How to Cite TV Commercials in MLA Format

By Michelle Miley
TV Commercials, MLA Format

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It is very important to properly credit the references you use when writing reports and papers. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to know how to cite sources other than books, magazines and newspapers. Television programs, audio recordings, websites and advertisements are all sources that can be difficult to cite, since author and title information can be difficult to find. The MLA Handbook provides information on how to cite TV commercials and other nonprint sources.

Search the Internet for the commercial you are citing. Popular commercials are often played on sites such as YouTube.com and can provide you with a lot of information about the commercial.

List the name of the commercial in quotation marks if you know it. Follow the commercial name with a period. If you do not know the title of the commercial, list the product that is being advertised instead, including the product's brand. If you list the name of the product, you do not need to place it in quotes.

List the word "Commercial" followed by a period after the commercial title.

In italics, type the name of the place where you saw the commercial. This can be a television station name or the name of a website where you found the commercial. This information should also be followed by a period.

List the date you saw the commercial or the date you located it on the Internet. This information should be listed as the day followed by the month and then the year. For example, December 17, 2009 would be listed as "17 Dec 2009." The date should be followed by a period.

If you were able to access the commercial online, include the URL at the end of the citation enclosed in a less than and greater than symbol (<>).

About the Author

Writing professionally since 2008, Michelle Miley specializes in home and garden topics but frequently pens career, style and marketing pieces. Her essays have been used on college entrance exams and she has more than 4,000 publishing credits. She holds an Associate of Applied Science in accounting, having graduated summa cum laude.

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