With the advent of YouTube, Vimeo and other great sites, you can find short videos and how-to-videos online from a wide range of experts. This means, you might find yourself using a video to create your essays. Make your video citations ‘fabulous’ by using a few simple tricks.
Of course style matters, this is professional writing after all. However, basically each style is looking to answer the same questions.
- Who uploaded it?
- Where can you find it?
- When did you access it?
- What is it?
If you can answer these basic questions then you are well on your way to beautifully, professional reference citations. Now, all you need is formatting.
APA Online Video Citation
One of the most common styles used in both high schools and colleges, APA is a style that makes social science articles easy to follow. It gives them a nice flow, tone and, most of all, uniformity. For online videos, you’ll need:
- Author name, screen name or both (The screen name will go in brackets, if both, or instead of author name if no author name is available.)
- Year, month and day it was uploaded
- Title of the video in italics
- Medium in brackets [Video file]
- Retrieved from URL
For an online video, this will look like:
- With both: Harvey. B. [FakeName]. (2018, December 3). Title time [Video file]. Retrieved at www.fakewebsite.com
- Just screen name: Videomaster. (2018, December 3). Title time [Video file]. Retrieved at www.fakewebsite.com
- Streaming video: Allen, T., et. al. (Producers). (2017). The story of Diana [Streaming video]. Retrieved from http://www.netflix.com
You are simply breaking down the who, what and when. Simple as that.
Citing Online Videos from a Website in MLA
Videos aren’t just used by those in social sciences, humanities papers will use them too. This is why MLA also breaks down how to cite a video file. First, the components:
- Author, producer, director, etc.
- Title of the video in italics or quotation marks (This will depend on if the video is considered a film or an episode per MLA style sheet.)
- Where you found it in italics (e.g. YouTube, Vimeo, etc.)
- Who uploaded it in italics
- Day, month, year it was uploaded
Since MLA can get a bit tricky, check out a few different examples.
- With Author: Aaron, Aaron, director. “Annotation a Short Film.” Vimeo, uploaded by bibliographymaster, 1 December, 2018, www.vimeo.com/channels.
- Without Author: “Annotation a Short Film.” Vimeo, uploaded by bibliographymaster, 1 December, 2018, www.vimeo.com/channels.
Since YouTube is the most common video website out there, you’ll find that you might end up citing this nine times out of ten. So, it makes sense to look at specific YouTube examples in each different style.
- Author and Screen name: Apsolon, M. [markapsolon]. (2011, September 9). The haunting tape 14 (ghost caught on video) [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nyGCbxD848
- Just screenname: TheKnitWitch. (2007, February 14). Slip slip knit [Video file]. Retrieved from www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGwcYW3GG3M
- With author: McGonigal, Jane. “Gaming and Productivity.” YouTube, uploaded by Big Think, 3 July 2012, www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkdzy9bWW3E.
- Without author: Slip Slip Knit (SSK). YouTube, uploaded by TheKnitWitch, 14 Feb. 2007, www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGwcYW3GG3M.
Videos can be a fun way to spice up your paper. Whether you are using a video from YouTube, Vimeo or any other website, make sure to get your citation and formatting right the first time.