How to cite a video in apa

  • Last Edited: February 13, 2018

YouTube videos have been all the rage for years now. Everything from demo videos of kids playing with toys to lectures on the next wave of scientific engineering can be seen on the video streaming platform. For someone doing research, it can offer a great treasure trove of information. So don’t be shy about using YouTube videos for your research essay! Even if you don’t know how to cite them, we’re here to help: This tutorial will show you how to cite a YouTube video APA style.

What to Look For

In the screen cap below, we’ve highlighted the areas you need to pay attention to when you’re looking to use a YouTube video for your next paper. APA citation style only needs a few basic pieces of info, so if you know where to find them, you’ll be good to go.

In the screen cap above, we see a video entitled “How Kubrick Achieved the Beautiful Cinematography of Barry Lyndon.” The name of the uploader is CinemaTyler and the video was published on 28 July 2017. The URL is at the top of the page. All of this info is crucial to being able to cite the video in your paper using APA style referencing.

Now let’s take a look at how you would do that.

You watched an interesting YouTube video that can serve as a suitable source in your paper. The question is, how do you cite a YouTube video in APA style? In order to properly cite the YouTube video, you need the information highlighted in the screenshot below.

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Be are that if you would like to cite a movie in apa, there are other rules you need to follow.

How to cite a YouTube video

Example of how to cite a YouTube video

Citing a YouTube video with only a screen name
APA-format ScreenName. (Year, Month Day). TitleVideo [YouTube]. Retrieved from URL
Reference list Bloomberg. (2014, June 10). Elon Musk: How I Became The Real ‘Iron Man’ [YouTube]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mh45igK4Esw&t=1950s
In-text citation
  • According to the YouTube video “Elon Musk: How I Became The Real ‘Iron Man’ … (Bloomberg, 2014).
  • Bloomberg (2014) suggested in the YouTube video ‘Elon Musk: How I Became The Real ‘Iron Man’’ that … .
Citing a YouTube video with the creator’s real name and screen name
APA-format Creator’sLastName, FirstInitial. [ScreenName]. (Year, Month Day). TitleVideo [YouTube]. Retrieved from URL
Reference list Neistat, C. [CaseyNeistat]. (2015, October 17). NEW CAR! [YouTube]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XqsJYk1-yM
In-text citation
  • According to the YouTube clip “NEW CAR!” … (Neistat, 2015).
  • Neistat (2015) suggested in the YouTube clip “NEW CAR!” that … .

Creator’s real name (optional)

On YouTube, the username is easy to find: it’s the name of the channel (e.g. CaseyNeistat). However, sometimes the creator’s real name is also public. If so, you should include it in the citation.

If the creator of the video is an organization (e.g. Bloomberg), then you can use the organization name instead of a first and last name.

Screen name (name of the YouTube channel)

The screen name (i.e. channel name) is shown prominently under every video posted on YouTube. The capitalization (or lack thereof) should be retained in the citation.

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Video title

When citing the video title, use the same capitalization displayed in the original video.

Video URL

Do not use URL-shortening tools. Shortened URLs often have an expiration date. When the shortened URL expires, it becomes harder for the reader for retrieve the original source.

Timestamp (optional)

If you’d like to quote a passage in the video, then you can add a timestamp to the citation to help your readers quickly and easily locate the original source.

For example, if you quote a passage starting at 4:32 in the YouTube video, then you can include “4:32” in your in-text citation. It will look like this: (Bloomberg, 2014, 4:32). You don’t need to include the timestamp in your reference list entry.

How to cite a YouTube channel

If you want to cite a YouTube channel instead of a specific video, then you should cite it slightly different. See the example below for the Bloomberg YouTube channel.

You start with the name of the YouTube channel followed by “n.d.,” which stands for “no date,” since YouTube channels are always undated. Next, write the name of the tab you would like to cite (e.g. “home” or “about”). The citation ends with the URL of the channel.

Citing a YouTube channel
APA-format Channelname. (n.d.). Tab (e.g. Home) [YouTube channel]. Retrieved from URL
Reference list Bloomberg. (n.d.). Home [YouTube channel]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mh45igK4Esw&t=1950s
In-text citation
  • Bloomberg (n.d.) posts interesting videos about finance.

Citing a YouTube channel

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