Quoting and Citing from Film and Drama

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Quoting and Citing from Film and Drama

  • The Basics

Short Citations, One Character

  • Cite the speech of one character, as long as it is less than four typed lines, as you would cite from prose. Identify the character and the text and integrate the quotation into the paragraph.
    • In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Hagrid shows that he sometimes acts before he thinks when he reveals “classified” information to Harry, Hermione, and Ron and then says, “I shouldn't have told you that. No more questions, don't ask anymore questions!”

Long Citations, One Character

  • A direct quotation of more than four lines (from margin to margin) should be set off from the text by indenting two tab spaces or an inch.
  • Double space these set off quotations and do not enclose them in quotation marks.
  • Name 3
  • Harry is abused almost from the time he is orphaned. A reason for this mistreatment by his guardians and blood relatives becomes apparent shortly after Harry discovers that he is a wizard. His Aunt Petunia, it seems, may have been extremely jealous of Harry’s mother's powers, as well as the parental approval they secured for her. In the film Petunia admits to Harry that she, and her husband, have known of Harry’s genetic gifts from the beginning:
  • Of course we knew. How could you not be, my perfect sister, being who she was? Mother and father were so proud the day she got her letter. “We have a witch in the family. Isn’t it wonderful?” I was the only one to see her for what she was. A freak! Then she met that Potter, and then she had you, and I knew you would be the same: just as strange, just as abnormal. And then, if you please, she went and got herself blown up, and we got landed with you. (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone) Clearly, a guardian who has such issues with her own sister is unlikely to
  • provide her sister’s child with objective, much less compassionate
  • treatment. Harry, indeed, has his formative years characterized by
  • receiving no love or affection, even conditionally.

Dialogue Exchange

  • When quoting dialogue between two or more characters, set the quotation off from the text.
  • Indent the characters' names each two tab spaces or an inch.
  • Capitalize the name and follow it with a period and begin to quote the dialogue.
  • For any remaining dialogue of the characters' indent an additional three spaces or a quarter inch.
  • Maintain this pattern throughout the quotation.

Dialogue Exchange

  • Hermione, in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, is an example of a visual verbal reader, as she can recall things she reads from books very easily, a skill that proves quite valuable to her friends: HERMIONE. He's not relaxing, is he? HARRY. Apparently not. HERMIONE. I remember reading about this in Herbology... Devil's Snare, Devil's Snare..."It's deadly fun, but will sulk in the sun" that's it! Devil's Snare hates sunlight! Luna Solem! RON. Lucky we didn't panic. HARRY. Lucky Hermione pays attention in Herbology.

Work Cited

  • A film entry usually begins with the title and includes the film director, the distributor, and the year of release. Other pertinent information may be included between the title and the director.
    • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Dir. Chris Columbus. Perf. Richard Harris, Maggie Smith, Robbie Coltrane, and Daniel Radcliffe. Warner Bros., 2001.

Work Cited, Special Circumstances

  • If you are citing the contribution of a particular person with the film, then begin with that person’s name.
  • When citing a VHS or DVD edition, do the entry like one for the film, but after the original distributor and release date add the medium and the name of the secondary distributor and that secondary distribution date.
    • Columbus, Chris, dir. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Warner Brothers, 2001. DVD. Warner Home Video, 2002.

MLA Heading

MLA Formatting: Reminders

  • Use 1” margins
  • Header should be placed to print at ½”
  • Header contains your last name and page number at right margin
  • Left justified
  • 12 point, Times New Roman font
  • Double-space throughout


  • Every college essay ought to be guided by its thesis.
    • The main point you are trying to prove, explain, attack, or defend.
    • Provides a specific blueprint for what your paper will cover.
    • Addresses the assignment’s requirements.
    • Is contained in one sentence.

Thesis Workshop

  • Generate and gain approval on a thesis for your third paper in class.
    • Then, begin writing the paper.
    • You may have to rent the film to secure your quotations.
    • You will have Thursday to work in class, and you must be working on your paper in class to be counted as attending.
    • Tuesday will be peer Review.
    • Next Thursday, I will collect the third papers for grading.

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