How to Cite a YouTube Video

How to Cite a YouTube Video

In modern digital era, YouTube and other video platforms have become invaluable resources for learning and research. Whether you’re writing an essay, preparing a presentation, or working on a project, you might find yourself needing to cite a YouTube video. But how do you do it correctly?

Key Takeaways

  • Proper Elements for Citation: When citing a YouTube video, include the title, uploader’s name, upload date, and URL. Each citation style (MLA, APA, Chicago) has specific formatting requirements.
  • MLA Format: Use quotation marks for the video title, italicize “YouTube,” include the uploader’s name, exact upload date, and video URL.
  • APA Format: Italicize the video title, include it followed by “[Video],” provide the uploader’s name, upload date, “YouTube,” and full URL.
  • Chicago Style: Italicize the video title, mention the uploader’s name, video duration, provide the exact upload date, and include the URL.
  • Locating Information: Find the required data for citation (title, uploader, date, URL, and length) directly on the YouTube video page.
  • In-Text Citations: Adapt in-text citation formats to different styles (APA, MLA, Chicago), using the creator’s name, publication year, and timestamps for precision in referencing specific content.

Key Elements Required to Cite a YouTube Video

When citing a YouTube video, include specific elements to ensure proper attribution and easy location of the source. Below are the key components required for different citation styles:

MLA Format

Title of the Video: Place the title in quotation marks.

Website: Write YouTube in italics.

Uploader’s Name: Include the full name of the person or company that uploaded the video.

Upload Date: Record the exact date the video was uploaded.

URL: Provide the video’s URL, omitting the “https://” part.


"Creating Citations Easily." YouTube, uploaded by ExampleUser, 12 Jan. 2022,

APA Format

Author: Write the uploader’s name.

Upload Date: Include the specific upload date.

Title of the Video: Italicize the title of the video.

[Video]: Add “[Video]” in square brackets after the title.

YouTube: Mention the site name, YouTube.

URL: Provide the full URL of the video.


ExampleUser. (2022, January 12). Creating citations easily [Video]. YouTube.

Chicago Style

Author: State the uploader’s name.

Length of the Video: Include the video’s duration.

Title of the Video: Italicize the title of the video.

Upload Date: Note the exact upload date.


ExampleUser. "Creating Citations Easily." YouTube video, 10:15. January 12, 2022.
  1. DOIs and Permalinks: Use a DOI or permalink if available, as these are more stable than regular URLs.
  2. Manual Citations: Create manual citations if automatic tools lack necessary metadata.
  3. Missing Information: Leave any unavailable data blank and proceed with your citation.

Correctly citing YouTube videos ensures your sources are verifiable, enhancing the credibility of your work.

Citation Formats for YouTube Videos

To ensure proper accreditation in your academic work, correctly citing YouTube videos is essential. Different citation styles require distinct formatting elements, which are outlined below.

Citing in APA Style

APA style emphasizes the author, publication date, title, and source.

  • APA Reference Entry:
  • Author, A.A. (Year, Month Day). Title of video [Video]. YouTube. URL
  • Example: NASA. (2019, August 28). Soft robotic gripper for jellyfish [Video]. YouTube.
  • APA In-Text Citation:
  • When referencing within the text, use the author’s name and year.
  • Example: (NASA, 2019)

For accurate representation, include the exact publication date. For timestamps in in-text citations, state the creator’s name, year, and specific timestamp.

Citing in MLA Style

MLA style requires the author’s name, video title, website, uploader, date, and URL.

  • MLA Works Cited Entry:
  • Author Last Name, First Name. “Title of Video.” Website, uploaded by Uploader, Day Month Year, URL.
  • Example: Liu, Jessica. “Primary vs. Secondary Sources: The Differences Explained | Scribbr.” YouTube, uploaded by Scribbr, 16 Feb. 2021,
  • MLA In-Text Citation:
  • When citing in the text, use the author’s last name and timestamp.
  • Example: (Liu 1:15)

Ensure you include the uploader if different from the creator. Use quotation marks for video titles.

Citing in Chicago Style

Chicago style citations involve similar details but a distinct format.

  • Chicago Reference Entry:
  • Author Last Name, First Name. “Title of Video.” Website. Date of Publication. URL.
  • Example: Doe, John. “Understanding Climate Change.” YouTube. March 15, 2021.
  • Chicago In-Text Citation:
  • Reference should include the creator’s name and the year of publication.
  • Example: (Doe 2021)

Include full details in your reference list to ensure the citation’s accuracy. Use parentheses in in-text citations for consistency.

