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How to Cite a YouTube Video in MLA: What You Need to Know

Are you wondering how to MLA cite a YouTube video? Then you better be prepared for our comprehensive guide that we have to offer. Whether you are an avid researcher or a graduating student, citing references from resource rich platforms such as YouTube becomes paramount in current day academia. Citing ensures authenticity of your content which is a big deal in the academic world.

But with so many formats and updates, it’s easy to get lost. Well, it’s time that we get things sorted out and learn how to create correct MLA video citations. Let’s dive deep into the deets!

How to Cite a YouTube Video in MLA

There are several things you should know before learning how to cite a Youtube video in MLA format. Depending on the scope of information you provide about your sources, citations can be of 2 different kinds:

  • in-text citations
  • full references.

In-text citations which are basically short hands written within the body of your text right after your quotation. These in-text citations are used to provide some basic information about your sources. They create reference to full citations that appear at the end of your document, known as MLA Works Cited page. Such reference entries provide complete information about your sources.

Below you will find useful guidelines on how to cite your video sources both in text and your Works Cited page.

Citing a YouTube Video: MLA

When citing a Youtube video in MLA, you should follow a generally established format. According to Purdue University, which is considered the gold standard in determining MLA citations, any citation derived from YouTube starts with an author’s name. This is followed by the title which is, then, separated by the channel name using a comma along with date of uploading and URL.

Here’s one general formula you can use to create your MLA video citation.

Works Cited page entry
Creator’s Last Name, First Name. “Video’s Title.” Platform, uploaded by Channel/ User, Day Month Year, URL.

This format is considered a default referencing criteria. Now, let’s look at an example shown below.

Example of Citing a YouTube Video in MLA: Wu, Terry. “3 Brain Hacks to Control Your Amazon Addiction.” Youtube, uploaded by Big Think, 24 Aug. 2021,

MLA: Citing YouTube Video with Different Author and/or Uploader

Sometimes, you should reference some video with a different uploader. Let’s see how to cite a youtube video if the user is different from its uploader in MLA. In such uploaded resources, the first part of any reference will always provide an author’s full name followed by the YouTube video title, along with the Channel Name. This is then followed by the date of uploading and link to this uploaded resource itself.

If an author’s name is the same as its channel/username, then a creator’s name is only mentioned once in your reference. This mention appears where the cited resource starts with the title followed by Author/Channel name. The remaining citation follows an identical referencing format. Below are two separate examples for each case.

Author & Channel Names are Different

Citing YouTube Video with Different Author and/or Uploader in MLA: Hitz, Zena. “How to Live an Intellectual Life.” Youtube, uploaded by Big Thing, 30 May, 2021,

Author & Channel Names are Identical

Citing YouTube Video with the same Author and Channel Names in MLA: “How Apple and Nike Have Branded Your Brain.” Youtube, uploaded by Big Think, 27 Jul. 2021,

How to Cite a YouTube Video MLA in Text

Now it’s time that we learn how to cite a YouTube video in text in MLA. As was mentioned above, citations provided in-text, are basically written as some shorthand within your essay’s body. In-text citations also serve as a quick guide to your source considering it is mentioned with a timestamp along with the video name.

There are several cases when you will use an in-text citation. Depending on each case, you should include different information about some YouTube video in MLA.

  1. When you include a direct quote. If you need to cite the exact words from any YouTube video or refer to any particular section, you should provide a timestamp.
    Example ​​Cite a YouTube Video MLA include a direct quote : (“Apple and Nike” 01:25-30)
  2. When you don’t cite directly. If you need to reference some video source in general, just mention a creator’s last name or a brief title’s version.
    Example ​​when you don’t cite directly YouTube Video in MLA: (Hitz), (“Apple and Nike”)

In-Text Citation YouTube Video MLA

Let’s discuss in detail how to cite a YouTube video MLA in-text if its author is unknown. Sometimes, you will see just some Channel name, but there may be no information about its creator. If both creator and uploader are identical, you will include a shortened version of the video’s title in parentheses. Give a timestamp only if you cite this source directly.

Here’s an example of an MLA YouTube video in-text citation with the same creator and uploader.

Example of MLA YouTube video in-text citation with the same creator and uploader: (“Is Facebook Too Powerful” 01:46-02:05)

In-Text Citation YouTube Video MLA With Different Author and/or Uploader

Sometimes, an author of some Youtube video is different from the channel name. In this case, you will just mention a creator’s last name in parentheses. Provide a timestamp only if you are referencing your source directly.

Here’s an example of in-text citation with different creator and uploader.

Example of MLA YouTube video in-text citation with different creator and uploader: (Wu 02:22-02:31)

Citing YouTube MLA: Bottom Line

Hopefully, this guide has answered all your questions about how to MLA cite a Youtube video. Feel free to use our citation examples for your reference. Make sure to check our FAQ section if you have any other questions about MLA citations.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do you cite a movie you watched on YouTube?

Use this general format to cite a YouTube movie in MLA: “Movie Title.” YouTube, uploaded by Channel Name, Date of Upload, URL. This formula can only be applied if the movie was first released on this platform itself.

How do you reference a video in MLA?

Include these details while referencing a video in MLA: Author(s). “Title.” Publisher uploaded by Username, Date of Uploading, URL. Referencing of videos follows a similar format as that of YouTube. However, you will need to include another name of the platform.

How to cite a TED talk on YouTube in MLA?

TED talks are extremely critical in allowing for cutting edge ideas to be publicly available to the masses. An MLA TED talk citation follows the same pattern as those of other multimedia sources and includes such details: Speaker’s Surname, First Name. “Title.” TED, Month Year, URL.

Do you italicize YouTube video titles?

When you MLA cite a YouTube video, there is no need to italicize the title. However, you should use italics to highlight the name of platform. In this case it will be YouTube. Other than that, you shouldn’t apply any extra formatting.

Emma Flores knows all about formatting standards. She shares with StudyCrumb readers tips on creating academic papers that will meet high-quality standards.

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