While you might first think of books, newspapers, and journal articles as go-to sources for academic assignments, YouTube provides a wealth of informative, easily accessible videos. Yes, there is questionable content, but the site is also filled with educational channels, snippets from evening news programs, and even full-length documentaries on a range of interesting and scholarly subjects.
Since YouTube has a ton of information, citing a video retrieved from YouTube might seem more difficult than citing a book. But the process is fairly simple—and we’ve put together this helpful guide on how to cite a YouTube video using MLA format, APA format, and Chicago style.
If you’ve previously cited a video from another website, you’re in luck: The process for citing a video from YouTube is basically the same. To provide an example, we’ve cited a video from the CrashCourse YouTube channel—run by “Fault in Our Stars” author John Green—that offers educational videos on a slew of topics, including history, chemistry, and psychology. This particular video is about the US Constitution, the Articles, and Federalism. We’ve laid out how to cite the video in MLA format, APA format, and Chicago style.
Last name, First name (of the individual who posted the content) OR the name of the company OR the username. “Title of the Video.” Title of the Website, Name of the Publisher that uploaded the video (only include if it differs from the author or title), Date it was uploaded, URL.
Here’s how the above example would be cited in MLA 9:
CrashCourse. “The Constitution, the Articles, and Federalism: Crash Course US History #8.” YouTube, 21 Mar. 2013, youtu.be/bO7FQsCcbD8.
If you need help with in-text and parenthetical citations, CitationMachine.net can help. Our MLA citation generator is simple and easy to use!
Name of the Account OR Last Name, First initial of uploader [YouTube Account Name]. (Year, Month Day it was posted). Title of the video [Video]. YouTube. URL
Here’s how the above example would be cited in APA:
CrashCourse. (2013, March 21). The Constitution, the Articles, and Federalism: Crash course in US History #8 [Video]. YouTube. https://youtu.be/bO7FQsCcbD8
Last name, First name of the individual or the company who posted the content. “Title of Video.” YouTube video, length. Date published. URL.
Here’s how the above example would be cited in Chicago:
CrashCourse. “The Constitution, the Articles, and Federalism: Crash Course in US History #8.” YouTube video, 13:03. March 21, 2013. https://youtu.be/bO7FQsCcbD8
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Including the name(s) of the video poster is discussed in reference examples 88 and 90 of the APA Publication Manual, 7th edition. If the video is posted on the organization’s official website, then the speaker or presenter’s name would be listed in the author field. However, if the video is posted on YouTube or any other video sharing site, the name of the account that uploaded the video is listed as the author instead, to aid retrieval.
APA reference list template and examples:
Presenter’s Last Name, F. M. or Uploader’s Last Name, F. M. [Username*]. (Date posted). Title of the video [Video]. Publisher. URL
Cutts, S. (2016, October 18). Are you lost in the world like me? [Video]. Vimeo. https://vimeo.com/209248444
Fogarty, M. [Grammar Girl]. (2016, September 30). How to diagram a sentence (absolute basics) [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zznr-e6A4mQ
Iimjobs. (2020, March 2). Chegg – Life at Chegg | Showcase | iimjobs.com [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44Nb3Ebtj9M
*Note: The username should be included if the account holder’s name and account name are both known and if including the username will help in retrieval.
Per the MLA Handbook, 9th ed., the performer or creator is omitted if they are not mentioned in the source. Instead, the name of the uploader is included in the contributor field.
MLA works cited list template and example:
“Video Name.” Name of the Website, uploaded by Account Name, date video was posted, URL.
“Top 10 Unforgettable Buffy The Vampire Slayer Moments.” YouTube, uploaded by MsMojo, 1 Oct. 2016, www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKq4SjCPzII.
As per the APA Publication Manual, 7th edition, the in-text citation for a direct quote from a YouTube video should include the last name of the person who uploaded the video, the year the video was published, and a timestamp of the quote you are citing.
APA in-text citation template and example:
(Uploader Surname, year, HH:MM:SS)
(Cutts, 2016, 1:12:37)