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Citing Media: MLA (8th edition)

Direct comments to mkclark@nvcc.edu

Core Information Color Code Key

The following color coding is used throughout this guide to help you identify each part of the citation. See the Basic Citation Information tab below for an explanation of MLA's core information fields and more detail on each field.

Author
Title of Source
Title of Container (Larger work holding your source (if there is one))
Other Contributors
Version
Number
Publisher
Publication Date
Location (URLs should not include http:// or https:// in your citation. Your professor may ask you to omit URLs for neatness.)
Date of Access (This information is optional in the MLA 8th edition, but is often important for online resources that can be easily updated, changed, or moved. Check your assignment or ask your professor about whether you should include dates of access in your Works Cited.)

Find info on citing materials not covered by this guide at NOVA's MLA Citation Style Guide.

Citations by Media Type

In-Text Citations

MLA Style directs you to use the author's last name and the page number you are referring to for your in-text citations.
          Ex: (Sommers 27)

In many cases, your media sources will not provide an author or page numbers.

  • If the source does not provide author information, use the title (or the first word or two of the title) instead of the author name.
  • If the source does not include page numbers, include only the author's name (or the title, if there is no author)
    • If your media resource has a runtime (e.g. a movie, song, podcast, etc.), include the range of time within the resource as hours, minutes, and seconds instead of page numbers.
      • For example: (00:03:22-01:05:18) to specify minute 3 and 22 seconds through hour 1, minute 5, and 18 seconds.

More information and examples can be found at NOVA's MLA Citation Style Guide.

Citations in MLA (8th ed.) generally look for this core information:

MLA 8 Elements

MLA Handbook, 8th ed., The Modern Language Association of
          America, 
2016, p. 20.

1) Author
Last Name, First Name or Username

2) Title of Source
This will vary according to what you are using from a work. For example, if you are
discussing a specific TV episode, the title of that episode will be your source. If you are
discussing an entire TV series, the source will be the TV series title.
3) Title of Container (Larger work holding your source (if there is one))
Ex: Name of Website where your article or video is found, Title of the TV series if you only use one episode as your source, Title of the album if you only cite one song, etc.
4) Other Contributors
Ex: editors, translators, actors, actresses, etc.
5) Version
Ex: Director's cut, 25th anniversary edition, Unabridged edition, etc.
6) Number
Ex: Season and episode number of a TV episode
7) Publisher
8) Publication Date

9) Location
Link (URL or DOI) that directs to the resource, or page number in a journal or book (or time stamp in a video or audio resource)

10) Date of Access 
Because online works are more easily changed than print works, it is helpful to include the date that you accessed the information. This is particularly true when there is no publication date included in the resource. However, date of access is considered optional in the MLA 8th edition (53). Check your assignment or ask your professor about whether you should include dates of access in your works cited.

Include as much information as you can. This may require a little digging around when you're using online media. Keep in mind that the information you provide should allow someone to locate the resource you used. You may not be able to find information to fill all of the core information categories, but include what you can find to help people access the resource in the future.

Some core categories (like Title of Container) may be repeated in the citation as necessary to accurately describe where the source that you used can be found.

For more information on each core information field, visit the Purdue OWL MLA Style Guide:  https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/mla_style/mla_formatting_and_style_guide/mla_formatting_and_style_guide.html

Paintings, Sculptures, or Photographs (viewed in person)

This information may be found on a label or sign near the piece in the museum or gallery.

Last Name, First Name. Title. Publication year, Name of Museum or Institution, City.

KandinskyVasily. Picture with an Archer. 1909, Museum of Modern Art, New York.


Paintings, Sculptures, Photographs (viewed on museum website)

Last Name, First Name. Title. Publication year. Name of Museum or Institution where artwork is displayed, Website URL, Date of Access.

URLs should not include http:// or https:// in your citation. Your professor may ask you to omit URLs for neatness.

KandinskyVasily. Picture with an Archer. 1909. Museum of Modern Art, www.moma.org/collection/works/80104, Accessed 8 February 2019.

