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MLA Style Guide: Audiovisual Material

This guide is designed to help students learn about MLA style and cite sources for their research.

Quick Tips

There are often many contributors to the production of audiovisual material. You do not have to include all of them in your reference, but may emphasize those contributors who are most essential to your discussion, such as directors, producers, writers, and performers.

For a film, videorecording, or DVD, start the reference with the title followed by important contributors such as the producer and director. If your discussion focuses on the contribution of a particular person, you may start the reference with their name in the position of author.

For a music recording, list the most important contributor (such as writer, composer or performer) in the author position. If desired, you may specify the role of the authors after their names. You may also include other contributors after the title if they are important to the theme of your essay.

It is not necessary to include the URL for a podcast or video retrieved from the Internet, but you may do so if desired.  You should include the name of the person responsible for the work (creator, author, etc.) and the name of the database or web site from which you retrieved the video (e.g. YouTube). Also include the date or, if there is none available, the date you retrieved the video from the web.

Audiovisual Material

 Information required for an audiovisual referencce includes:

  • Title
  • Directors, producers, performers or other significant contributors
  • Distributor
  • Copyright date or date posted for web resources
  • Medium of publication
  • Date of access for web resources

Examples of References:

Avatar. Directed and produced by James Cameron. Twentieth Century Fox, 2010.

Bruns, George, composer. Walt Disney's The Jungle Book. Walt Disney Records, 2001.

Gilkyrson, Terry. "The Bare Necessities." performed by Phil Harris. Walt Disney's The Jungle Book, Walt Disney Records, 2001.

I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly. Directed by Derek Lamb, produced by Colin Low. National Film Board of Canada, 2006.

Nishimura, Mariko. "What Is Graphic Design?" YouTube, uploaded by Kinetic Typography 101, 11 Aug. 2011,

Examples of In-Text Citations:

It is often difficult to correctly cite an audiovisual resource in parentheses within the text of an essay, especially since page numbers are not used.  It is recommended that you introduce the work by incorporating the citation into the wording of the essay itself the first time it is mentioned.  In subsequent citations, you may simply use a parenthetical citation.

Example of first citation:

In her YouTube video entitled "What is Graphic Design?," Nishimura indicates that images can be used to . . .

Example of second citation:

In any visual medium, typography can be used to enhance the overall message (Nishimura).

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