The MLA Handbook does not provide examples for every last kind of citation. The idea is that you should be able to tailor the basic structure of a citation (author-title-container) to any new format you might come across. That’s why the examples on this page should be treated as suggestions only. There is no need to follow them slavishly.
When citing a film, you can start with the title or with one of the contributors:
Amblin, Bruce, director. Saws. Nightmare Studios, 1975.
Saws. Directed by Bruce Amblin, Nightmare Studios, 1975.
You can also provide a lot more information about other contributions, should you so choose:
Saws. Directed by Bruce Amblin, screenplay by Sara Tomlinson, performances by Michael King and Major Bill Fright, Nightmare Studios, 1975.
Here are just a few ways to cite a TV show or series.
“The Shish Kebab Murder.” Inspector Grilling, directed by Emma Killjoy, performance by Quentin Gifford, season 2, episode 3, Feel Good Television, 2 May, 2008.
Filling, Jeremy, and Nicholas Splat, creators. Inspector Grilling. Feel Good Television, 2007-10.
Episode on DVD
“The Shish Kebab Murder.” Inspector Grilling: Season 2. Directed by Emma Killjoy, screenplay by Esther Lovegood, Feel Good Television, 2008.
“The Shish Kebab Murder.” Inspector Grilling: Season 2. Directed by Emma Killjoy, performance by Quentin Gifford, Feel Good Television, 2008. Hulu, www.hulu.com/watch/157483.
These are just a few ways to cite a television show. If you’ve watched the episode on TV you can also add the broadcaster and your location (e.g., NBC, Chicago). As with films, you can emphasize the role of one of the contributors and place it first in your entry. As long as you know the basic format, feel free to provide what information you find relevant.
If you are citing a CD, LP, or even a cassette, you have a number of options.
Most often you would start with the name of the performing artist, but you can also cite by composer (e.g., Beethoven). It depends who is more central to your project.
You can also add a lot of extra information in the container portion of the citation (other contributors, a streaming service, etc.). In other words, the examples below provide just a few possible ways of citing an audio recording.
Country, Courtney. “Kissing My Cussin’ Cousin.” Southern Comfort, Broken Bottle Records, 2009.
River, Don. Obsidian Heart. Dark Wood Studios, 2012.
Music Streaming Site
Eis, Dietrich. “Melting Glacier.” Waltzing on Ice. Performed by the Swedish Ice Hockey Waltzing Band, directed by Ike Kea, Capital Records, 2017, GroovyTrain Streaming, www.groovytrain.com/waltzing-on-ice/o2349AGh98h32bob.
There are many music streaming sites (Google Play Music, Spotify, Pandora, etc.). Think of them as the location where the audio recording can be found.
When citing a musical score, you will want to end your citation with a description (score is the default option). For older scores, you may want to add the original date of publication:
Bach, I. B. The Complete Piano Sonatas. 1723. Berlin, 2001. Score.
Here is a sample podcast from a station called Not Politically Correct:
“When Libertarians Play Team Sports.” Planet Funny, NPC, 7 Nov. 2006, www.npc.org/podcasts/519889/planet-funny.
If you want to cite the entire series of podcasts, then start with the series title (Planet Funny).
You can also add contributor roles as you like. Here is an example:
Cramp, Jenny, narrator. “When Libertarians Play Team Sports.” Planet Funny, produced by John Stone, NPC, 7 Nov. 2006, www.npc.org/podcasts/519889/planet-funny. Podcast.
Note that in this version we have also provided a descriptive word at the end.
Here’s how you might cite the performance of a play:
The Embarrassed Teenager. Written by James T. Butterfield, performances by Antonia Piazza and Jake Storm, Holy Rood Theatre, Los Angeles, 18 Jan. 2017. Performance.
Use the same format for other performances. To foreground the role of one of the contributors, place the name(s) before the title.
Here’s how you might cite a lecture or a reading:
Flytrap, Venus. “The Science behind Trigger Warnings.” Mental Health and the Return to Nature: Peruvian Pavlovians Convention, introduced by Florence Wheelock, 3 July, 2009, Universidad Nacional Toribio Rodríguez de Mendoza de Amazonas, Chachapoyas, 2017. Presentation.
Notice that the location includes both the venue (here a university) and the city. A lot of the material in this entry is optional. In addition, you can change the descriptive word at the end to whatever you like: reading, speech, workshop, etc.
Cite interviews by first providing the name of the person interviewed (the interviewee). Interviews may be published or unpublished. When an interview lacks a title, you can give it a description of your own. Here are some examples:
Unpublished Personal Interview
Conway, Gerald. Personal Interview. 7 Apr. 2016.
Wilting, Samantha. Interview. By Abby Thorn, Mar. 2, 2011.
Published Interview (No Title)
Dangerfield, Godfrey. Interview with a Serial Comic Artist. Graphic Graphics Magazine, vol. 2, no. 3, 2001, pp. 9-11.