing. This will help any interested readers find the original source. Movies and TV shows are often cited for papers in literature and the humanities, which use the Modern Language Association's citation style.

Movies

When citing a movie, include the distributor and the year of release as well as the medium on which it was presented, such as "Film" if you saw it in theaters or "DVD" or "VHS." Performers need only be mentioned if relevant to your paper.

Cops & Robbers (italicized). Dir. Jane Smith. Perf. April Singer, Danny Miller, and Bobby Hansel. Twentieth Century Fox, 2013. Film.

You can also change the style of the citation to fit what you plan to discuss in your essay. For example, you can put the the director's (dir.) name first if you plan to highlight directorial decisions or a performer's name (perf.) if you plan to highlight a particular actor.

Smith, Jane, dir. Cops & Robbers (italicized). Twentieth Century Fox, 2013. Film.

Television

To cite a television show, use the episode name, series name, station it aired on and the air date. If applicable, include the call letters of the station and the city after the network name. For example: PBS. KAID, Boise.

An episode of Mad Men would be cited like this:

"Smoke Gets in Your Eyes." Mad Men (in italics). AMC. 19 Jul. 2007. Television.

If the episode you want to cite is part of a DVD set, use the distributor's name and the year of DVD release instead of the station and air date.

The same episode of Mad Men on DVD would be cited like this:

"Smoke Gets in Your Eyes." Mad Men: The Complete First Season. Writ. Matthew Weiner. Dir. Allen Taylor. Lionsgate, 2008. DVD.

You can include information about directors (dir.), producers (prod.), performers (perf.) and writers (writ.) if it is relevant to your essay.

About the Author

Paige Johansen has been writing professionally since 2003. She holds a B.A. in psychology and English from Cornell University and an M.F.A. in fiction writing from The University of Virginia. Between degrees, she worked in the fashion industry for two years.

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