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Citation & Format Guide

Citing Music and Podcasts

Movies are “big productions” and as such they have many creators.  Your exact movie citation will therefore depend on the aspect of the movie you are citing (dialogue? an actor’s performance? the costumes?  etc.).

When citing a movie, you should always include the title, director(s), either the production or distribution company, the release date, the the medium or place on which you watched it (DVD, Blu-ray, streaming app, URL, etc.; if you are citing a movie you watched live in a theater, you can leave this part out).  If you are citing a particular line or moment from a movie, make sure to include the time segment.  If you are citing the movie because of a particular actor or other creative contributor like a cinematographer or the author of the musical score, make sure to add their name and role after the director.

Footnote (general)

#. Movie Title, directed by Firstname Lastname, optional contributors (Production/distribution company, date of release), optional time segment cited, medium/URL.

Footnote for a quotation from a movie viewed via a Streaming app

#. Black Panther, directed by Ryan Coogler (Marvel Studios, 2018), 0:16:32 to 0:16:42, Disney+ streaming app.

Footnote for a movie viewed in a theater and noting a contributor

#. Black Panther, directed by Ryan Coogler, costume design by Ruth E. Carter (Marvel Studios, 2018).

Shortened footnote

#. Movie Title, optional time segment cited.

#. Black Panther, 0:16:32 to 0:16:42.

The bibliographic entry for the movie can begin with (and be alphabetized under) either the title (excluding AAn, or The) OR the director’s last name.  Bibliographic entries should also include the length of the film in hours and minutes:

Title.  Directed by Firstname Lastname.  Production/distribution company, date.  x hr., x min.  Medium/URL.

Black Panther.  Directed by Ryan Coogler.  Marvel Studios, 2018.  2 hrs., 14 min.  DVD.

OR

Lastname, Firstname, director.  Title.  Production/distribution company, date.  x hr., x min.  Medium.

Coogler, Ryan, director.  Black Panther.  Marvel Studios, 2018.  2 hrs., 14 min.  Disney+ streaming app.

Songs often have multiple creators.  When citing a song, ask yourself: what specific aspect of the song am I citing?  

  • The lyrics?  If so, who wrote the lyrics?
  • Someone’s particular performance?  If so, who and what did they do (vocals, guitar, etc.)?
  • The musical score?  If so, who wrote the music?
  • Etc.

Begin your song citation with whoever answers the above questions.  From there, try to include as much information as possible so that the reader can track down the specific version of the song you are citing.  Band name, song title, album name, and medium (streaming service, CD, etc.) are most crucial.

Citing Band Names

If the primary creator is a band whose name begins with the word “The,” then cut that “The” and instead alphabetize your citation by the next word. Otherwise, spell the band title word for word as is (for example, the band below is Rev. Milton Brunson & the Thompson Community Singers, NOT Brunson, Milton & the Thompson Community Singers). 

Footnote:

#. Primary creator, role if necessary, "Song Title," contributors, recorded date, track # on Album Name, Music Label, release date, medium.

#. Beatles, "Tomorrow Never Knows," lyrics by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, recorded April 1966, track 14 on Revolver, Capitol Records, 1966, Apple Music.

#. Rev. Milton Brunson & the Thompson Community Singers, “I’m Free,” track 2 on Available To You, Word Records, 1988, CD.

#. Edwin Starr, vocalist, “War,” by The Temptations, recorded 1970, track 1 on War & Peace, Motown Records, 1970, Spotify streaming audio.

Shortened footnote:

#. Creatorlastname, “Title.”

#. Beatles, “Tomorrow Never Knows.”

#. Starr, “War.”

#. Rev. Milton Brunson & the Thompson Community Singers, “I’m Free.”

Bibliography:

Primary Creator, role if necessary.  “Song Title.”  Contributors.  Recorded date.  Track # on Album Name.  Music Label, Release date.  Medium.

Beatles. "Tomorrow Never Knows." Lyrics by John Lennon and Paul McCartney.  Recorded April 1966. Track 14 on RevolverCapitol Records, 1966. Apple Music.

Rev. Milton Brunson & the Thompson Community Singers.  “I’m Free.”  Track 2 on Available To You. Word Records, 1988.  CD.

