How to Cite a Film or Video in MLA 8

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Need to create a citation for a film or video in MLA 8? You’ve come to the right place! Below are citation structures and examples to help you learn how to cite whatever video you’re including in your next paper. The information below follows guidelines from the 8th edition of the MLA Handbook, which is published by the Modern Language Association (which is not connected to this guide). 

Films have become a strong medium for communicating stories, commentary, emotion, research, art, and many other subjects in a creative way. This medium has seen marked growth in both the number of titles offered and the number of distributors or service providers (e.g. Hulu, Netflix, HBO Go, etc.). In addition, technology has evolved to allow every individual to be their own “filmmaker” and record videos that can be shared online, whether it be via YouTube, Instagram, etc.


What Info You Need

To cite a film or video in MLA 8, locate the following pieces of information:

  • Name of the creator of the film or video
  • Title of the film or video
  • Title of the website that the video was found on
  • Name(s) of any contributors
    • Uploaded by (if YouTube, look for the username)
    • Narrated by
    • Directed by
    • Performed by
  • Version (if applicable)
    • Versions can include an uncut version, unrated version, widescreen, etc.
  • Any numbers associated with the video
  • Publisher
  • Publication date
  • Name of the database (if applicable)
  • Location (usually a URL)

URL Notes

It is strongly recommended to include the URL in the citation, if one exists. Even though web pages and URLs can be taken down or changed, it is still possible to learn about the source from the information seen in the URL.

When including URLs in a citation, omit http:// and https:// from the website’s address.

When creating a citation that will be read on a digital device, it is helpful to make the URL clickable so that readers can directly access the source themselves. 

Now that we know what information to look for, let’s look at how to cite a film online in MLA.

 

 


How to Cite a Video Found on a Website or Webpage

This is the basic structure for a video found on a website/webpage. 

Reference structure:

Last name, First name of the creator. “Title of the film or video.” Title of the website, role of contributors and their full name or username, Version, Numbers, Publisher, Publication date, URL.

Reference examples:

Chegg. “How to Cite Quotes to Avoid Plagiarism.” YouTube, November 15, 2018, www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4gmmme8HjQ.

Green, John. “World War II: Crash Course European History #38.” YouTube, uploaded by CrashCourse, 17 Mar. 2020, www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hs_JMydrxZM.

RotoBaller. “RotoBaller MLB: Top Fantasy Baseball Catcher Dynasty League Prospects for 2016.” YouTube, commentary by Raphael Rabe, 27 Mar. 2016, youtu.be/gK645_7TA6c. 

In-text citation structure:

(Creator’s last name or group name Timestamp)

In-text citation examples:

(Chegg 00:00:05 – 00:00:15)

(Green 00:01:30 – 00:02:00)


How to Cite an Online Video Without an Author

If there is no author listed, start with the title of the video.

Reference example:

“Lunch Hour NYC: Hot Dog Carts.” New York Public Library, 5 July 2012, www.nypl.org/audiovideo/hot-dog.

In-text citation structure:

(“Title” Timestamp)

In-text citation example:

(“Lunch Hour NYC: Hot Dog Carts” 00:00:50 – 00:01:37)


How to Cite a Film or Video Found on a Database or Streaming Service

Use this MLA citation structure if citing a film or video found on a database, such as Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and/or HBO Go.

Reference structure:

Last name, First name of the creator. Title of the film or video. Role of contributors and their First name Last name, Version, Numbers, Publisher, Publication date. Database name, URL.

Reference examples of MLA 8 citations:

Kindergarten Cop. Directed by Ivan Reitman, performance by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Universal Pictures, 21 Dec. 1990. Amazon Prime, www.amazon.com/Kindergarten-Cop-Arnold-Schwarzenegger/dp/B001VLLES4.

In-text citation example:

(Kindergarten Cop 01:10:48 – 01:12:05)


How to Cite a Film or Video Not Viewed Online

Reference structure:

Last name, First name of the creator. Title of the film or video. Role of other contributors and their First name Last name, Version, Numbers, Publisher, Publication date.

Reference example of an MLA 8 citation:

The Little Mermaid. Directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, Walt Disney Pictures, 17 Nov. 1989.

In-text citation example:

(The Little Mermaid 01:27:00 – 01:28:22)


Work Cited

MLA Handbook. Modern Language Association of America, 2016.


Published September 2, 2016. Updated April 16, 2020.

Written and edited by Michele Kirschenbaum and Elise Barbeau. Michele Kirschenbaum is a school library media specialist and the in-house librarian at EasyBib.com. You can find her here on Twitter. Elise Barbeau is the Citation Specialist at Chegg. She has worked in digital marketing, libraries, and publishing.

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