This information should be found on the website where you viewed the artwork. Visit www.moma.org/collection/works/80104 to find this example.

Image of the painting Portrait of an Archer retrieved from the Museum of Modern Art's website

Image of additional information about Portrait of an Archer taken from the Museum of Modern Art's website

 

________________________________________________________________________

Information used in the citation is highlighted on the image in yellow.

This information is available on the website where the image is displayed. 


 

Paintings, Sculptures, Photographs (viewed on a website other than the museum's)

Last Name, First Name. Title. Publication year. Name of Museum or Institution where the artwork is displayed, Location of Museum/Institution, Name of Website where
          artwork is displayed,
 website URL, Date of Access.

URLs should not include http:// or https:// in your citation. Your professor may ask you to omit URLs for neatness.

Klee, Paul. Twittering Machine. 1922. Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Artchive, www.artchive.com/artchive/K/klee/twittering_machine.jpg.html. 11 February 2019.

This information should be found on the website where you viewed the artwork. Visit www.artchive.com/artchive/K/klee/twittering_machine.jpg.html to find this example:

Information about the painting Twittering Machine, found on the website Artchive.com

 

 

Image of the painting Twittering Machine taken from Artchive.com

Information used in the citation is highlighted on the image in yellow.

This information is available on the website where the image is displayed.


 

Other Online Images

Last Name, First Name. "Title or Brief Description of Image." Name of Website where image is displayed. Name of Website publisher, date of resource creation (if
          available), website URL. Date of access.

URLs should not include http:// or https:// in your citation. Your professor may ask you to omit URLs for neatness.

If an Author/Creator is not listed by their First or Last Name but a Username is provided, use their Username in place of their name. Include the Username in the order it is given. Do not worry about Last Name first (ex: If 'Liudmyla Denysiuk' was not provided in the example below, we could use @hedgehog90)

DenysiukLiudmyla. "Hedgie king photo." Unsplash. 14 August 2018, unsplash.com/photos/iJ9o00UeAWk. Accessed 8 February 2019.

This website does not have a separate publisher, so the 'Name of Website publisher' field is omitted.

This information should be found on the website where you viewed the image. Visit unsplash.com/photos/iJ9o00UeAWk to find this example:

Picture of a hedgehog wearing a crown

Picture information, including title and date

Information used in the citation is highlighted on the image in yellow.

This information is available on the website where the image is displayed. Additional information was revealed by clicking the 'Info' button by the image.


 

Films and Movies

This information is often found on the backs of DVD/Blu-Ray containers, from the website or database where you viewed the film, or from trusted film databases such as IMDB.com

Note: The two examples given are for the same film, but the IMDB information provides the year the film was released in theaters, while the DVD example provides the year the DVD was released. Use the year of the version of the film you saw or are referencing.

Title of Film or Movie. Directed by Director, Film Studio or Distributor, release year.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Directed by Rian Johnson, Lucasfilm, 2018.

If the actor/actress is relevant to the citation, you can include them after the director.

Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi. Directed by Rian Johnson, performances by Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill, Walt Disney Pictures, 2018.

DVD/Blu-Ray case:

Portion of the DVD cover for Star Wars: The Last Jedi

 

Information used in the citation is circled on the image in yellow.
The image above is a picture of the back of the case, where you can often find most of the information you need for your citation.

 

IMDB:

Title of Film or Movie. Directed by Director, Film Studio or Distributor, release year.

Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi. Directed by Rian Johnson, Walt Disney Pictures, 2017.

If the actor/actress is relevant to the citation, you can include them after the director.

Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi. Directed by Rian Johnson, performances by Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill, Walt Disney Pictures, 2017.

Screen capture of the IMDB page for Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi

 

The Company Credits information can be found on the film's IMDB page, beneath the Cast and other Details. Click on 'See more' to see a list of Production Companies and Distributors (see example below).

