Writing about Film

Sample Cinema Research Paper with Documented Sources in MLA Style

    This sample paper provides examples of in-text citations and an MLA-style works cited page.


Film Resources http://www.daltonstate.edu/humanities/humresources.htm

Citing Sources in the Text

Reference Citations for Film Papers in MLA Style (6th edition)

A Film

In MLA style, an entry for a film typically starts with the title (underlined) and includes the name of the director, the distributor of the film, and the year that the film was released (MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 6th ed.).

It's a Wonderful Life. Dir. Frank Capra. RKO, 1946.

Charlie: The Life and Art of Charles Chaplin. Dir. Richard Schickel. Warner Home Video, 2004.

A Video Recording (Videocassette, DVD, Laser Disk)

In MLA style, cite these as you would cite a film but include the original date of release and the medium (DVD, laser disk, sound filmstrip, videocassette) before the name of the distributor.

Suspicion. Dir. Alfred Hitchcock. 1941.  DVD. Turner, 1995.

    Note: The medium is neither underlined nor enclosed in quotes.

A Contribution of a Particular Individual in a Film

In MLA style, if you are referencing the particular contribution of an individual (the director, the writer, a performer, a producer, a composer), you begin the citation with that person's name (MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 6th ed.).

Rota, Nino, composer. Juliet of the Spirits [Giulietta degli spiriti]. Dir. Federico Fellini.

        Perf. Giulietta Masina.  Rizzoli, 1965.

A Film Review (Not Online) (Please be aware that these are fictitious reviews.)

            Gill, Lisa. Rev. of  School of Rock, dir. Richard Linklater. Time 8 Feb. 2004: 26-29.

            Martin, Helen. "Not So Perfect." Rev. of The Perfect Storm, dir. Wolfgang Petersen.

                    Newsweek  27 May 2004: 88.

            Rev. of School of Rock, dir. Richard Linklater. Newsweek 23 Feb. 2004: 59-60.

            "The Horror, the Horror." Rev. of School of Rock, dir. Richard Linklater. New Republic

                    15 Mar. 2004: 57-63.

A Film Review from a Newspaper or Magazine Online

Ebert, Roger. Rev. of Catch That Kid, dir. Bart Freundlich.  Chicago Sun-Times Online

     5 Feb. 2004. 16 Feb. 2004 <http://www.suntimes.com/ebert/ebert_reviews/2004/04/04122.html>.

        Note: There is no punctuation between the name of the online journal and the date of the article.  The complete URL is given and is followed by a terminal period. 

A Film Review from an Internet Film Site

Brenner, Jules. Rev. of Down by Love, dir. Tamas Sas. Filmcritic.com 2004. 19 Mar. 2004