How To Cite A Video In A Research Paper: A Quick Guide

In the past, students typically used academic journals, textbooks and major publications for their sources. With the availability of online media and documentary films, students can now use videos as sources. In order to use video sources, students must learn how to cite them correctly. If the source is not cited correctly, it is technically considered plagiarism. To avoid plagiarism charges, students should use the following tips.

MLA Format for Research Papers

Every research paper will require a different type of writing style. The main writing styles are MLA, APA and Chicago style. With MLA style, the student needs to write out the title in italics before they list the director. Afterward, the student should list the performers, the production studio and the date. The last word of the citation should be “documentary” so that the reader knows what the format is for the source. An example of this type of citation would be:

Learning to Write. Dir. Charles Smith. Perf. Ginger Hayes. Genuine Productions, 2010. Documentary.

Using Video Citations in APA Style

Each writing style has slightly different citation formats. In APA style, the producer's name and first initial are used first. Afterward, the director's last name and first initial are written out. This is followed by the performer, the date, and the title of the film. For APA style, a citation would be written out as follows:

Greene, G. (Producer), Smith, C. (Director), & Hayes, G. (Performer). (2010). Learning to write (Motion Picture). United States: Genuine Productions.

Students should keep in mind that only the first word of the title is capitalized in APA style. All of the words following the initial word are never capitalized. The only exemption to this rule is for the first word after a colon. When a colon is present, the word immediately after the colon will be capitalized.

Chicago Style Citations for Videos

To accurately cite documentaries and videos in Chicago style, students have to use an entirely different set of rules. In this type of writing, the last name and first name of the performer are written. This is followed by the title and the type of source. Afterward, the student must write the name of the director, the year, the location and the production studio. In practice, the citation would look like this:

Hayes, Ginger. Learning to Write. Documentary. Directed by Charles Smith. 2010. New York City: Genuine Productions. Film.