MLA YouTube Video Citation – Format & Examples

Time to read: 4 Minutes
MLA-YouTube-Video-Citation-Definition

YouTube videos, like any other digital videos, are legitimate sources. To cite a YouTube video, you just treat it like any other type of video reference.

Here, we’ll explain how to cite a YouTube video in MLA, depending on the video type and how it should be formatted.

How to Cite a YouTube Video in MLA – In a Nutshell

  • A YouTube video is a convenient resource that can be cited as with any other source.
  • As we’ve seen, a YouTube video must be treated like any other online video source when cited in the MLA style.
  • Include an in-text MLA YouTube video citation, followed up by an in-depth bibliographic entry in the Works Cited section.
  • All the available information required for the MLA YouTube video citation will be available underneath the video’s online content.
  • These include mandatory video upload dates, uploader names, and video titles.
  • Lastly, include the complete title as it’s written on the YouTube listing, but capitalized using the MLA style.

Definition: MLA YouTube video citation

The MLA Handbook is now in its 9th edition with updates on online content.1 When making an MLA YouTube video citation, you must first create an in-text citation with the author’s last name and a timestamp of the relevant passage, if necessary.

For example: (Cox: 9:32).

This in-text MLA YouTube video citation is followed up with a Works Cited entry:

MLA YouTube Video Citation Example

To reference an entire movie or television episode from YouTube as a source, treat it as a standard movie entry.2

MLA YouTube video citation: Finding information

All the information required for an MLA YouTube video citation is found below the video itself. This includes:

  • Name of the channel
  • Video title
  • Date of publication

You may have to click “show more” to discover extra information, but the basics are all clearly available.

MLA YouTube video citation: Creator

As you might expect, the uploader of a YouTube video is often the same person or group that created it. In this case, you needn’t repeat the name in the citation. Instead, begin your citation with the title (in quotation marks), followed by the uploader.

This is often the case with organizations and news networks, like the following MLA YouTube video citation entry from The Guardian:

MLA format
“Video Title.” Platform, uploaded by Username, Day Month Year, URL.
MLA Works Cited entry
“Huge Sandstorm Chases Tourists in China.” YouTube, uploaded by The Guardian, 25 July 2022, www.youtube.com/watch?v=XgjyF6PGANw.
MLA in-text citation
(“Huge Sandstorm Chases”).

An interview video works somewhat differently, with the interviewee’s name appearing as the author instead of the creator. For instance, the following interview from The Guardian would appear as an MLA YouTube video citation like this:

MLA Works Cited entry:

Dawkins, Richard. “Richard Dawkins – The Guardian Interview.” Interview by John Harris. YouTube, uploaded by The Guardian, 10 May 2013, www.youtube.com/watch?v=7iFvMn2vylM.

MLA YouTube video citation: Timestamps

Timestamps are used when you are taking a direct quote from a video or referring to a specific section. In this case, the YouTube video’s timestamp works just like a page number in textual work.

Here, page numbers are included within the in-text citation and not in the Works Cited entry. Taking another news clip, it would appear as such:

MLA Works Cited entry
“Video Shows Pilot Landing Stricken Small Plane on Highway.” YouTube, uploaded by The Guardian, 14 July 2022, www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwkgj6PqUgI.
MLA in-text citation
(“Video Shows Pilot” 00:18-22).

FAQs

Just as with a standard MLA in-text citation, you need to include the first element as it appears in the Works Cited entry.

In this case, the creator or a short version of the video title.

Follow the standard MLA YouTube citation format when citing a recorded conference or symposium. Cite the speaker as the author.3

Yes. MLA entries should be capitalized, even if the video title originally isn’t. Be sure to capitalize all nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs.

A timestamp is then included if you’re referencing/quoting a specific element of the video. It is listed only in the in-text citation and not in the Works Cited entry.

Sources

1 Modern Language Association. “MLA Handbook, Ninth Edition.” 2021. https://www.mla.org/Publications/Bookstore/Nonseries/MLA-Handbook-Ninth-Edition.

2 Purdue University. “MLA Works Cited: Other Common Sources.” Accessed January 5, 2023. https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/mla_style/mla_formatting_and_style_guide/mla_works_cited_other_common_sources.html.

3 Utica University. “MLA 8 Citation Guide. ” October 29, 2021.  https://utica.libguides.com/c.php?g=703243&p=4991670.