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How to Cite a TED Talk in MLA 8 With Explanations and Examples

The Modern Language Association (MLA 8th edition) has general guidelines for a citation of TED Talks. Basically, this guide presents situation-specific citation schemes, which cover four unique scenarios that a student may encounter while using TED Talks as sources: citing a TED Talk from the TED website, citing a TED Talk from a streaming platform, citing a transcript of a TED Talk, and citing a comment on a TED Talk. Then, the manual provides citation schemes for Works Cited list entries, in-text citation, and footnote for each scenario. In turn, a practical example accompanies each citation scheme in this guide on how to cite a TED Talk in MLA 8.

General Guidelines of Citing a TED Talk in MLA 8

TED Talks are informative videos that the TED organization produces through the recording of presentations under its programs and conferences across the world. In this case, TED Talks are typically short videos with a length of fewer than 20 minutes that can be cited in MLA 8. Mostly, such videos contain reliable information, which is research-based. Moreover, this video content may comprise of research findings or simply present a viable new idea that speakers derive from previous studies. In turn, TED Talks have become quite popular because they offer a reliable source of information as compared to other video databases that have limited content moderation.

how to cite a TED Talk in MLA 8

Citing Formats for a TED Talk in MLA 8

1. Citing a TED Talk From the TED Website

A. Works Cited list entry scheme for a TED Talk in MLA 8:

Last Name, First Name. “Title of the TED Talk.” Site Name, Date of Online Posting, universal resource locator.

  • Students use the speaker’s names.
  • Writers should ascertain that the universal resource locator is working and leads readers to the appropriate TED Talk.

B. In-text citation format for a TED Talk in MLA 8:

Parenthetical: (Surname range of time).

Narrative: [Insert Surname] . . . (range of time).

  • The range of time should be identical to the time format on the media player.
  • Alternatively, students may choose to place a single timestamp in place of the time range.

C. Footnote structure for citing a Ted Talk in MLA 8:

1See [Insert Surname] . . . [Insert range of time].

  • There is no fixed format for content notes.
  • Nonetheless, writers should ensure that content notes are brief but amplify the meaning of the main argument.
  • Content notes are useful where the information in the note is valuable, although it may be distracting to readers because it is not directly contributing to the main argument.

2. TED Talk From Streaming Service

A. Works Cited format for a Ted Talk from streaming service in MLA 8:

“Title of the TED Talk.” Name of Streaming Service Site, uploaded by [insert uploaders name], Date of Uploading, universal resource locator.

  • Citations for TED Talks in streamlining platforms do not start with the name of the speaker to facilitate the retrieval because streaming platforms categorize their videos using the name of the uploader.
  • The date of uploading on to the streaming platform may be different from the date of online posting on the TED official website.

B. In-text citation scheme for a Ted Talk from streaming service in MLA 8:

Parenthetical: (“Shortened Title of the TED Talk” range of time).

Narrative: Text . . . [Insert “Shortened Title of the TED Talk”] . . . (range of time).

  • A shortened title of the source replaces the surname in the in-text citation.

C. Footnote structure for a Ted Talk from streaming service in MLA 8:

1See [Insert “Shortened Title of the TED Talk”] . . . [Insert range of time].

3. Citing a Transcript of a TED Talk in MLA 8

A. Works Cited scheme for a transcript of a TED Talk in MLA 8:

Last Name, First Name. “Title of the TED Talk.” Site Name, Date of Online Posting, universal resource locator. Transcript.

  • Students must place the tag “Transcript” to differentiate between referencing of the TED Talk video medium and the transcript, especially where the transcript and video appear on the same page.

B. In-text citation structure for a transcript of a TED Talk in MLA 8:

Parenthetical: (Surname range of time).

Narrative: [Insert Surname] . . . (range of time).

C. Footnote format for a transcript of a TED Talk in MLA 8:

1See [Insert Surname] . . . [Insert range of time].

4. Citing a Comment on a TED Talk in MLA 8

A. Works Cited list entry scheme for a comment on a TED Talk in MLA 8:

Last Name, First Name. Comment on [Insert the “Title of the TED Talk.”] Site Name, Date of Comment Posting, universal resource locator.

  • Writers use the name of the comment’s author.
  • The phrase “Comment on” distinguishes this reference entry from a citation of the TED Talk.
  • The date of comment posting may differ from the TED Talk’s date online posting or uploading.
  • If the full names of the comment’s author do not appear on the website, students should use the username as a substitute.

