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How to Cite a YouTube Video

When reviewing sources to use as reference points for academic and professional assignments, the usual options include online articles from reputable websites, physical textbooks, and even magazines and journals. However, YouTube is a great source of information – while not all of the content found on YouTube is ideal for use in academic and professional works, there are several educational and reputable channels available on this platform that provide a myriad of information, from recorded lectures to news clips.

You may also be drawn in by the many documentaries available on YouTube, as each of these imparts a wealth of knowledge on any given subject.

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How to Cite a Youtube Video

Given that you will likely come across the need to cite a YouTube video at some point in your academic or professional life, it is important to understand the process. Initially, this idea may appear more difficult than the type of citations most students and professionals are used to, but that is only because this is a new process.

To cite a YouTube video, you will need to learn a different process – don’t fret because in no time, you will have it down to a science! The way you cite a YouTube video is dependent on the writing style you are using. You may be required to cite in MLA style, APA format, or Chicago style. Tip: How to avoid Fake views on Youtube, see this.

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In this article, we provide the instructions for each of these styles along with an example to make it easy for you to remember. You may want to bookmark this page for further reference as you learn the correct way to cite YouTube videos.

How to Cite a Youtube Video with Correct Formatting

Now, you may have already cited a video (one not on YouTube) in your previous works and if this is the case, you are ahead of the game! You will find that citing a YouTube video is very similar to the process of citing any other online video.

Take note of all the information required to properly cite a YouTube video. You are going to need several pieces of information, including the username, company, or individual’s name who posted the content to their channel. It will also require the title of the video and title of the website (that would be You will then need to know the publisher of the video, the date the content was posted, the total length of the video, and of course, the URL that links back to the video on YouTube.

For MLA formatting, follow the instructions below:

Use the last name followed by the first name of the person that posted the content. You may just have a company name so you can use that first.  Next, include the title of the video within quotations. After entering the title of the video, enter the title of the website in italics. Then, include the name of the publisher (only if different from the name of the author or company). Finally, include the date the content was posted and the URL link to the video.

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We have created an example below, using a lecture video.

Columbia University. “Richard Bulliet – History of the World to 1500 CE (Session 1) – Introduction to World History.” YouTube, 11 Sep. 2010,

For APA formatting, follow the instructions below:

If there is a name, include the last name first followed by the first initial and then the middle initial if provided – all within brackets. Next, include the year, month, and day the content was posted. Finally, include the title of the video in italics along with the URL link to the video.

Using the same example YouTube video as above, we have created an example of the citation in APA format for your reference below.

[Columbia University]. (2011, Sep. 11). Richard Bulliet – History of the World to 1500 CE (Session 1) – Introduction to World History [Video file]. Retrieved from

For Chicago style formatting, follow the instructions below:

If you are required to use the Chicago formatting style, you just need one more piece of information: the length of the video.

First, include the last name and first name of the person or entity that posted the video content. Next, include the title of the video within quotations. At this point, you can enter the length of the video. Finally, enter the date the video was published and include a link to the video on YouTube.

Continuing with the example YouTube video used throughout this article, we have provided an example of a proper citation in Chicago style below.

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Columbia University. “Richard Bulliet – History of the World to 1500 CE (Session 1) – Introduction to World History.” YouTube video, 1:17:23. September 11, 2011.

It will be helpful for you to remember a few important points:

  • The person or entity that posts content on YouTube is considered the author. This means that for each of the styles above, you will be identifying this name prior to adding any of the other information.
  • You may find that the username differs from the name of the individual listed as the owner of the channel. Should this be the case, include the username in brackets – the first name, last name, and username are vital components that identify the work.
  • When identifying the name of the author, use the capitalization provided. Some usernames are all in lowercase letters – keep with the way the author has chosen to spell his or her name. This is another way to ensure proper identification of the work.
  • The use of quotations and italics is specific to each formatting style; be sure to note each of these details when finalizing your citations for YouTube videos.

Final Words

Remember, when citing a YouTube video, first pay mind to the formatting style required for your assignment or article. Once that is clear, use the descriptive information provided by the author. Each of the styles listed above provides you with instructions and an example of what your citation should look like when referencing a YouTube video. Looking for to boost your Youtube views? Check this post.

With just a little bit of practice, you will soon have this process memorized!

Best Regards,

Famoid Blog – 2020

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