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, Vine, Instagram, etc.
This guide describes how to cite three different types of films and videos:
- Films and videos found on a website
- Films and videos found on a database
- Films and videos not viewed online
To cite a film or video in MLA 8, locate the following pieces of information:
The name of the creator of the film or video
The title of the film or video
The title of the site that the video was found on
The names of any contributors, such as a director or performer
*The version (if applicable)
Any numbers associated with the video
The publication date
The name of the database (if applicable)
*The location (usually a URL)
On versions: Versions can include an uncut version, unrated version, widescreen, etc.
On URLs: It is strongly recommended to include the URL in the citation. 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.
How to Cite a Film or Video Found on a Website in MLA 8:
To cite a film or video found on a website, use the following structure:
Last name, First name of the creator. “Title of the film or video.” Title of the website, role of contributors and their First name Last name, Version, Numbers, Publisher, Publication date, URL.
Examples of MLA 8 citations for films or videos found on a website:
RotoBaller. “RotoBaller MLB: Top Fantasy Baseball Catcher Dynasty League Prospects for 2016.” YouTube, commentary by Raphael Rabe, 27 Mar. 2016, youtu.be/gK645_7TA6c.
“Lunch Hour NYC: Hot Dog Carts.” New York Public Library, 5 July 2012, www.nypl.org/audiovideo/hot-dog.
How to Cite a Film or Video Found on a Database in MLA 8:
Use this citation structure if citing a film or video found on a database, such as Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and/or HBO Go.
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.
Examples of MLA 8 citations for Films and Videos Found on a Databases:
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.
How to Cite a Film or Video Not Viewed Online in MLA 8:
Structure of a citation for a film or video not viewed online:
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.
Example of an MLA 8 citation for films and videos not viewed online:
The Little Mermaid. Directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, Walt Disney Pictures, 17 Nov. 1989.
While you might first think of books, newspapers and journal articles as go-to sources for academic assignments, YouTube provides a wealth of informative, easily accessible videos. Yes, there is questionable content, but the site is also filled with educational channels, snippets from evening news programs and even full-length documentaries on a range of interesting and scholarly subjects.
Although YouTube has a ton of information, citing a video retrieved from YouTube might seem more difficult than citing a book. But the process is easier than it might initially seem—and we’ve put together this helpful guide on how to cite a YouTube video in MLA formatting, as well as in APA format and Chicago style.
If you’ve previously cited a video from another website, you’re in luck: The process for citing a video from YouTube is basically the same. As an example, we’ve cited a video from the CrashCourse YouTube channel—which is run by “Fault in Our Stars” author John Green and offers educational videos on a slew of topics, including history, chemistry, and psychology. This particular video is on the US Constitution, the Articles, and Federalism. We’ve laid out how to cite the video in MLA format, APA format, and Chicago style.
To cite a video from YouTube properly, you must take the following pieces of information into consideration:
- Full name, username, or name of the company who posted the content
- Title of the video
- Title of the website (YouTube)
- Publisher of the video
- Date the video was posted
- Length or duration of the video
- URL of the video
Use the following structure to cite a YouTube video in MLA 8:
Last name, First name of the individual who posted the content OR the name of the company who posted it OR the username. “Title of the Video.” Title of the Website, Name of the Publisher (only include if it is different than the author or title), Date it was posted, URL.
Here’s how the above example would be cited in MLA 8:
CrashCourse. “The Constitution, the Articles, and Federalism: Crash Course US History #8.” YouTube, 21 Mar. 2013, https://youtu.be/bO7FQsCcbD8.
Use the following structure to create an APA citation for a YouTube video:
Last name, First initial. Middle initial. of the creator [Username]. (Year, Month Day it was posted). Title of the video [Video file]. Retrieved from URL
Here’s how the above example would be cited in APA:
[CrashCourse]. (2013, March 21). The Constitution, the Articles, and Federalism: Crash Course in US History #8 [Video file]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/bO7FQsCcbD8
Use the following structure to cite a YouTube video in Chicago:
Last name, First name of the individual or the company who posted the content. “Title of Video.” YouTube video, length. Date published. URL.
Here’s how the above example would be cited in Chicago:
CrashCourse. “The Constitution, the Articles, and Federalism: Crash Course in US History #8.” YouTube video, 13:03. March 21, 2013. https://youtu.be/bO7FQsCcbD8