B. In-text citation format for a comment on a TED Talk in MLA 8:

Parenthetical: (Surname of Comment Author).

Narrative: [Insert Surname of Comment Author] … .

  • In-text citations of a comment lack a specific locator because they rarely have fixed numbering systems within the comment’s text.

C. Footnote scheme for a comment on a TED Talk in MLA 8:

1See [Insert Surname] . . ..

Citation Information for TED Talk in MLA 8

Citation information for a TED Talk in MLA 8

Fig. 1. Locations of bibliographical information.

Five main pieces of bibliographical information are readily available on a website (see Fig. 1):

1 – Names of the Speaker

2 – Title of the TED Talk

3 – Website Name

4 – Date of Online Posting

5 – Universal Resource Locator

Examples of Citing a TED Talk in MLA 8

1. TED Talk From The TED Website

A. Example of a Works Cited list entry for a TED Talk in MLA 8:

Tyler, Nita Mosby. “Want a More Just World? Be an Unlikely Ally.” TED: Ideas Worth Spreading, Nov. 2019, https://www.ted.com/talks/nita_mosby_tyler_want_a_more_just_world_be_an_unlikely_ally.

B. Examples of in-text citations for a TED Talk in MLA 8:

Parenthetical: (Tyler 09:30-10:00)

Narrative: Tyler argues that protests play a role in the remolding of group identities (09:30-10:00).

C. Example of a footnote for a TED Talk in MLA 8:

1See Tyler, especially 09:30-10:00, for a succinct overview of contemporary views on social inequality.

2. TED Talk From Streaming Service

A. Works Cited list entry sample for a TED Talk from streaming service in MLA 8:

 “Want a More Just World? Be an Unlikely Ally: Nita Mosby Tyler.” YouTube, uploaded by TED, 12 Aug. 2020, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ruf6OdDRJSs.

B. In-text citation samples for a TED Talk from streaming service in MLA 8:

Parenthetical: (“Want a More Just” 07:20-08:06).

Narrative: In “Want a More Just,” Nita Tyler emphasizes the value of patience in recoding the socially propelled ideas concerning inequality (07:20-08:06).

C. Footnote sample for a TED Talk from streaming service in MLA 8:

1See “Want a More Just” for another example of contemporary thinking on the handling of social injustices (07:20-08:06).

3. Transcript of a TED Talk

A. Example of a Works Cited list entry for a transcript of a TED Talk in MLA 8:

Tyler, Nita Mosby. “Want a More Just World? Be an Unlikely Ally.” TED: Ideas Worth Spreading, Nov. 2019, https://www.ted.com/talks/nita_mosby_tyler_want_a_more_just_world_be_an_unlikely_ally/transcript. Transcript.

B. Examples of in-text citations for a transcript of a TED Talk in MLA 8:

Parenthetical: (Tyler 01:27-02:06).

Narrative: Tyler argues . . . (01:27-02:06).

C. Example of a footnote for a transcript of a TED Talk in MLA 8:

1See Tyler, especially 01:27-02:06, for a succinct overview of contemporary views on social inequality.

4. Comment on a TED Talk

A. Works Cited sample for a comment on a TED Talk in MLA 8:

Dove, Lauren. Comment on “Want a More Just World? Be an Unlikely Ally.” TED: Ideas Worth Spreading, July 2020, https://www.ted.com/talks/nita_mosby_tyler_want_a_more_just_world_be_an_unlikely_ally/discussion.

B. In-text citation samples for a comment on a TED Talk in MLA 8:

Parenthetical: (Dove).

Narrative: Dove argues that the strain, which violent protests place on the nurturing of the relationship between allies displaces compassion and understanding rapidly.

C. Footnote sample for a comment on a TED Talk in MLA 8:

1See Dove’s comment that draws our attention to the value of peaceful protest, which is crucial for discourse between the oppressor and oppressed parties.

Takeaways

  • The only italicized element in the citation of a TED Talk is the website name by considering MLA rules.
  • Students should place double quotation marks around the title of the TED Talk.
  • Authors use title case styling in writing the title of the TED Talk.
  • Students must delete the “https://” segment of the universal resource locator.
  • Writers should use footnotes sparingly when preparing an MLA paper.
  • Check out how to cite a TED Talk in APA.