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Citing Primary Sources

Using MLA (Modern Language Association) to cite films/movies

If you wanted to cite a film or movie in MLA format, you would use the following format:

Title. Director(s). Film studio or distributor. Year. Format. 

The History Channel documentary DVD The War of 1812 was directed by Gary Foreman, through the film studio A&E Home Video. It was distributed by New Video in 2005.

Using the information above, the citation in MLA would be:

The War of 1812. Dir. Gary Foreman. A&E Home Video. New Video, 2005. DVD.


If your paper emphasizes performers within the film or movie, insert them with the prefix "Perf." after the director listing, followed by the actors.

If your paper focuses on the director or the performers, place the respective person(s) at the beginning of the citation:

Foreman, Gary, dir. The War of 1812. A&E Home Video. New Video, 2005. DVD.


To cite a film found online using MLA, you would use the following format:

Director's Lastname, Firstname. "Title." Date released. Online video. Collection. Accessed on Day Month Year. <URL>.

The 1944 film The Fighting Lady, directed by William Wyler, can be found in the Cinemoracy collection online at https://archive.org/details/FightingLady

Using the above information, the MLA citation would be:

Wyler, William. "The Fighting Lady." 1944. Online video. Cinemocracy. Accessed on 7 July 2014. <https://archive.org/details/FightingLady>

Using Chicago (Turabian) to cite films/movies

If you wanted to cite a film or movie in the Chicago style, you would use the following format:

Title of Work. Format. Directed/Performed by Firstname Lastname. City: Studio/Distributor, Original Release Year. Medium.

The History Channel documentary DVD The War of 1812 was directed by Gary Foreman, through the film studio A&E Home Video. It was distributed by New Video in 2005. The original release date was 1995.

Using the information above, the citation in Chicago would be:

The War of 1812. Film. Directed by Gary Foreman, 1995. Burlington, VT: A&E Home Video, 2005. DVD.


To cite a film found online in Chicago, you would use the following format:

Director's Lastname, Firstname. Title. Film. City: Publishing Company, Date released. Collection. Format, URL (MM/DD/YYYY accessed).

The 1944 film The Fighting Lady, directed by William Wyler through the 20th Century Fox, can be found online in the Cinemoracy collection of the Internet Archive at https://archive.org/details/FightingLady.

Wyler,  William. The Fighting Lady. Film. City: 20th Century Fox, 1944. Internet Archive, Cinemocracy. MPEG, https://archive.org/details/FightingLady (07/22/2014).

Using APA (American Psychological Association) to cite films/movies

If you wanted to cite a film or movie in APA format, you would use the following format:

Producer's Last name, First inital, Middle inital (Producer), & Director's last name, First inital, Middle initial (Director). (Date of publication). Title. [Motion Picture]. Country of origin: Studio or distributor.

The History Channel documentary DVD The War of 1812 was directed by Gary Foreman and produced by Carolyn Raine, through the film studio A&E Home Video. It was distributed by New Video in 2006. 

Using the information above, the citation in APA would be:

Raine, C. (Producer) & Foreman, G. (Director). (2005). The War of 1812 [Motion Picture]. USA: A&E Home Video.


To cite a film found online, you would use the following format:

Producer's Lastname. (Producer). (Year). Title. [Format]. Retrieved from URL. 

The 1944 film The Fighting Lady, directed by William Wyler at https://archive.org/details/FightingLady.

Wyler,W.  (Producer). (1944). The Fighting Lady [MPEG]. Retrieved from https://archive.org/details/FightingLady.

Using MLA (Modern Language Association) to cite audio recording

If you wanted to cite a music CD in MLA, you would use the following format:

Last name, First name. “Song Title.” Title of Recording. Name of Artist (if different than first-listed person or group). Publisher, Year of Publication. Medium.

"Abolitionist hymn" is a song performed by Hermes Nye on the CD Ballads of the Civil War, 1831-1865. It was published in Washington D.C. by Smithsonian Folkways Recordings in 2006. 

Using this information, the citation in MLA would be:

Nye, Hermes. "Abolitionist hymn." Ballads of the Civil War, 1831-1865. Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, 2006. CD.


To cite an audio recording found online, you would use the following format:

Composer or Performer Surname, First Name. Title of Recording. Name of Artist or Artists [if different from the first name used]. Name of Manufacturer, Year. Medium.
 

If you listened to StoryCorps's "New Orleans Pump Station workers Rufus Burkhalter and Bobby Brown remember the night Hurricane Katrina hit"  at http://storycorps.org/listen/rufus-burkhalter-and-bobby-brown/  the citation would appear as follows:

Brown, Bobby. and Rufus Burkhalter.  New Orleans Pump Station workers Rufus Burkhalter and Bobby Brown remember the night Hurricane Katrina hit. StoryCorps. MP3.

Using Chicago (Turabian) to cite audio recording

If you wanted to cite a music CD in Chicago, you would use the following format:

Composer’s Last Name, First Name. Title of the Album. Copyright date. Name of Publisher. Media type.

"Abolitionist hymn" is a song performed by Hermes Nye on the CD Ballads of the Civil War, 1831-1865. It was published in Washington D.C. by Smithsonian Folkways Recordings in 2006. 

Using this information, the Chicago citation would be:

Nye, Hermes. Ballads of the Civil War, 1831-1865. 2006. Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. CD.


If you wanted to cite an audio recording found online using Chicago, you would use the following format:

Last name, First name Middle initial.  Title of Work. Format. City: Publishing Company, copyright date.  Source, Collection. Medium, http://...(accessed date).

If you listened to StoryCorps's "New Orleans Pump Station workers Rufus Burkhalter and Bobby Brown remember the night Hurricane Katrina hit"  at http://storycorps.org/listen/rufus-burkhalter-and-bobby-brown/ on January 1, 2013, the citation would appear as follows:

Brown, Bobby and Rufus Burkhalter, "New Orleans Pump Station workers Rufus Burkhalter and Bobby Brown remember the night Hurricane Katrina hit."  MP3Brooklyn, NY: Story Corps. http://storycorps.org/listen/rufus-burkhalter-and-bobby-brown/ (01/01/2013).

Using APA (American Psychological Association) to cite audio recording

If you wanted to cite a music CD in APA, you would use the following format:

Songwriter, W. W. (Date of copyright). Title of song [Recorded by artist if different from song writer]. On Title of album [Medium of recording]. Location: Label. (Recording date if different from copyright date).

"Abolitionist hymn" is a song performed by Hermes Nye on the CD Ballads of the Civil War, 1831-1865. It was published in Washington D.C. by Smithsonian Folkways Recordings in 2006. 

Using the information above, the citation in APA would be:

Nye, Hermes (2006). Abolitionist Hymn. On Ballads of the Civil War, 1831-1865 [CD]. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. 


To cite an audio recording foudn online using APA, you would use the following format:

Writer or Producer. (Function). (Date produced or posted). Title of podcast or audio recording [Type of Work]. Retrieved from URL of website

If you listened to StoryCorps's "New Orleans Pump Station workers Rufus Burkhalter and Bobby Brown remember the night Hurricane Katrina hit"  at http://storycorps.org/listen/rufus-burkhalter-and-bobby-brown/ on, the citation would appear as follows:

StoryCorps (Producer). New Orleans Pump Station workers Rufus Burkhalter and Bobby Brown remember the night Hurricane Katrina hit [MP3]. Retrieved from http://storycorps.org/listen/rufus-burkhalter-and-bobby-brown/.