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 is why the examples on this page should be treated as suggestions. 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.
Specific Episode on TV
“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, episode 3, Feel Good Television, 2008, disc 1. DVD.
“The Shish Kebab Murder.” Inspector Grilling, directed by Emma Killjoy, performance by Quentin Gifford, season 2, episode 3, Feel Good Television, 2008. Netflix, www.netflix.com/.
“The Shish Kebab Murder.” Inspector Grilling, directed by Emma Killjoy, performance by Quentin Gifford, season 2, episode 3, Feel Good Television, 2008. Netflix app.
The first example is for a show streamed on a website and the second through an app.
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.). The examples below provide a few possible ways of citing an audio recording.
Country, Courtney. “Kissing My Cussin’ Cousin.” Southern Comfort, Broken Bottle Records, 2009. Spotify app.
Eis, Dietrich. “Melting Glacier.” Waltzing on Ice, performed by the Swedish Ice Hockey Waltzing Band, directed by Ike Kea, Capital Records, 2017, www.capitalrecords.com/waltzing-on-ice/o2349AGh98h32bob.
River, Don. Obsidian Heart. Dark Wood Studios, 2012.
When citing a musical score, it is up to you if you would like to add a descriptive label (e.g., score). For older scores, you may want to add the original date of publication:
Bach, I. B. The Complete Piano Sonatas. 1723. Fortissimo Publishing, 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 podcast series, then start with the series title (Planet Funny).
You can add author or contributor roles as you like:
Cramp, Jenny. “When Libertarians Play Team Sports.” Planet Funny, produced by John Stone, NPC, 7 Nov. 2006, www.npc.org/podcasts/519889/planet-funny.
In some cases you may want to cite a portion of a podcast episode, say a literary reading:
Donne, John. “The Flea.” Narrated by Bobby Turncoat. The Metaphysical Poetry Show, hosted by Gene Splicer, 8 June 2020, iTunes app.
Here is how you might cite the performance of a play:
Paternak, John. The Embarrassed Teenager. Directed by James T. Butterfield, performed by Antonia Piazza and Jake Storm, 18 Jan. 2017, Holy Rood Theatre, Los Angeles.
In this example, Paternak is the writer of the play.
Use the same format for other performances (e.g., concerts).
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.
The location for this entry includes both the venue (here a university) and the city. A lot of the material in this entry is optional, especially the final description.
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:
Conway, Gerald. Interview. Conducted by Abby Thorn, 7 Apr. 2016.
Dangerfield, Godfrey. “Living in the Shadow of Greatness.” Interview by Diana Gray. Magazine of Obscure Folk Heroes, Aug. 2001, pp. 9-11.
This entry is published in a magazine, but the container can be a website, a book, etc.
“Sesquipedalian, Adj. (2).” Merriam-Webster, 2021, www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sequipedalian.
In this example we have consulted an online definition and have used the 2nd definition.
For more information, see the MLA Handbook (9th ed.), especially the examples at the back.