How to Cite a YouTube Video in APA: Key Features and Examples

YouTube contains videos that include credible information. Basically, some of the popular videos that scholars can use for in-text citations include TED talks. Moreover, APA allows one to cite sources using the author-date format for in-text citations. Then, a full bibliographic entry must include important details like authors, year of publication, title, type of sources, and URL. When citing a film, a scholar should include the month and day of the video creation. However, comments under a YouTube video do not include the day or month. Besides, one should include the word “Video” in square brackets after the title of the source. In turn, an APA citation requires a scholar to use the correct punctuation marks. Also, periods separate main details, like the creator of the video, date, and title. Commas separate the names of the video creators. Therefore, writers need to learn how to cite a YouTube video in APA to provide good papers.

Citing a YouTube Video in APA

YouTube videos are suitable sources of information that one may use for academic purposes. Basically, American Psychology Association (APA) style is a popular method used in social sciences. In this case, APA allows one to cite sources using the author-date format for in-text citations. Then, full bibliographic entries may include important details, like authors, year of publication, title, subtitle, edition, publisher, or publication. For example, credible sources should contain most of these details. When citing a movie, one must provide the URL and the date of production. Furthermore, some important facts that one needs to note are that the date of publication should contain the year, month, and day. Besides, one should include the word “Video” in square brackets after the title of the source. In turn, one must observe the right punctuation when creating APA citations.

How to cite a YouTube video in APA

How to Cite a Video from YouTube in APA

Students must follow specific guidelines when citing YouTube videos in APA. Basically, the video’s title should appear in a sentence case and must not be italicized. In this case, all the words in the title should begin with a small letter apart from proper nouns. Also, the first word in the title and those that follow a colon should start with a capital letter. In practice, YouTube videos may not contain all the bibliographic details. Hence, the following are some of the strategies that one must:

1. Known Creator

For videos with a known creator, one should include the name of the developer, date of publication, the title of the film, type of the source, source, and URL. Hence, the general format of the citation is:

  • Creator. (Year, Month Date). Title of the film [Video]. YouTube. URL

The above example shows the skeleton of the citation of a YouTube video that contains a creator. In practice, one must observe the right punctuations when writing the actual in-text citations. Also, one should separate the major aspects in the entry with periods. However, a comma should separate the year and the actual date. Hence, the actual source of a video that contains the creator looks like:   

  • Shaw, J. (2020, Nov. 15). How to support witnesses of harassment and build healthier workplaces [YouTube Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ICjwQ_lJ8Y

The bibliographic entry above shows that a comma must separate the surname and the initials of the creator. Basically, the movie’s title appears in the title case and its type in square brackets. Then, the link should start with “https://.” In this case, one should not include “www.” in the link to the film. Hence, the following is the in-text citation of the source provided above.

  • (Shaw, 2020)

The in-text citation should cover the surname of the creator and the year of publication. Basically, a comma should separate the surname and the year of publication. Moreover, one may decide to include a footnote when citing a YouTube video in APA. Hence, the following is a possible footnote:

  • 1 For more information concerning the presenter, watch the first five minutes of the film.

The footnote must begin with a suffix digit and provides more details about the information that an interested party may find useful. In practice, the information provided in footnotes should support the information cited.

2. Unknown Creator

When citing a Youtube video in APA, some films may not have a creator. In this case, the bibliographic entry contains the title, date of creation, and the required link. As a result, the following is the skeleton of the citation that lacks the creator:

  • Title of the film. (Year, Month Date). [Video]. YouTube. URL

The title of the film should precede the year of creation. In particular, the actual citation should follow the following strategy:

  • How to support witnesses of harassment and build healthier workplaces. (2020, Nov. 15). [YouTube Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ICjwQ_lJ8Y

The in-text citation for the source having a creator should take the form.

  • (“How to Support Witnesses of Harassment and Build Healthier Workplaces,” 2020)

The footnote should allow the readers to learn access to more information about the source. In turn, a useful footnote may take the form:

  • 1 For more information concerning healthier workplaces, watch the last five minutes of the film.

3. Corporate Accounts

Corporate YouTube videos conjure up thoughts that can promote a brand, product, or services. In most cases, when citing such videos in APA, writers can combine all three elements. Moreover, corporate videos allow followers to learn more about a product. Hence, the following are examples of the citation for corporate videos.

  • Skeleton – Creator. (Year, Month Date). Title of the film [Video]. YouTube. URL
  • Actual citation – FORMULA 1. (2016, Apr. 8). F1 exclusive: Christian Horner’s Red Bull factory tour [YouTube Video]. YouTube. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VXJtrz1m9Y&feature=emb_title
  • In-text citation – (FORMULA 1, 2016)
  • Footnote – 1 For more information concerning the product, watch between the first three minutes.

4. Citing a Channel

  • Skeleton – Creator. (Year, Month Date). Title of the film [Video]. YouTube. URL
  • Actual citation – MTV Base Africa. (2020, May. 25). Africa day benefit concert at home hosted by Idris Elba [YouTube Video]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyP_ZBjeSy4
  • In-text citation – (MTV Base Africa, 2020)
  • Footnote1 For more information concerning the concert, watch between the first twenty minutes.

5. Citing a Comment Under a YouTube Video in the APA Style

Comments under YouTube videos provide credible information about the video. In particular, the main challenge is identifying the actual date of a YouTube comment since it indicates how long ago it was posted. Basically, one should not indicate the month or day when making the citation. Hence, the following are examples of citations that one must follow for YouTube comments.

  • Skeleton – Creator. (Year). Re: Title of the film [Type of File]. Website’s Title. URL
  • Actual citation – LaDonya Stanley. (2016). Re: Are you dating a psychopath? [Video file]. YouTube. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cP5HIjA9hh4&lc=z13bu5ghznaawh0ez23ajz0gnquidx1z004
  • In-text citation – (LaDonya, 2016)
  • Footnote – 1 The comment elucidates more details about the YouTube film Are you dating a psychopath?

Doing In-Text Citations

When citing YouTube videos, one may use the parenthetical or signal phrase. Basically, parenthetical citations include the author and the date of publication. Also, writers may include the time of the scene. Hence, the following are the relevant examples

  • Skeleton – (Creator or Director, Year, time)
  • Actual citation – (Jerusha, 2020, 15:45)
  • An example of a signal phrase is – Jerusha (2020) shows how to bake a cake…
  • Footnote – 1 One can find the cited information at 15:45.

A Popular TED Talks Video on YouTube

YouTube citation in APA

Figure 1. A popular video on TED Talks.

  1. The URL, at the upper side of the figure, is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQo1NgQ-Yf0.
  2. The title of the video is “How to turn your dissatisfaction into action.”
  3. The creation date of the video is (2020, Jul. 2).
  4. TED – Creator of the video.

Figure 1 shows a famous video of TED talks and various details required for making the right citation in APA.

Summing Up on How to Cite a YouTube Video in the APA Format

Correct citation of a YouTube video help to make evidence used credibly. Basically, APA allows one to cite sources using the author-date format for in-text citations. However, full bibliographic entries must include important details like authors, year of publication, title, and the URL. In some cases, one may include the month and the day of creation. Also, a credible source contains most of these bibliographic details. As a result, some important facts that one should consider may include:

  • The accurate date of publication should contain the year, month, and day. However, one may exempt the day and month of creation when citing comments under a YouTube video.
  • One should include the word “Video” in square brackets after the title of the source. Basically, this information indicates the type of sources cited.
  • Writers must observe the right punctuation when creating APA citations. In this case, the APA style uses periods to separate important bibliographic details.
  • In-text citations should include the time of the cited information.