List of production companies associated with Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Walt Disney Pictures is highlighted

Sections to look for:

Title block (shown to the left) (Title, Year, Director, Writer, Some actors)

Company Credits (shown above) (Film Studio/Distributor)

 

Fig. 1. "Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi." IMDB, 2019, 
          www.imdb.com/title/tt2527336/?ref_=nv_sr_1. Accessed 26 February, 2019.


 

Broadcast TV Episodes (Aired on a TV Channel)

"Episode Title." Name of TV Show, Network Name, TV Station Call Letters, City, air date.

"The Outspoken King." Empire, Fox, WTTG, Washington, D.C., 14 Jan 2015.


Recorded TV Episodes

Most of this information can be found in the episode credits. You may also be able to find this information on IMDB, the DVD or Blu-ray case, Wikipedia, or the website of the TV network that aired the show. Make sure you verify information at another source if you find it on Wikipedia.

"Episode Title." Name of TV Show, written by Writer Name, directed by Director Name, Distributor, release year.

"The Lion and the Rose." Game of Thrones Season 4, written by George R. R. Martin, directed by Alex Graves, Home Box Office (HBO), 2014.


Streaming TV (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, YouTube TV, etc.) 

Most services will include the Episode Title, Name of TV Show, Season number, and Episode number. You may also find information in the episode credits. You may need to check a second source for the Network Name and air date. Make sure you verify information at another source if you find it on Wikipedia.

"Episode Title." Name of TV Show, season number, episode number, Network Name, air date. Streaming Channel, website url.

"The Outspoken King." Empire, season 1, episode 2, Fox, 14 Jan 2015. Hulu, www.hulu.com/watch/742916ba-486a-42cb-9066-bb592b2b1214.


Entire TV Series

Producers. Title of TV show. Distributor, year.

Benioff, David and D.B. Weiss. Game of Thrones. Home Box Office (HBO), 2011-.


Online Video (YouTube, Vimeo, etc.)

“Video Title.” Name of site, uploaded by username, date uploaded, url.

“What if You Stopped Sleeping?” YouTube, uploaded by AsapSCIENCE, 22 Sep. 2013, youtu.be/nNhDkKAvxFk.

Note: If the creator is different from the uploader, cite the creator before the video title.

Ex: Author Name. or Username. "Video Title." Name of site, uploaded by username, date uploaded, url.

This information should be found on the website where you viewed the video. Visit youtu.be/nNhDkKAvxFk to find this example:

Information used in the citation is highlighted on the image in yellow.

In this example, the creator/author and the uploader are the same, so only the uploader is listed in the citation. If the creator is different from the uploader, cite the creator before the video title.

Music (streamed online)

Song in an album:

Artist. “Song Title.” Album, Record Label, publication date. Streaming Website, URL to the song.

Rammstein. “Sonne.” Mutter, Universal Music GmbH, 2001. Spotify, open.spotify.com/album/7ikuEzL6xeAgu6yT6YVLy7.

Information used in the citation is highlighted on the image in yellow.

 

Song released as a single:

Artist. "Song Title." Album, Record Label, publication date. Streaming Website, URL to the song.

Childish Gambino. “This is America.” This is America, RCA Records, 2018. Spotify, open.spotify.com/album/7arx9qPJexCsDz67El4qvk.

Information used in the citation is circled on the image in yellow.

Because this song was released as a single, it does not have a separate Album title. Check with your professor to see if they would prefer you omit the Album title when you cite singles.


 

Music (CD, Vinyl, etc.)

Artist. “Song Title.” Album, Record Label, publication date.

May, Daniel. “Earth.” Feng Shui: Music for Balanced Living, Avalon Music, 2002.

Information used in the citation is circled on the image in yellow.

The publication date was listed on the CD itself, near the center.


 

Podcasts

Narrator/Host. “Episode Title.” Podcast Series Title, season/series number, episode number, Publisher, publication date, URL.

If a podcast does not use season/series numbers or episode numbers you do not need to include anything in that field.

Podcast on its own website:

Narrator/Host. “Episode Title.” Podcast Series Title, season/series number, episode number, Publisher, publication date, URL.

