How to Reference a Film in an Essay

Written by brenda priddy
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How to Reference a Film in an Essay
Film referencing changes with the writing format style. (Ablestock.com/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

Citing movies in essays and papers is different depending on the formatting that your school uses. The four most common writing formats used in United States schools are MLA, AP, Chicago and APA styles. Many teachers and professors will discount points for using the wrong referencing system, so it is important to find out the style formatting required for your essay before choosing a referencing system to use for films. If you have any referencing questions, ask your teacher for help before submitting the essay.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Reference the video in-text differently than you would for printed sources. Since there are no page numbers, you can cite the video by director and title. Write the full name of the director, and italicise the name of the film.

  2. 2

    Cite the source using the following formatting in your “Works Cited” page: Tile of film (italicised). Dir. Director's last name, director's first initial. Distributor, year. Format (DVD, videocassette, online film).

  3. 3

    Reference additional information between the title and distributor of the film. You should cite anyone you reference in the film, including actors, producers, or any other relevant members of the film crew. Abbreviate "Prod" for producer, and "Perf" for performers.

  1. 1

    Cite the video in-text like you would for any other reference. Use the name of the movie and the year of publication for all video sources. Place the reference in quotation marks at the end of the sentence where the information is referenced. Before citing the source, introduce the source in-text with the name of the video and director.

  2. 2

    Use the following information for the references page: Last name of the director or producer and initial of the first name, the year the film was released, the title of the film and the location of the studio followed by the name of the studio. The reference should look like this: Director's last name, director's first initial. (Director). (Year). Title [Film]. Location: Studio

  3. 3

    Place a period after each fact. Italicise the name of the movie. Place a colon between the studio location and name of the studio. Place the word "director" and the year in parenthesis. Place the film format in brackets.

  1. 1

    Reference the film in-text by placing the director of the movie in parentheses followed by the year the movie was released. Italicise the name of the movie when referencing it in the essay.

  2. 2

    Cite the movie in the references section using the tile of the movie, the format, the director, the year released into theatres, the location where the movie was filmed, the producer of the movie and the release date of the video copy.

  3. 3

    Reference the citation like this: Name of film (italicised). Format. Directed by Director's first name and last name. Year of theatrical release; Location of the studio City, State abbreviation: Film distributor, home viewing release year.

  1. 1

    Cite the film in essay by the title of the film only. Place quotation marks around the title, rather than italicising the title. Capitalise the first and last word in the title, as well as all principle words. Capitalise verbs and prepositions if they contain more than three letters.

  2. 2

    Cite the name of the director or name of an actor in a film if you reference them specifically in the text. Introduce the director or actor in a relevant way; like, "as evidenced by the work 'Director' did in the film 'Film.'"

  3. 3

    Cite the film at the end of the essay. Place the title of the film in quotation marks. Place the name of the director using first name, last name. Write the year the film was released followed by the distributor. Separate all facts by semi colons. The citation should look like this: "Name of Film;" Name of Director; Year of release; Distributor.

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