How to Cite a Netflix In MLA, APA & Chicago Academic Writing Styles

Even though Netflix is considered as a video streaming service for entertainment purposes, modern college students also use it for various academic needs as they cite relevant objects. For example, dealing with an educational documentary or original series, it may be necessary to discuss a quote or provide certain information regarding specific filming or directing techniques. When you have a plethora of interesting movies to consider, it is not surprising that Netflix has already reached the academic community. Do not be afraid to cite for your academic assignment because the only part that matters is avoiding plagiarism or copyright issues. Once you learn how to cite a Netflix show or documentaries right, you will also feel safe about your final grade as even those multimedia resources that you have used are mentioned. 

The List of Required Information When Citing Netflix Sources 

Do not let this part frighten you because it is only necessary to look up information online: 

  1. Title of the Netflix movie (or TV series episode) or when you need to cite a Netflix documentary. 
  2. Name of the website (Netflix). 
  3. Names of directors, producers, performers, or any other people that matter for your particular quote. 
  4. Release Year. 
  5. Name of the production or distribution company involved. 
  6. URL. 

As a rule, if some of this information is unavailable, you can either discuss this matter with your college professor or contact Netflix services directly who may provide you with additional information. Remember that the more information you can provide, the better your final research or essay paper will be. Providing sufficient information is also the safest way to avoid plagiarism issues. 

How to Cite Netflix in APA, MLA, and Chicago 

  • MLA 9 Style Netflix Citation Rules 

It will differ if you are accessing Netflix via the website or by turning to a specialized app. The template will look as follows: 

Web citation: 

Movie Title. Directed by First name Last name, performance by First Name Last Name, Production Company, Year published. Netflix, URL.

How to cite Netflix using an app:

Movie Title. Directed by First Name Last Name, performance by First name Last Name, Production Company, Year published. Netflix app.

As a result, we receive the following example:

On a website:

Over The Moon. Directed by Glen Keane, Netflix Animation, 2020. Netflix, www.netflix.com/title/80214236

On an app:

Over The Moon. Directed by Glen Keane, Netflix Animation, 2020. Netflix app.

  • APA Netflix Citation Rules 

Last name of Documentary Producer, V. R. (Producer), & Last name of Documentary Director, S. L. (Director). (Year of release). Movie title [Video file]. Retrieved from Netflix’s homepage URL

When citing Netflix, the APA manual for video recommends mentioning not the direct URL but the original home page of the video streaming service, meaning Netflix.com with a "Retrieved from" prefix. 

The actual example will look this way: 

Bremble, C., Chan, J., Giovine, T, & She, W. (Producers), & Appelhans, C. (Director). 2021. Wish Dragon [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.netflix.com

  • Chicago Netflix Citation Rules 

Chicago Manual of Style format for movies keeps things rather simple and generally does not recommend citing Netflix per se, yet there may be some cases when it is done for academic research purposes (directors, media studies, etc). 

The citation template goes this way: 

Director’s Last name, First name, dir. Movie Title. Production Company, Year of release. URL.

The actual example becomes this: 

Michelle Johnston, dir. A Cinderella Story: Christmas Wish, Blue Ribbon Content & Front Street Pictures Inc., 2019. https://www.netflix.com/title/81148811

Note: if you have two directors in your Netflix movie citation, the first director's name is placed in reverse order starting with the last name, then the first name. The second director's name goes, as usual, starting with the first name. 

Only Applicable Information Rules 

Remember that your research will be successful not when you are citing anything you can find because it exists but when your sources are truly necessary for making your research clear. The purpose is to support your ideas or arguments with evidence, which is why your citations must be there for a reason. Therefore, include it in Bibliography if it is something you have consulted or in your references list if it is mentioned in your text. 

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