Gladwell, Malcolm, narrator. “The Lady Vanishes.” Revisionist History, season 1, episode 1, Slate Group, 2016, revisionisthistory.com/seasons?selected=season-1.

 

Podcast published as part of a larger website:

Narrator/Host. “Episode Title.” Podcast Series Title, season/series number, episode number, Publisher, publication date, Container website, URL.

This podcast does not use season/series numbers or episode numbers, so they are not included in the example below.

Chang, Ailsa, host. “Why Scientists Can’t Explain All the Appeal of an Eclipse.” Morning Edition, NPR, 11 Aug. 2017. NPR, www.npr.org/2017/
08/11/542753070/scientists-can-t-explain-all-the-appeal-of-an-eclipse.

 

Podcast in an app:

Narrator/Host. “Episode Title.” Podcast Series Title, season/series number, episode number, Container app, publication date.

This app does not display the season/series number,episode number, or Publisherso they are not included in the example below:

Gladwell, Malcolm, narrator. “The Lady Vanishes.” Revisionist History, iTunes app, 16 June 2016.

Social Media

Author's Last Name, First Name. or Account Name. Brief Description of Post. Site name, publication date, post time, URL.

InsideNoVA.com. "A Dumfries dentist will be competing on 'Jeopardy' tonight." Facebook, 13 Dec. 2018, 8:08 a.m., 
          www.facebook.com/insidenova/posts/10156121779360819. Accessed 15 February, 2019.

This information should be found on the social media site near/on the post you are citing.

Facebook
Visit www.facebook.com/insidenova/posts/10156121779360819 to find this example:

Note: You can find the time of a Facebook post by hovering your mouse over the date (found beneath the account name).

Remember: You are citing the Facebook post, not the linked article. The Title of your source is a Brief Description of the Post or a snippet of the text of the post, not the title of the linked article. If you mean to cite the article, click the link and cite the article on the site where it was originally posted.

Twitter

Note: For Tweets, use @username for the author. For example, @GeorgeTakei.

Account Name. "Brief Description of Post." Site name, publication date, post time, URL.

@NOVAcommcollege. "Make sure to file your taxes!" Twitter, 21 Feb. 2019, 9:55 a.m., twitter.com/NOVAcommcollege/status/1098642447784181760.

Visit https://twitter.com/NOVAcommcollege/status/1098642447784181760 to find this example:

 

From the Twitter feed, hover over the date to find the time of the post (see image on the right) or click on the tweet to open it and find the date and time there.


 

Blogs, Wikis, Discussion Forums, Email Listservs

Author’s name or Username. “Post Title.” Site Name, Publisher’s or Sponsor’s Name, URL.

Kaiser. “Steph Curry Wonders if Astronauts Ever Made It to the Moon.” Celebitchy, Celebitchy, LLC, 
          www.celebitchy.com/603221/steph_curry_wonders_if_american_astronauts_ever_made_it_to_the_moon/. Accessed 13 Dec. 2018.

Visit https://www.celebitchy.com/603221/steph_curry_wonders_if_american_astronauts_ever_made_it_to_the_moon/ to find this example:

You will often find this information at the beginning or the end of the post. Remember to include the date you accessed the post if it is a source that can be edited or changed.

This information was located at the beginning of the post, grouped together with the title. In some cases an author or date or other core information may not be provided. In those cases it is especially important to include a date of access.


 

Email (personal communication)

Author’s Name. “Re: Subject Line.” Received by recipient’s name, Date message was sent.

Jacobson, Helen. “Re: Information Literacy Framework Case Studies - Chapter Proposal.” Received by Monique Clark, 29 Aug. 2018.

Digital Files (PDFs, MP3s, JPEGs, etc.)

Author’s Last Name, First Name or Name of Organization. “Document Title.” Sponsor or Publisher (if available), publication date. File type.

Clark, Monique. “Citing Media in MLA 8th Format.” 2018. Microsoft Word file.

Note: If you’re citing a document found online, put a comma after the publication date and include the URL to the file.

