How to Use a Documentary for a Research Paper

Apr 29, 2023 | Articles, Culture

The documentary is a great source that you can use in your research paper. Typically, video annotations do not exceed 5 minutes and help the viewer get a quick overview of a research paper and quickly find out the purpose and results of this study. To enhance the viewing experience and minimize distractions, it is recommended to use an ad blocker while watching video annotations, ensuring that the focus remains on the content of the research paper without any interruptions from unwanted advertisements.

Writing a research paper is popular and often used by teachers to engage students in research work and help them master the learning material. With the research paper service, you can forget about the difficulties associated with paper writing. A writer will help you format your research paper in accordance with academic standards, and you will not have to study hundreds of rules yourself.


How to use a documentary for a research paper

Choose a documentary that corresponds to your discipline

Imagine that you need to write a paper in physics. You can choose some person who has made a breakthrough in this area. It could be Stephen Hawking. There is an excellent documentary about him made by National Geographic. This is an insanely interesting program that will help you write a good research paper in physics. The official trailer can be viewed below:


Don’t violate the copyright

The author is the creator of the documentary. It has copyright and exclusive rights to:

  • copyright – the right to be considered the author, the right to the inviolability of the object and its publication;
  • exclusive – the right to use and dispose of objects.

Copyright appears at the time of the creation of a documentary; it does not require registration; it cannot be transferred or sold to another person, it remains with the author for life and 70 years after their death, and exclusive rights are freely alienated.

Most often, design, photos and images, interface, and articles act as objects for “theft.” The main thing is to remember that there is no “documentary without copyright.” All objects published on the web are created by the creative work of the author. They belong to an individual until they legally transfer their exclusive rights to another. Copying, distributing, and using other people’s work is prohibited without proper citation.

The citation is allowed without the consent of the author and payment of remuneration. Citation is understood as the use of an excerpt from the work indicating the author:

In addition to the correct design, it must be borne in mind that quoting can only be for scientific, critical, informational, polemical, and educational purposes. The scope of the citation should be appropriate for the purpose. Otherwise, borrowing is recognized as a copyright infringement.

One of the main rules of quoting is that you can not make changes. For example, you can’t overlay your own text on a video.


Cite documentaries in MLA and APA correctly

Citation is a fundamental component of research paper writing. With the abundance of high-quality video resources available online, online video is now frequently cited in essays, reports, and other research papers. Knowing how to create in-text citations for video sources can help you quickly and accurately attribute your sources.

MLA and APA have well-defined rules for quoting YouTube videos. We’ll show you how to cite videos in MLA and APA formats and provide examples that you can use as templates for correct documentary citing.

The MLA Handbook is published by the American Modern Language Association and is most commonly used for writing research papers in the humanities. Instead of following the rules of the MLA, students who study social and behavioral sciences are more likely to use the APA style. We’ll take a look at both styles below.


Citing documentaries in MLA

The MLA is a sample of the main elements contained in the citations. Most sources share common attributes such as author, title, and publication date. The MLA lists these elements in a particular order.

An MLA link to a YouTube video should include the following information:

  1. The name of the video creator (omit this field if it matches the name of the user who is added in step 4) is followed by a dot.
  2. “Video title.” (Use the quotes and period.)
  3. Add the platform where you found a documentary. This is YouTube in this case (be sure to use italics and put a comma after it).
  4. The YouTube channel or a specific user who uploaded the documentary, followed by a comma.
  5. The date with a semicolon.
  6. URL (don’t include http://) ending with a dot.

For example:

“The EVIL History of our Education System (Documentary).” YouTube, uploaded by Jake Tran, 25 April 2023,


How to cite documentaries in APA

APA uses slightly different formatting for quoting documentaries. An APA link to a documentary should include the following information:

  1. The real name of the author, followed by a full stop, e.g., “Tran Jake.” You may need to visit the author’s profile page to find out their real name. If you can’t find the real name of an author, skip to the second step.
  2. The name of the user who uploaded the video in parentheses with a dot, such as “[Jake Tran].”
  3. The date the video was posted in brackets followed by a dot.
  4. The title of the video is in italics. Use only the first word and any proper names with a capital letter, and don’t put a period after the name.
  5. The file type in brackets with a dot, such as “[Video].”
  6. Website name with a dot, such as “YouTube.”
  7. URL such as “ Note”

Keep in mind that you should indent all lines after the first one in your quotation. So here’s what an APA-style quote would look like with the author’s real name and pseudonym:

Tran Jake. [Jake Tran]. 2023, 25 April. The EVIL History of our Education System (Documentary) [Video]. YouTube.

Writing and formatting citations correctly can be tricky. Fortunately, there are citation management tools that can help you. Moreover, almost all text editors have built-in functions allowing you to format sources automatically.

Read On – Our Latest Top Documentaries Lists

Thomas B.