Starr, Edwin, vocalist. “War.” By The Temptations.  Recorded 1970.  Track 1 on War & Peace. Motown Records, 1970.  Spotify streaming audio.

TV Shows are “big productions” and as such they have many creators.  Your exact citation will therefore depend on aspect of the show you are citing (dialogue? an actor’s performance? the costumes?  etc.).

When citing a TV show, you should always include the show title, season and episode numbers, episode title, director’s name, original air date, channel production company, and the medium or place on which you watched it (DVD, Blu-ray, streaming app, URL, etc.; if you are citing a TV Show you watched live on TV, you can leave this part out).  If you are citing a particular line or moment from a show, make sure to include the time segment.  If you are citing the movie because of a particular actor or other creative contributor like the script writer, make sure to add their name and role after the director.

Footnote (general)

#. TV Show Title, season #, episode #, “Episode title,” directed by Firstname Lastname, optional contributors aired date, on channel (Production company, date) optional time segment cited, medium/URL.

Footnote for TV show viewed on TV

#. The Wire, season 3, episode 10, “Reformation,” directed by Christine Moore, aired November 28, 2004, on HBO (HBO, 2004).

Footnote for TV show featuring an actor viewed on DVD

#. The Wire, season 3, episode 10, “Reformation,” directed by Christine Moore, featuring Robert Wisdom, aired November 28, 2004, on HBO (HBO, 2004), DVD, disc 4.

Footnote for a quotation from a TV show featuring the screenwriter viewed on a streaming app

#. The Wire, season 3, episode 10, “Reformation,” directed by Christine Moore, story by David Simon and Ed Burns, aired November 28, 2004, on HBO (HBO, 2004), 8:30-9:12, HBO Max streaming app.

Shortened footnote

#. TV Show Title, “Episode Title,” optional time segment cited.

#. The Wire, “Reformation,” 8:30-9:12.

Bibliography (note that you should alphabetize it under the first word after any AAn, or The)

TV Show Title.  Season #, episode #.  “Episode Title.”  Directed by Firstname Lastname.  Aired date, on channel.  Medium/URL.

Wire, The.  Season 3, episode 10.  “Reformation.”  Directed by Christine Moore.  Aired November 28, 2004, on HBO.  HBO Max streaming app.

YouTube Video

Footnote

#. Firstname Lastname of Performer, Writer, Creator, or Channel name, "Title of Video," YouTube video, running time, upload date, URL.

#. NativLang, "Why West Africa keeps inventing writing systems," YouTube video, 10:06, April 30, 2021, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xa8BYZrSTxY&t=9s.

Shortened footnote

#. NativLang, “Why West Africa.”

Bibliography

Lastname, Firstname of Performer, Writer, Creator, or Channel name. "Title of Video." YouTube video, running time. Upload date. URL.

NativLang. "Why West Africa keeps inventing writing systems." YouTube video, 10:06. April 30, 2021. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xa8BYZrSTxY&t=9s.

Using Stable URLs for Citations of Music

A bibliographic citation is meant to give the reader all of the information she needs to find and access the source being cited.  When citing music obtained online, that means including the web address, otherwise known as the URL or Uniform Resource Locator.  Citing websites can be tricky.  While many works on the internet are freely open to anyone, many others are only available to verified users with a login or users who pay to get access to something behind a paywall.  If you are citing a source that requires a login or is behind a paywall, you MUST use what is variously called a stable URL or permalink.  While a stable URL/permalink will not necessarily give every reader access to the article or content, they will at least be directed to a page that shows that the article is indeed there.  If you instead put a non-stable URL, like the URL from the top browser bar, then a reader who types in or click on that link will not be directed to that article.

One specific type of stable URL is a DOI (Digital Object Identifier), a URL which is permanently linked to that object.  Anyone making online content can register their content with the DOI organization.  DOIs all begin https://www.doi.org or https://doi.org

Many article databases note a stable URL or include a tool for finding one.  On JSTOR, a stable URL and DOI can be found on the left side of the page when you click on an article.  On EBSCO Academic Search Complete, there is an option for obtaining a permalink at the bottom of the right-hand column; look for the chain-link icon.   Click on it and the permalink will appear above the article title.