How to cite documentary in MLA

MLA documentary citation

To cite a documentary in a reference entry in MLA style 8th edition include the following elements:

  1. Contributor(s) name, label: Start with the action of the key contributor (Directed by, Performed by, Produced by, etc.), follow with the name.
  2. Title of the documentary: Titles are italicized when independent. If part of a larger source add quotation marks and do not italize.
  3. Contributor(s) name: Start with the action of the key contributor (Directed by, Performed by, Produced by, etc.), follow with the name.
  4. Publishing studio: Always use the abbreviated version, e.g: MIT P for MIT Press or Oxford UP for Oxford University Press.
  5. Year of publication: Give the year of publication as presented in the source.

Here is the basic format for a reference list entry of a documentary in MLA style 8th edition:

Contributor(s) name, label. Title of the documentary. by Contributor(s) name, Publishing studio, Year of publication.

Take a look at our workd cited examples that demonstrate the MLA style guidelines in action:

Examples

A documentary with its directors as key contributors

RBG. Directed by Betsy West and Julie Cohen, Magnolia Pictures, 2018.

Documentary with focus on the narration

Ocasio-Cortez, Alexandria, et al, narration. Knock Down the House. Jubilee Films, 2019.

MLA in-text citation of a documentary

Examples

Audio-visual material uses the specific time of the audio/video for in-text citations.

(Last name time) or (Short form of title time).

A documentary with its directors as key contributors

"The study of law was unusual for women of my generation. For most girls growing up in the 1940s, the most important degree was not your B.A., but your M.R.S."(RBG 00:026:16-027:07).

A documentary with focus on the narration

Ocasio-Cortez introduced the narration by referring to women's image in society (00:00:33).

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