Learn and Generate Bibliographies, Citations, and Works Cited

How to Cite YouTube and Other Videos in MLA and APA

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 need to cite a video as part of your essay. Make your video citations “fabulous” by following a few simple tricks.

Citation generator

Style Matters

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 beautiful, professional reference citations. Now, all you need is formatting.

Citing Online Videos From a Website in MLA

One of the most common styles used in both high schools and colleges, MLA is a style that makes humanities articles easy to cite. And there are a lot of videos. This is why MLA also breaks down how to cite a video file in the works cited list.  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
  • URL

Since MLA can get a bit tricky, check out a couple of different examples.

Example MLA with Author:

Aaron, Aaron, director. “Annotation a Short Film.” Vimeo, uploaded by bibliographymaster, 1 December, 2018, www.vimeo.com/channels.

Example MLA without Author:

“Annotation a Short Film.” Vimeo, uploaded by bibliographymaster, 1 December, 2018, www.vimeo.com/channels.

Students citing a video using APA and MLA bibliography

APA Online Video Citation

APA is used for social science papers and gives them a nice flow, tone and, most of all, uniformity. To create citations for your APA Reference page 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 or DOI


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
Note: You are simply breaking down the who, what and when. Simple as that.

YouTube Video

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. Remember in APA style, you do not put a period after the URL but you do include one in MLA.

MLA Examples

Example MLA with author:

McGonigal, Jane. “Gaming and Productivity.” YouTube, uploaded by Big Think, 3 July 2012, www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkdzy9bWW3E.

Example MLA without author:

Slip Slip Knit (SSK).YouTube, uploaded by TheKnitWitch, 14 Feb. 2007, www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGwcYW3GG3M.

APA Examples

Example APA 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

Example APA Just screen name:

TheKnitWitch. (2007, February 14). Slip slip knit [Video file]. Retrieved from www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGwcYW3GG3M

Adding Videos

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.

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