Everything You Need to Know about How to Quote a Movie in Academic Writing

It is clear that our intentions of putting a quote in an essay may differ. Even though most research papers focus on print or online sources, a lot of modern university courses implement audiovisual materials for their research. Regardless if you are writing a movie review essay or want to include a short movie in an Engineering presentation, knowing how to quote a movie is essential. It is especially relevant in Arts, Engineering, Programming, Sound Recording, and 3D Design degrees. Since such type of citing mostly deals with knowledge regarding print sources or using various Youtube videos for short presentation projects, college students get vulnerable to plagiarism risks by simply inserting some quote or referencing their source without due credibility. After all, working with any research paper requires relevant citing where every claim is always backed up with a reference.

Types of Citations in Academic Writing

The most challenging part about how to quote a film is knowing what has to be included and what are the differences between academic writing formats. A reason for this confusion might be publisher information depending on if it is a Youtube or DVD source. As most universities request APA, MLA, or Chicago academic format, which is close to Turabian style, yet represents separate formatting, it becomes essential. The most popular is classic MLA format, which is why college students always ask about how to cite a movie quote MLA way. While no citing format is easier or more complex, MLA can be told apart by using in-text citations and Works Cited for Bibliography reference. The APA format will have a References word on the final page. Now Chicago format differs because of its use of footnotes, endnotes, and Bibliography in a particular styling.

In simple terms, you will use two general citation types, which are essential in knowing how to cite a movie in an essay, both in text and Bibliography. The in-text citation will contain your relevant quote itself with a brief reference to an existing source, so it can be found at the end of your paper. Any mistake made through the text will reflect in your Bibliography page as well if the numbering or contributors list is incorrect.

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Correct AudioVisual Citation by Style with Examples

  • MLA Citation Guidelines

Let’s start with how to cite a movie MLA 8 format before moving on to the other audiovisual citations.

If some movie quote is taken as verbatim, the quotation marks are necessary. Here is how to quote when you include a direct phrase:

      "May the Force be with you." (Star Wars)

Now there is a Works Cited page (Bibliography) where you have to include directors, studio, and the year where it was filmed if required by formatting. Our example becomes this:

      Lucas, George, dir. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. Twentieth Century Fox, 1977. Film.

As we can see, you have to list films (if it is in theaters) by their title, including the director's name, movie studio where it was filmed, or distributed, ending up with mentioning film release year.

Now that we have learned how to quote a movie in an essay MLA style, we will continue with audio recording citing. For example:

     “The spectral analysis made in Icelandic caves has been higher in the low frequencies, compared to what the North American explorations have shown.” (Wilders).

There is no need to specify production year, if it is unavailable, mentioning the author of relevant recording is sufficient.

Now our Works Cited page requires the full name of your performer or a band, followed by relevant content title, year, release year, and studio's name.

For example:

      Wilson, Steven. The Raven That Refused to Sing. 2013. Kscope Music Records, 2013. CD.

When you require MLA in-text citation for some radio broadcast, there is no need to place a timestamp as it is done for in-text citation film template. Just mention the quote with the name of your broadcast as done below:

      “The Cold War became an emotional turmoil for both superpowers, especially the children.” ("The Cold War Childhood")

Works Cited page citing becomes a bit longer:

      "The Cold War Childhood". Conservative Talk Theater. Seattle KTTH 770. KTTH, Seattle. 13 May 2018. Radio.

Regarding how to cite a movie in text If you have found your source on some website, use the following template:

      Last name, First name of the creator. “Title of the film or video.” Title of the website, role of contributors and their full name or username, Version, Numbers, Publisher, Publication date, URL.

The Youtube video example:

      Talks at Google. “Kelly Jones: Stereophonics Lead Singer in Conversation.” YouTube, May 7, 2019, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4w9TBxKXWYo.

In-text citation example:

      Talks at Google 00:00:04 - 00:00:13)

Now if there is no author listed, in-text citation movie rules require citing a relevant title of your video instead. 

Streaming services or databases use this template:

      Last name, First name of content creator. Title of the film or video. Role of contributors and their First name Last name, Version, Numbers, Publisher, Publication date. Database name, URL.

If you feel lost in MLA, remember you can always use the MLA citation generator to help you with any kind quote for free.

  • APA Formatting examples 

The in-text citation may include relevant movie scenes with a timestamp or a direct quote. It also applies both for fiction films and this formatting explains how to cite a documentary in text if necessary.

Both movies and Netflix documentaries citing follow this example:

      “My mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.” (Zemeckis, 1994).

The References page will have to include all the people who produced the film with their respective roles, following each other, then placing an obtained release year. Any movie title comes with formatting in square brackets, country of origin, and the studio name.

See this example:

      Finerman, R. (Producer), & Zemeckis, R. (Director). (1994). Forrest Gump. [Motion Picture]. The United States. Paramount Pictures. 

  • Audio Recording Citing in APA

For an in-text citation, you have to include the name of the author (speaker), then paraphrase your content, and state the year of a given recording. See here:

      "The majority of praise and worship ceremonies revolve around Biblical scriptures." (Morley,  2011).

