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How to Cite a Television Newscast in MLA

by Maggie Lourdes, Demand Media

    The Modern Language Association provides a writing style which includes rules for properly citing television newscasts in research papers. The guidelines found in the "MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers" (7th ed.) and the "MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing" (3rd ed.) are generally followed in the liberal arts and humanities fields. It is important to cite all research resources to properly attribute all external sources and prevent accusations of plagiarism.

    Full Citations

    MLA style requires you to cite a television newscast by beginning with the name of the news program (italicized), followed by a period. Then, you state the name of the network which produces the show, followed by a period. Next, MLA style says to identify the call letters of the network, followed by a comma, and then the city, followed by a period. The original airing date then follows, with the day, month (abbreviated if over four letters long) and year listed. Lastly, the medium of publication is stated, followed by a period. For example: ABC World News Tonight (italicized). American Broadcast Network. ABC, New York. 15 Apr. 2013. Television.

    In-Text Citations

    MLA allows in-text citations for newscasts to be handled in several different ways. The author may make reference to the newscast within the body of the text. For example, "According to ABC World News Tonight, Barack Obama consistently led in the 2012 presidential polls." The title of the newscast would be in italics. Or, an in-text citation can be referenced by identifying the newscast in parentheses. For example, "President Obama consistently led in the 2012 tracking polls" (ABC World News Tonight). Again, put the title of the newscast in italics.

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    About the Author

    Maggie Lourdes is a full-time attorney in southeast Michigan. She teaches law at Cleary University in Ann Arbor and online for National University in San Diego. Her writing has been featured in "Realtor Magazine," the N.Y. State Bar's "Health Law Journal," "Oakland County Legal News," "Michigan Probate & Estate Planning Journal," "Eye Spy Magazine" and "Surplus Today" magazine.

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