Skip to main content

Film Studies

MLA for Film Studies

Using a standard citation style is important so that you readers can easily parse and find the sources you cite. Below are some citation examples for common sources in Film Studies using the Modern Language Association (MLA) style. More examples can be found at the Purdue Online Writing Lab. If you have any questions, please contact a librarian or ask your professor for guidance.


Barthes, Roland. Mythologies. Trans. Richard Howard and Annette Lavers. New York: Hill and Wang, 2012. Print.

McLane, Betsy A., and Jack C. Ellis. "Chapter Two: Beginnings: The Americans And Popular Anthropology, 1922-1929." New History of Documentary Film. 12-26. n.p.: Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd., 2005. Print.

Journal Articles

Article citations begin with the author and article title in quotes, then the italicized journal title and volume/issue. For articles found through research databases like JSTOR or ProQuest, include the database name, medium (web), and date of access.

Matheson, Sue. "The 'True Spirit' Of Eating Raw Meat: London Nietzsche, And Rousseau In Robert Flaherty's Nanook Of The North (1922)." Journal Of Popular Film & Television 39.1 (2011): 12-19. Film & Television Literature Index with Full Text. Web. 17 Feb. 2016.

Feature Films

List films by their title, including the director, (optional performers), studio or distributor, release year, and format.

Harlan County USA. Dir. Barbara Kopple. Cabin Creek Films, 1976. Film.

The Usual Suspects. Dir. Bryan Singer. Perf. Kevin Spacey, Gabriel Byrne, Chazz Palminteri, Stephen Baldwin, and Benecio del Toro. Polygram, 1995. DVD.

Online Video

Cite with as much information as you can gather, and with the addition of information about where and when you found it online, whether through a subscription database like Kanopy or a public website like YouTube. MLA does not require URLs but you may choose to add one for your personal reference inside <angle brackets>. For YouTube videos, the name of the account may be used as the author, as with "Saville Productions" below. MLA does not have a set format for YouTube videos, so the citation may follow the style of a television episode or online article to varying degrees.

Killing Us Softly 3: Advertising's Image Of Women. Dir. Jean Kilbourne. Media Education Foundation, 2000. Kanopy. Web. 2 Feb. 2016.

Saville Productions. "Werner Herzog on Chickens." Dir. Siri Bunford. YouTube, 7 Apr. 2014. YouTube. Web. 17 Feb. 2016. <>

For online videos streamed for a class through Moodle, you may cite the source DVD or VHS that is held on reserve in the library.

Television Episodes

Cite as you would a film, but beginning with the episode title in quotes. Where the title of a DVD differs from the original title of the series, use the title specific to the recording you viewed to help others find the same item. For episodes on DVD, list the date of distribution rather than the date of broadcast. For broadcast television, include the station call letters and airdate.

"This Is My Crazy Family." Here Comes Honey Boo Boo Season 1. Discovery Channel, 2014. DVD.

"Waking Giants." Nature. PBS. WGBH, Boston. 17 Feb. 2016. Television.


Zotero is a tool for collecting, managing, and citing sources. You can install it on your own computer and also access your personal database of sources online.


Refworks is an online citation manager for collecting, organizing and citing sources. 

Version 3 - New accounts, accounts created after Fall 2016

Version 2 - accounts created before Fall 2016

Springshare's information on Accessibility in Libguides - - MHC Accessibility Barriers Form