How to Cite Media in APA Style

The American Psychological Association, or APA, style guide can be used for any field, but courses and publications in the social and behavioral sciences almost exclusively use APA formatting. Colleges, schools and teachers typically specify the preferred formatting or give you a choice of style sheet to use as a reference format. Citing media, including print, video and Internet sources in a paper or bibliography helps develop reader confidence in the research used in your paper.


Reference list citations use the producer's last name, first initial and second initial, if applicable. The director's surname, first initial and second initial and the date of the film release follows this information. The title of the film, in italics, with the format in brackets, country of production, colon and name of studio follow the date.

The reference section citation for "Amadeus," for example, uses this formatting: Zaentz, S. (Producer) & Forman, M. (Director). (2002) Amadeus (italics) [DVD] United States: Warner Home Video.

Television Series

Television citations list the last name of the producer and an initial for the first name, date of the show and the name of the program in italics. The citation ends with the physical place of the production and the name of the company producing the broadcast:

Crystal, L. (Producer). (1993). The MacNeil/Lehrer news hour (italics). New York: Public Broadcasting Service.

Papers citing an individual television show need additional information. The citation begins with the last name and initial of the first name of the writer, last name and initial of the director of the episode and the year of the broadcast. The reference note also uses the title of the episode followed by the first and last name of the producer and the title of the television program in italics. The last information gives the geographic location for the show and the network.

A note for an individual show appears as follows:

Roddenberry, G. & Gerrold, D. (Writers) & Pevney, J. (Director). (1967). "The Trouble with Tribbles." Gene Roddenberry (Producer), Star Trek (italics). Culver City: Desilu Studios.

Music Recordings

Researchers citing music recordings need to know the name of the songwriter, date of the song copyright, title of the song, recording artist of the song, title of the album and the type of recording.

The citation must also include the location of the recording company and the record date. When the recording date is different from the song copyright date, the citation must also include this information.

A citation for an audio CD includes this information:

Beatles. (1995). A hard day's night. On The Beatles anthology 1 (italics) [CD]. Hollywood, CA: Capitol Records.


Periodicals use similar information, but have fine detail differences. Newspapers and magazines require the author's name, date, title of article and periodical and the page number.

Newspaper citations organize the information in this order: Goodman, W. (1998, March 2) Even the air was black with pain. The New York Times (italics), p. E8.

Print magazines follow the same formatting, but use a volume number of publication and a number for the issue, and the volume note must use italics.

The volume, issue and page information for magazines follows this formatting: 252(47), 32.

The page citation lists only the page without any other notation, such as "page" or "p." Not all publications list authors and not all papers have multiple sections.


APA citations for Internet references must give the reader information about the specific page used for research. Most scholarly websites list an author and a date for the most recent update, typically at the bottom of the page. The APA citation must also note the web address for the reader to review your resource.

An example of a general Internet reference, includes: Kluger, J. (July 8, 2013) The Happiness of Pursuit. Time (italics). Retrieved from http://www. and the exact web address.