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.
Although YouTube has a ton of information, citing a video retrieved from YouTube might seem more difficult than citing a book. But the process is easier than it might initially seem—and we’ve put together this helpful guide on how to cite a YouTube video in MLA formatting, as well as in 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. As an example, we’ve cited a video from the CrashCourse YouTube channel—which is run by “Fault in Our Stars” author John Green and offers educational videos on a slew of topics, including history, chemistry, and psychology. This particular video is on the US Constitution, the Articles, and Federalism. We’ve laid out how to cite the video in MLA format, APA format, and Chicago style.
To cite a video from YouTube properly, you must take the following pieces of information into consideration:
- Full name, username, or name of the company who posted the content
- Title of the video
- Title of the website (YouTube)
- Publisher of the video
- Date the video was posted
- Length or duration of the video
- URL of the video
Use the following structure to cite a YouTube video in MLA 8:
Last name, First name of the individual who posted the content OR the name of the company who posted it OR the username. “Title of the Video.” Title of the Website, Name of the Publisher (only include if it is different than the author or title), Date it was posted, URL.
Here’s how the above example would be cited in MLA 8:
CrashCourse. “The Constitution, the Articles, and Federalism: Crash Course US History #8.” YouTube, 21 Mar. 2013, https://youtu.be/bO7FQsCcbD8.
Use the following structure to create an APA citation for a YouTube video:
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
Use the following structure to cite a YouTube video in Chicago:
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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