Q. Do I need to cite a movie if I'm not quoting it?

I'm writing a research paper on the hero's journey. I used the movie, Shrek. I don't quote the movie, just give examples of each step in the Hero's Journey. I summarize each part of the movie in my own words, but I'm not quoting the characters.


Yes, you need to cite a source whenever you use either words or ideas from that source. So, even if you did not use any quotes from a movie, if you use information from the movie you will need to cite it. 

To cite a movie, see the APA Help Guide for examples:

  • Click on References and In-text Citation Examples.
  • Click on Other and then click on Film/TV.


Film / Motion Picture

Richter, J. (Producer), & Hausmann, J. (Director). (1985). Cezanne: The man and the mountain [Motion picture]. United States: Home Vision.

Paraphrase: (Richter & Hausmann, 1985). Quotation: (Richter & Hausmann, 1985, <DVD track title>)

Thank you for using ASK US. For more information contact your campus librarians.


  • Last Updated Jan 30, 2018
  • Views 4986
  • Answered By Baker Librarians

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