How to Cite a Video in English Writing – By a Professional Editor

by admin on May 9, 2011

Electronic sources are becoming more and more commonplace these days, but unfortunately, many have no idea how to cite them in their academic papers. This blog will cover one type of electronic source, the video, and show you how to cite it properly.

Most commonly, people encounter difficulty citing a movie in their English writing when they have to use MLA as a style guide. MLA differs from other style guides. Here’s how you would go about citing the movie you discuss in your paper in an MLA works cited page. To start, you need some information about the movie. You will need the title, the director’s name, the release year, the main actor(s), and either the name of the movie studio (i.e., Dreamworks) or the producer.

This is what the citation will look like in MLA style:

Jane Smith, the Movie. Dir. Jane Smith.Perf. Jane Smith, John Doe. Jane Smith Productions. 1993. Film

You begin with the title, placing it in italics. Follow this with the name of the director, the main performers, the production company/movie studio, the year it was released, and the final part, the medium by which you viewed the movie (DVD and video also are acceptable answer s for this last piece). It is important to note that in the text, you should italicize the  movie title whenever it is used.

To summarize:

Movie title.Director’s name.Performers’ names. Production company. Date of publication. Medium by which you viewed the movie.

In APA, a movie is referenced differently, but in this editor’s opinion, citing a video in English writing in APA style is easier.

In APA style, the citation for the references page looks like this:

Smith, J. (Producer),& Smith, J. (Director).(1993).Jane Smith, the Movie [Motion picture]. United

States: Dreamworks.

In this case, the first part of the citation requires the producer’s name and the director’s name. Then, in parentheses, you place the date of the publication of the movie. This is followed by the title of the motion picture in italics. To complete the citation, you must have the country of origin, followed by a colon and the name of the production company/movie studio. Just like in MLA style, when you refer to the movie in the text of your academic English writing, you must italicize the name of the movie.

To summarize, in APA style:

Last name, First initial.(Producer), & Last name, First initial.(Director). (Date of publication). Title of the movie. Country of origin: movie studio.

As technology increases, so too does our need to cite any and all of our references properly. Even something like a movie needs to receive credit when it is referenced in your work. There is a hyperlink in this article that will take you to another example that teaches you step-by-step how to cite a movie in MLA style. While this article does not link you to a step-by-step tutorial for how to cite a video in APA style, the Internet is a wonderful resource. Purdue OWL’s website for APA has a helpful link on their site, and can be found by using Google.

When all else fails, and you’ve tried to make your citations look like what you’ve seen on the Internet, but you just can’t get the hang of it, why not call a professional? The trained, professional editors at First Editing are experts in style guide compliance and can help you format your references (more than just the video citations) so that they fit your requirements for submission. Even the best writers know to ask for help!


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