      In a challenging conversation about religious practices, Morley (2011) states that "...(your quote)".

The References page must include the last name of a speaker with relevant initials, mention specific roles in the brackets, then a year, title, and format of our recording in the brackets. Then specify your source, a web page, or a place where the recording can be accessed or downloaded. Follow this example:

      Morley, N. (Speaker). (2011). Modern Religious Practices (CD Recording Vol. 3). Miami, FL: Praise & Worship Library Archives.

  • Radio Broadcast Citing in APA

An in-text citation includes broadcast's name in the brackets with the year after your quote:

      "In most cases, mechanical engineers turned to additional education courses to catch up with technology." (Jones, 2015)

The same rules apply to Podcast recordings, yet you must include a radio station, creator's name, date, and location.

Our Bibliography page goes as follows:

    Jones, K. (Narrator). (2015, February 4). The Mechanical Engineering Versus Machine Learning [Radio broadcast episode]. In W. Carlton (Producer), Evening Edition. Seattle, WA: KTTH AM 770.

If you have a film or DVD in another language, use this template:

      Director, D. D. (Director). (Date of publication). Title of a motion picture in original language [Translated title] [Film]. Production company.

Now our in-text citation both for MLA in-text citation movie quote or Youtube video remains the same:

      According to (“Star Wars”, 1975), the characters…

YouTube video has this format:

      Person or group who uploaded a video. (Date of publication). Title of video [Video]. Website host. URL

The Podcast goes as follows: 

     Executive Producer, E. P. (Executive Producer). (Range of publication). Title of podcast [Audio podcast]. Production company. URL

Once again, you can use a free APA citation generator to simplify the process and save your time.

  • Chicago Citing Rules

If you do not know how to cite a quote from a movie in Chicago format, there is no need to fear once you learn some basic rules. Let's start with a motion picture reference rules. Since Chicago makes it possible to use notes, it ends up in three formatting styles. See below:

      First footnote/endnote: August Rush, DVD, directed by Kirsten Sheridan. (2007; Chicago, IL: Warner Bros. Pictures, 2008).

      Subsequent notes: August Rush.

     Bibliography page: August Rush. DVD. Directed by Kirsten Sheridan. 2007; Chicago, IL: Warner Bros. Pictures, 2008.

  •  Audio recording

      First footnote/endnote: Nirvana, Nevermind, Geffen Records, 1991, Compact disc.

      Subsequent notes. Nirvana, Nevermind.

      Bibliography page: Nirvana, Nevermind. Geffen Records. 1991. Compact disc.

  • Radio recording

   First footnote/endnote: "Tom Sawyer's principles," Morning Broadcast, Radio Disney (Riverside, CA: Radio Disney, February 7, 2011).

       Subsequent notes. "Tom Sawyer's principles".

      Bibliography page: "Tom Sawyer's principles." Morning Broadcast, Radio Disney Riverside, CA: Radio Disney, February 7, 2011.

Chicago format is often considered as the most confusing, which is only partially true. Check out our Chicago style citation website generator to try and fill in available information. This AI system will provide you with examples free of charge, so you can learn how this particular formatting works.

How to Make Sure that My Video Source is Credible?

It may seem easy to find a good reference, yet not all sources are approved by college professors. The most important part is to keep within the basic citing rules that will help you to stay safe.

  • Finding the original author or writer's credits.

If you want to include something in a research paper, avoid using blogs or unreliable websites when citing a video because it is not a published paper or a reference that can provide statistical data or clear reasoning. Use Google Scholar or scientific journals that have authors with a decent background. If it is not possible to use anything credible, look for information about the author to find out their expertise level.

  • Secondary Source Danger.

If you need a primary source, check similar scientific papers or Bibliography pages to find out whether your information is a secondary or a primary source. Every journal article, including your own paper, will appear as a secondary source unless it is your own argumentation. The primary sources stand for credibility, which is why a movie quote or an audio recording is like a first-hand experience.

  • Visit the local library.

If you cannot find a particular video on Youtube or do not have the required information to quote a movie or an audio recording, visit college’s local library as such information is usually listed in the notes. Alternatively, you can ask the college librarian for information, which will help you to cite and specify the source.

  • Do not use too much multimedia referencing.

While it is good for some projects to include movie or audio citing, do not overdo it because it will make the paper hard to read and will keep the bias away from your own opinion. Even when you write a non-technical, creative paper, it is still necessary to include some analysis among the videos that only seem natural. It will make your sources fit in a much better way!

How to Make My Essay Perfect?

Citing a movie or any other source is crucial if you want to receive good marks and deliver a credible paper. Considering all existing citation challenges, it is not surprising that even good essays still receive low grades because of minor omissions. Thankfully, there are ways to check your paper before you submit it. A safe approach to get things right is EduBirdie.com where you can double-check your paper, correct the formatting issues when you need to cite a video, eliminate grammar mistakes, and process your project for plagiarism risks among other things. Do not wait any longer because there are safe and affordable ways to receive an excellent essay!

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