Answered By: Chris Sheetz
Last Updated: Feb 08, 2016     Views: 50350

This depends on which citation style you are using.  Below are examples for both MLA and APA style.

According to the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) <>:

How do I cite a YouTube video in MLA?

The MLA does not specifically address how to cite a YouTube video. This has, it appears, led to some confusion as to the best method of for citing YouTube videos in MLA. 

Based on MLA standards for other media formats, we feel that the following format is the most acceptable for citing YouTube videos:

Author’s Name or Poster’s Username. “Title of Image or Video.” Media Type
Text. Name of Website. Name of Website’s Publisher, date of posting. Medium. date retrieved.

Here is an example of what that looks like:

Shimabukuro, Jake. "Ukulele Weeps by Jake Shimabukuro." Online video clip.
YouTube. YouTube, 22 Apr. 2006. Web. 9. Sept. 2010.

The Parenthetical citation is:

(Author Surname or username)



For APA style, see this from the American Psychological Association (APA) <>:

The general format is as follows:

Author, A. A. [Screen name]. (year, month day). Title of video
     [Video file]. Retrieved from http://xxxxx

For retrievability, the person who posted the video is put in the author position. You might have noticed that the template shows both a typically formatted author name and a place for a screen name, and here's why: On YouTube and many other video-posting websites, users must post under a screen name. This screen name is integral to finding the video on YouTube, so including it in the reference is important. Sometimes, however, the real name of the individual who posted the video is also known. The individual's real name likely better connects him or her to the real world as well as to any other sources he or she may have provided for your paper (e.g., an author who wrote an article and also produced a YouTube video). Providing the real name, when available, aids the reader by highlighting these interconnections and also makes it possible to alphabetize the reference among any other references by that same author in the reference list. Thus, the reference format for a YouTube video includes both elements when both elements are available. 


Apsolon, M. [markapsolon]. (2011, September 9). Real ghost girl 
     caught on Video Tape 14 [Video file]. Retrieved from

(The capitalization [or lack thereof] in the screen name is in keeping with how it appears online.)

On YouTube, the screen name is most prominent. If the user’s real name is not available, include only the screen name, without brackets:

Screen name. (year, month day). Title of video [Video file]. Retrieved 
     from http://xxxxx


Bellofolletti. (2009, April 8). Ghost caught on surveillance camera
     [Video file]. Retrieved from

In text, cite by the author name that appears outside of brackets, whichever one that may be. For example, the two example references provided above would be cited as follows: (Apsolon, 2011; Bellofolletti, 2009). 

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