By adhering to these citation formats, the credibility and verifiability of your academic work improve significantly.

Locating Citation Information on YouTube

Citing a YouTube video accurately requires specific information easily found on the video’s page. This section covers the steps to locate each detail needed for proper citation.

  1. Author/Uploader’s Name
    The uploader’s name appears below the video title on the YouTube page. It might be a username, a real name, or a company name.
    Example: TEDx Talks
  2. Video Title
    Find the video’s title directly above the video player. Ensure to use the exact title as case-sensitive.
    Example: “The Power of Introverts”
  3. Publication Date
    Check the date when the video was uploaded; this is located below the video player. Use the format required by your citation style.
    Example: Published on March 2, 2012
  4. URL
    The URL is crucial for your citation. You can find it in the browser’s address bar. Ensure to use the complete URL.
  5. Length (Optional)
    While not always required, the duration of the video can be included. You can find this detail on the video’s player bar at the bottom.
    Example: Duration: 19 minutes and 4 seconds

Here are the steps:

  1. Open the YouTube video you intend to cite.
  2. Identify the uploader’s name below the video title.
  3. Note the exact title of the video as displayed above the video player.
  4. Record the publication date found below the video player.
  5. Copy the URL from the browser’s address bar.
  6. Check for the video’s length if your citation style requests it.

By following these steps, accurately gather all necessary information to cite the YouTube video per your required citation style. This ensures clarity and consistency in your academic or professional references.

In-text Citation for YouTube Videos

In-text citations for YouTube videos require certain elements depending on the citation style. This section covers APA, MLA, and Chicago styles.

APA Style

APA style mandates the author’s or screen name, publication year, and a timestamp for specific parts. For example:

  • Paraphrase: (Wordvice Editing Services, 2021)
  • Quotation: (Wordvice Editing Services, 2021, 2:15)

In this case, Wordvice Editing Services is the author or uploader, 2021 is the publication year, and 2:15 is the timestamp indicating the specific content referred to.

MLA Style

MLA style in-text citations incorporate the creator’s last name or screen name, publication year, and timestamp for specific references. For example:

  • (Heinz, 2021, 2:15)

If the creator is unknown, use the video title:

  • Paraphrase: (“APA 7th Edition In-text Citations,” 2021)
  • Quotation: (“APA 7th Edition In-text Citations,” 2021, 2:15-2:52)

Chicago Style

Chicago style offers both author-date and full footnote or endnote options.

  • Author-Date: (Heinz 2021, 2:15)
  • Footnote Format: Jessica Liu, “Primary vs. Secondary Sources: The Differences Explained,” February 16, 2021, educational video, 1:01,

In author-date style, note the use of the author’s surname and year, followed by a timestamp if required.

  • Always double-check the author name or screen name.
  • Ensure the publication year matches the video’s upload date.
  • Use timestamps for direct quotes to enhance precision.
  • Consistently apply the chosen citation style throughout your work.

By following these structured approaches, one can effectively cite YouTube videos, so ensuring academic integrity and accuracy.


Mastering the art of citing YouTube videos is a valuable skill that enhances the credibility of your academic work. By following the guidelines for MLA, APA, and Chicago styles, you ensure your citations are accurate and consistent. Remember to double-check details like author names and publication dates, and use timestamps for direct quotes.

Consistent and precise citations not only uphold academic integrity but also make your work more professional and trustworthy. Happy citing!

Frequently Asked Questions

How to do parenthetical citations for YouTube videos?

A YouTube video source can be cited in MLA format in the body of your text as either a parenthetical or in-text citation. Both require the creator’s username or real name and the timestamp being referenced. Example: Parenthetical citation: (Smith 1:15).

How to cite in MLA format?

MLA in-text citation style uses the author’s last name and the page number of the quotation or paraphrase, e.g., (Smith 163). If the source doesn’t have page numbers, omit the number: (Smith).

How do you cite a YouTube video in APA?

Use the account name as the author and include the specific upload date. Italicize the video title and include [Video] after it (not italicized). Provide the site name (YouTube) and the URL of the video.

How to cite a film in MLA 9?

Use the following format: Movie Title. Contributor(s), Production Company, Year of Release. Streaming Service, URL. Note: Including director and performer names is not always required.

How do you cite APA format?

Follow the author-date method: the author’s last name and the publication year should appear in the text, e.g., (Jones, 1998). Each source should have a complete reference in the reference list at the end of the paper.


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