How to Cite a Video on YouTube in APA


While doing research for a paper, you may find relevant YouTube videos that you want to cite. You may already know how to cite a website, but it can be difficult to know how to cite YouTube APA style. You may also want to cite quotes within the video, user comments, or entire YouTube accounts. This page contains everything you need to know to cite any sort of YouTube video content in APA style, both within your paper and on your reference page.

What You Need

To cite YouTube video APA style you will need certain information. If available, find the following to include in your citation:

  • Name of the individual(s) or group who uploaded the video. If it’s an individual, use their real name. 
  • Video uploader’s screen name
  • Date attached to the video (including year, month, date)
  • Title of the video
  • URL of the video’s webpage


If any of the above information is not available on the same page as the YouTube video, you may need to do a little more research to find it. For example, to find the real name of the video’s uploader, you can click on the screen name to view the creator’s account, where you might find their real name in the bio. If any of the information is not available even after doing additional research, simply leave it out of the citation but include the rest of the information following the order of the basic format below.  

Further information on citing in APA can be found in the Publication manual of the American Psychological Association in Section 10.12.

Basic Format for a Video Reference 

Here are the basic structures of an APA YouTube citation with examples.

Reference Page Format:

Uploader Last Name, First Initial. Middle Initial. [Screen name]. (Year, Month Day). Title of the video [Video]. Name of website. URL

In-text Citation Format: 

(Uploader Last Name OR Screen name, Year)

Video With Creator’s Real Name and Screen Name

Reference page citation:

Bissett, Ariel. [Ariel Bissett]. (2016, May 28). Some thoughts on The Catcher in the Rye [Video]. YouTube.

In-text citation:

(Bissett, 2016)

Video Without Uploader’s Real Name OR Video From a Corporate Account

If only the screen name is available, you put the screen name first in the citation and omit the “[Screen name]” part of the citation.

APA video citation

Reference page citation:

Chegg. (2018, November 15). How to cite quotes to avoid plagiarism [Video]. YouTube.

In-text citation:

(Chegg, 2018)

Citing a YouTube Channel

Now that you know how to cite YouTube APA style, you may need more specific information on citing YouTube channels, quotes, or comments. 

Instead of citing one particular YouTube video, you may want to cite an entire YouTube channel. While the format is similar to citing a YouTube video, there are a few key differences you can see in the format guidelines below. 

  • You will always use “n.d.” for “no date” because YouTube channels are undated. 
  • The word “Home” is included because every YouTube channel’s page name is “Home” by default.
    • If you are instead citing another tab of the account (Videos, Playlists, Channels, Discussion, About), put the correct tab name instead of the word “Home.” 
  • Use the words “YouTube Channel” instead of the name of any specific videos since you’re citing a whole channel (not just one video).

Reference Page Citation:

YouTube Channel Uploader’s Last Name, First Initial OR Screen name. (n.d.) Home [YouTube Channel]. URL of YouTube channel

In-Text Citation:

(YouTube Channel Uploader’s Last Name OR Screen name, n.d.)

Citing a Direct Quote from a Video

You may want to include a direct quote from a YouTube video within your paper. While your reference page citation for the quote will be the same as a citation for the whole video, your in-text citation will need a timestamp to help readers easily access the quote (Publication manual, p. 274). It is commonly accepted to only include a timestamp for the beginning of the quote, but you may use a timestamp range if you think it would be helpful.

Reference Page Citation:

Uploader’s Last Name, First Initial. Middle Initial. [Screen name]. (Year, Month Day). Title of the video [Video]. Name of website. URL

In-text Citation Format: 

(Author/Creator Last Name OR screen name, Year, Timestamp 0:00)

Citing a Comment on a YouTube Video

While researching your topic, you may find that you want to include a comment left on a YouTube video. You will need to cite the comment itself rather than the YouTube video. The format for citing a YouTube comment is similar to citing a YouTube video, with a few key differences.

Reference Page Citation:

Commentor’s Last Name, First Initial. OR Commenter’s Username. (Year, Month Day). Title of comment OR up to the first 20 words of the comment. [Comment on the video “Title of video”]. YouTube. URL of YouTube video

In-text Citation:

(Commentor’s Last Name OR Username, Year)

Step-by-Step Instructions for a YouTube Video Citation in APA Style

If the above examples aren’t enough, here are more detailed instructions to help!

Note that in your citation, you must indent any lines after the first line. APA style in-text citations for quoting and paraphrasing are the same for YouTube videos.  Here are the steps to creating an APA YouTube citation for your reference page:

  1. List the real last name of the video’s uploader, capitalizing the first letter. Place a comma after the last name and then list the first initial of their first name, followed by a period. If you find their middle initial, list it after the first initial and period, also followed by a period. If the creator’s name is unavailable, skip this step and begin your citation with the next step.
  2. Next, list the screen name of the video’s uploader, as it is spelled on the page, within brackets. Place a period after the closing bracket. 
  3. Then, in parentheses, put the full numerical year followed by a comma, the full written month starting with a capital letter and followed by a comma, and the numerical day that the video was posted. Close the parentheses and follow with a period. 
  4. Put the title of the video in Italics and in sentence case (only capitalizing the first letter and proper nouns). Do not place a period after the title.
  5. After the title, put the word Video (for the source format), capitalized, in normal font, in brackets. Place a period after the closing bracket. 
  6. Put the word YouTube (for the website source name) as it is spelled here, followed by a period. 
  7. List the full URL for the web page containing the YouTube video you are citing. Do not follow with a period.  

A Note on APA 7th Edition 

The 7th edition of the APA Manual came out in 2020, replacing the 6th edition that came out in 2009. There are a few changes in the newest manual that apply when you need to cite YouTube video APA style. 

Notable 7th edition changes include:

  • Omission of “Retrieved from” before URLs 
  • Addition of the website name
  • Uses “Video” instead of “Video file.” 
  • In-text citation format is the same,

APA 6th Edition Reference Page Format:

Last Name, First Initial. Middle Initial. [Screen name]. (Year, Month Day). Title of the video [Video file]. Retrieved from URL

APA 7th Edition Reference Page Format:

Uploader Last Name, First Initial. Middle Initial. [Screen name]. (Year, Month Day). Title of the video [Video]. Name of website. URL

In-text Citation Format (6th AND 7th Edition): 

(Author/Creator Last Name OR Screen name, Year)


American Psychological Association (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.).

Published July 21, 2014. Updated April 16, 2020.

Written and edited by Michele Kirschenbaum and Elise Barbeau. Michele Kirschenbaum is a school library media specialist and the in-house librarian at Elise Barbeau is the Citation Specialist at Chegg. She has worked in digital marketing, libraries, and publishing.

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