Jones, Kristen. “How to Login to NOVA Computers.” Faculty & Staff Resource Center, NOVA Annandale, 2018, 
          www.nvcc.edu/annandale/fsrc/_docs/LoggingInToNOVAComputers.pdf.

 

Works Cited

Benioff, David and D.B. Weiss. Game of Thrones. Home Box Office (HBO), 2011-.

Chang, Ailsa, host. “Why Scientists Can’t Explain All the Appeal of an Eclipse.” Morning Edition, NPR, 11 Aug. 2017. NPR, 
          www.npr.org/2017/08/11/542753070/scientists-can-t-explain-all-the-appeal-of-an-eclipse.

Childish Gambino. “This is America.” This is America, RCA Records, 2018. Spotify, open.spotify.com/album/7arx9qPJexCsDz67El4qvk.

Clark, Monique. “Citing Media in MLA 8th Format.” 2018. Microsoft Word file.

DenysiukLiudmyla. "Hedgie king photo." Unsplash. 14 August 2018, unsplash.com/photos/iJ9o00UeAWk. Accessed 8 February 2019.

Gladwell, Malcolm, narrator. “The Lady Vanishes.” Revisionist History, iTunes app, 16 June 2016.

InsideNoVA.com. "A Dumfries dentist will be competing on 'Jeopardy' tonight." Facebook, 13 Dec. 2018, 8:08 a.m., 
          www.facebook.com/insidenova/posts/10156121779360819. Accessed 15 February, 2019.

Jacobson, Helen. “Re: Information Literacy Framework Case Studies - Chapter Proposal.” Received by Monique Clark, 29 Aug. 2018.

Jones, Kristen. “How to Login to NOVA Computers.” Faculty & Staff Resource Center, NOVA Annandale, 2018, 
          www.nvcc.edu/annandale/fsrc/_docs/LoggingInToNOVAComputers.pdf.

Kaiser. “Steph Curry Wonders if Astronauts Ever Made It to the Moon.” Celebitchy, Celebitchy, LLC, 
          www.celebitchy.com/603221/steph_curry_wonders_if_american_astronauts_ever_made_it_to_the_moon/. Accessed 13 Dec. 2018.

KandinskyVasily. Picture with an Archer. 1909. Museum of Modern Art, www.moma.org/collection/works/80104, Accessed 8 February 2019.

Klee, Paul. Twittering Machine. 1922. Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Artchive, www.artchive.com/artchive/K/klee/twittering_machine.jpg.html. 11 February 2019.

May, Daniel. “Earth.” Feng Shui: Music for Balanced Living, Avalon Music, 2002.

@NOVAcommcollege. "Make sure to file your taxes!" Twitter, 21 Feb. 2019, 9:55 a.m., twitter.com/NOVAcommcollege/status/1098642447784181760.

Rammstein. “Sonne.” Mutter, Universal Music GmbH, 2001. Spotify, open.spotify.com/album/7ikuEzL6xeAgu6yT6YVLy7.

Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi. Directed by Rian Johnson, performances by Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill, Walt Disney Pictures, 2018.

"The Outspoken King." Empire, season 1, episode 2, Fox, 14 Jan 2015. Hulu, www.hulu.com/watch/742916ba-486a-42cb-9066-bb592b2b1214.

“What if You Stopped Sleeping?” YouTube, uploaded by AsapSCIENCE, 22 Sep. 2013, youtu.be/nNhDkKAvxFk.

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Additional Resources

"MLA Citation Style Guide." NOVA Libraries, 2018, libguides.nvcc.edu/MLACitationStyle.

"MLA Formatting and Style Guide." The Purdue OWL, Purdue U Writing Lab, 2018,
          owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/mla_style/mla_formatting_and_style_guide/mla_formatting_and_style_guide.html.

MLA Handbook. 8th ed., The Modern Language Association of America, 2016.

"The MLA Style Center." Modern Language Association of America, 2019, style.mla.org.

 

Why don't the citations above have authors listed?

When the author and publisher of a work are the same, begin the entry with the title, skipping the author element, and list the organization only as publisher (MLA Handbook, 25).