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Citation Tools: Audio & Visual Material

MLA Core Elements

MLA - Who is the author?

The author refers to the person or entity that created the source.  
Authors can include individual people writing books and articles, Film directors, government agencies, corporations, and many more.

List the author last name first:  Brown, Brene.  

If the person you are listing as the creator is someone other than an author, such as an editor or translator, include a label that indicates this.  

Example: Nunberg, Geoffrey, editor.

If the source was created by an organization, such as an institution, government agency, corporation, etc. list the name of the organization as the author.  

However, if the authoring organization is also the publisher, do not list it in the author spot.  Begin the entry with the source title and list the organization only in the publisher spot.  

What if there are multiple authors?

When a source has two authors, list them in the order in which their names appear in the work.  Only the first person will be listed last name first.  The second person's name should appear in normal order.  

Example:  Dorris, Michael, and Louise Erdrich

When a source has three or more authors, list only the first person's name (last name, first name), followed by et al (and others).  

Example: Brown, Peter C., et al.  

What if there is no author listed?

Do not list the author as Anonymous, rather simply skip the author element and begin the citation with the source title.  

MLA - Visual Art

Provide the artist's name, the title of the artwork in italics, the date of composition, and the medium of the piece. Finally, provide the name of the institution that houses the artwork followed by the location of the institution (if the location is not listed in the name of the institution, e.g. The Art Institute of Chicago).

Goya, Francisco. The Family of Charles IV. Oil on canvas. 1800, Museo del Prado, Madrid.

For photographic reproductions of artwork (e.g. images of artwork in a book), treat the book or website as a container. Remember that for a second container, the title is listed first, before the contributors.  Cite the bibliographic information as above followed by the information for the source in which the photograph appears, including page or reference numbers (plate, figure, etc.).

Goya, Francisco. The Family of Charles IV. 1800, Museo del Prado, Madrid. Gardener's Art Through the Ages, 10th ed., by Richard G. Tansey and Fred S. Kleiner, Harcourt Brace, p. 939.

MLA - Films


The title should be the first element when citing a film.  Include the director for other contributors, the studio or distributor for the publisher, and the release year for the publication date.  


The Princess Bride. Directed by Rob Reiner. MGM Home Entertainment, 1987.  

You may also emphasize a particular contributor's work on the film by listing that person as the author of the source.  It is not necessary to list the source this way, but you may do so if your discussion of the film focuses on that individual's contribution.  You may also include actors after the director if their work is important in your use of the source.  


Miyazaki, Hayao, director. Princess Mononoke. Buena Vista Home Entertainment, 2000. 

The Lives of Others. Directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmark, Performance by Ulrich Mühe. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, 2007.  

MLA - YouTube Videos

YouTube Videos

Always make note of whoever uploaded the video, but if there is an author listed, or you know the name of the person responsible for the content of the video, you may list that person as the author.  If there is no author specified, begin the citation with the title of the video, in quotation marks.  List the name of the video sharing website (YouTube, Vimeo) as the container, in italics.  

Remember to include a link to the video.  To get the permalink in YouTube, click "share" under the video and copy the provided URL, omitting the https://.


"Structure of the Court System: Crash Course Government and Politics #19." YouTube. uploaded by CrashCourse. 5 June 2015.

In the above example, there are writers and performers listed, so you may choose to emphasize the contribution of one of these people, just as in citing a film or TV show.  

Green, John. "On the Banning of Looking for Alaska." YouTube. uploaded by VlogBrothers. 12 April 2016.


MLA - Television

Television Episodes

You may cite an entire series, or a piece of it, such as a single episode or season.  In the latter case, list the episode or season title/number as the source title, followed by the name of the TV show as the container.  

Just as in citing a film, you may choose to emphasize certain individuals' contributions if they are important to your discussion of the episode or series by including them after the title(s). 

Cite a recorded episode, such as on a DVD of the series, similarly to a film.  The title of the episode in quotation marks will be the first element, followed by the series title in italics.  In most cases, you should list the person who wrote the episode, and/or the director after the series title. 


"Ron and Tammy." Parks and Recreation: Season Two. written by Mike Scully, directed by Troy Miller. Universal Studios Home Entertainment,  2010.

Community: The Complete Third Season. Created by Dan Harmon, Sony Pictures Television, 2012.  

If you found the episode through a streaming service, such as Netflix or Hulu, include that information at the end of the citation.  If the episode or series is a Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, etc. original, list the streaming service as the publisher.  In this case, list only the URL after the publication date.  


"Traveling Salesmen." The Office. season 3, episode 13, NBC, Jan. 11 2007. Netflix,

"Season One." Sense8. Created by Lana and Lily Wachowski, and J. Michael Straczynski. Netflix, 2015.

Full TV series

Cite an entire series the same as you would a movie.     


Firefly. Created by Joss Whedon, performance by Nathan Fillion. Twentieth Century Fox Television, 2002. 


MLA - music recordings


Begin a music citation with the artist name.  You may cite entire albums or single songs.  Place song titles in quotation marks, and italicize album titles.  List the record label and the release date for the version you used.  You may also need to include information about where you accessed the recording, such as a streaming service like Spotify, or elsewhere online.  

You may also list additional contributors such as composers or performers, if their contribution is important to your discussion of the music.  List the names of these individuals after the album name, along with a brief description of their contribution.  

If information such as record label or name of album is unavailable from your source, do not list that information.

Physical Recordings (CD, LP, Cassette, etc.)


Linkin Park. Hybrid Theory. Warner Bros. Records, 2000.    

Britten, Benjamin. War Requiem. Galina Vishnevskaya, Peter Pears, and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, soloists. Decca Records, 1963. 

Music Streaming Website (Spotify, Pandora, etc.)


Blue Swede. "Hooked on a Feeling." Hooked on a Feeling, EMI Records, 1973, Spotify,

Online Album


Beyoncé. “Formation.” Lemonade, Parkwood Entertainment, 2016,

MLA-Digital Archive Objects

For objects in a digital archive, start with the creator of the object. If that is not available, start with the title of the object. If your digital archive only gives a description rather than an actual title, use that without [ ] or italics. If there is not a specific date, use whatever the archive gives for a date range. For example, Circa 1600-1620.


Creator of object. Title of object. Name of Digital Archive/website, publisher/org responsible for the website, date, URL of object.


Hamilton, Alexander. Letter from Hamilton to his future wife. Alexander Hamilton Papers: General Correspondence, 1734-1804, Library of Congress, 1780,