YouTube is a major video sharing platform. It is a source of many things. We watch YouTube videos for entertainment, for learning, and for many things. YouTube has become such a major platform that it is unavoidable as an academic source. That is why it is important to know how to cite a YouTube video.
YouTube has content for everything. You can find videos about almost anything. There is even a side called the ‘Dark Side of Youtube’ where you can find absurd videos of any topic.
Although YouTube is an entertainment platform there is a lot of educational information as well. It is true that YouTube was seen as insignificant regarding academic sources. However, it has come a long way and got over it.
Everyone is on YouTube nowadays. There are online courses, seminars, and documentaries. All of these videos and others can be cited as sources. If you are writing a thesis on something non-scientific, for example, Makeup, you can use makeup videos as a source. It is related to your thesis after all.
Academic Writing Formats
There are many formats for writing an academic article. The most used formats are APA and MLA. Usually, students meet these formats at university. Some of the universities want their students to use these formats on the Bachelor’s Degree. Yet, most of the universities want their students to write their academic articles in these formats on the Master’s Degree and Ph.D.
Let’s take a closer look at these formats and how to cite a YouTube video on them.
How to Cite a Youtube Video in APA
APA stands for American Psychological Association. It is common to use this format when you are writing a scientific paper. Many of the Social Sciences and Behavioral Sciences studies use this format. It is possible to cite almost anything on APA and there is a structure for it.
Remember to follow the structure completely because citation mistakes are not forgiven in academic studies. There are two types of citations in APA. In-text citations and references. As you can guess from the name, in-text citations are the citations you write inside your text. They are shorter than the references and always contain dates.
References are the citations you write on the References page of your paper. They are longer and more detailed. Let’s take a look at the Reference structure of a Youtube video in APA:
Last name, First initial. Middle initial. [YouTube username]. (Year, Month Day of posting). Title of YouTube video [Video file]. Retrieved from URL
Example: Bissett, A. [Ariel Bissett]. (2018, March 30). How to Write an Essay: Thesis Statements [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TotaRoYh60Y
(Last Name, Year)
Example: (Bisset, 2018)
How to Cite a Youtube Video in MLA
MLA stands for Modern Language Association. It is an organization that developed the MLA format to be used by researchers, scholars, and students. It was mostly used in language and literature areas but nowadays it is used in all kinds of academic research.
The structure is different than the APA format and following the structure is very important as well. Modern Language Association released the final edition of the format, the 8th edition in their Handbook in 2016. You can purchase this Handbook for $15 from the MLA website.
Like in APA, there are two types of citations in MLA. In-text citations and references. Let’s take a look at how to cite a YouTube video in MLA.
References: Last name, first name. ‘Title of Video.’ YouTube, uploaded by Uploader Name, date of publication, URL.
Example: Bisset, A. ‘How to Write an Essay: Thesis Statements.’ Youtube, uploaded by Ariel Bisset, 30 Mar. 2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TotaRoYh60Y
In-text citation: (Last name, 00:02:24 – 00:04:00)
MLA format requires a specific time in the videos.
In-text citation without an author or the same author and uploader: (‘Title of the video,’ 00:02:24 – 00:04:00).
Example: (Bisset, 00:02:24 – 00:04:00).
Example: (‘How to Write an Essay: Thesis Statements,’ 00:02:24 – 00:04:00).
To cite a quote from an audiovisual document in your paper, you must include the specific time of that quote in your citation.
If your screenshot includes a pre-existing blog or a website, you must use the original page as the source. If you really have to use your screenshot, you must be permitted from the owner of the image to use it.
Cite yourself as the photographer and include the date of the photo. You can check how to cite photos from APA and MLA websites.
In the digital world, YouTube is a rising star of social media. The sources it provides are unavoidable. YouTube is pretty popular in academic research. That is why many wonder how to cite a YouTube video on their papers. We have explained it by touching upon two of the most common writing formats in academic research.