• 2-minute read
  • 24th April 2017

APA Referencing – How to Cite a YouTube Video

With the internet fast becoming all-encompassing, it is perhaps unsurprising that YouTube and other online materials have become legitimate sources for academic writing. When using APA style referencing (7th edition), it’s therefore important to understand how to cite online videos correctly in your work.

Citing a YouTube Video

In the text itself, to cite an online video, you need to include the uploader’s name and the year the video was uploaded. For instance, to cite a video by Anthony Fantano from his theneedledrop channel, we would write:

Some claim that they rap almost as if they were one person (Fantano, 2016).

Here, we name Fantano as the ‘author’ because he published the YouTube video himself.

If you want to quote a specific part of a video, you should include a timestamp:

Levitin says, ‘high cholesterol is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease’ (TED, 2015, 6:43).

In this case, TED is considered the author, since the video is from a channel that includes talks by many different speakers. Daniel Letivin did not upload the video, so we do not cite him as the author.

The Reference List

The format to use for an online video in the reference list at the end of your document is:

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Surname, Initials. [Screen name]. (year, month day). Title of video [Video file]. http://www.URL.com

When possible, you should include both the uploader’s actual name and the screen name here. This helps readers see exactly who your’e referencing when their name is different to the YouTube username.

In the case of Anthony Fantano, for instance, we’d write:

Fantano, A. [theneedledrop]. (2017, January 31). Migos – Culture ALBUM REVIEW [Video file]. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVuO8d3fgOc&t=5s

If you cannot find the name of the person who has uploaded the video, or if an organisation runs the channel instead of one person, you can use the screen name instead. As in citations, though, if the speaker is not the uploader of the video, you should reference the person or channel that hosts the video instead:

TED. (2015, November 23). How to stay calm when you know you’ll be stressed [Video file]. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jPQjjsBbIc

You should also remember to list your entries alphabetically in the reference list.

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