June 25, 2024
A comprehensive guide for beginners to accurately cite YouTube videos in APA format. Learn about citation rules, tips for accurate citation, and step-by-step guide with visual aids.


Citing sources is an essential part of academic writing, and YouTube videos are no exception. However, citing YouTube videos in APA format may be confusing for beginners. While YouTube videos can be a valuable resource, improperly citing these sources can lead to plagiarism and harm your credibility as a writer. In this article, we’ll provide you with a beginner’s guide to citing YouTube videos in APA format.

A Beginner’s Guide to Citing YouTube Videos in APA Format

APA format is a citation style developed by the American Psychological Association. It is commonly used in the social sciences, including psychology, sociology, and education. APA format is important because it helps readers verify the sources you used in your paper and assists them in finding those sources if they want to read further. To cite a YouTube video in APA format, you need to follow specific rules. Here’s an overview of how to cite a YouTube video in APA format:

1. Identify the author
2. Determine the date of publication
3. Get the title of the video
4. Retrieve the URL
5. Follow the proper APA format for in-text citation and reference list


In-text citation: (Author’s Last name, year) – (Hughes, 2019)

Reference list:

Author’s last name, First initial. Second initial. (Year, Month Day of publication). Title of the video [Video file]. Retrieved from URL

Hughes, R. (2019, October 31). Why every guitar player should learn the blues [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUz1zAabJXo

APA Rules for Citing Videos on YouTube: How to Do it Right

To ensure an accurate citation, follow these rules:

1. Author: Cite the name of the person or organization who uploaded the video. If a name is unavailable, use the username or screen name of the uploader. If there are multiple authors, list them in the reference as they appear in the video’s credits.

2. Date: The date of publication is essential to determine the freshness or relevancy of the video content. The date of publication of a YouTube video can be found below the video title, or near the name of the channel.

3. Title: Use the title of the video as it appears on YouTube.

4. URL: To retrieve the URL, highlight the address bar, right-click, and select “Copy.” Then, paste the URL into your reference list.

Example of citing an individual video:

In-text citation: (Author’s Last name, year) – (Gordon, 2020)

Reference list:

Gordon, R. (2020, March 28). Surprising a fan who was verbally attacked [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYHNaRtRYz8

Example of citing an entire YouTube channel:

In-text citation: (Author’s Last name, year) – (WhatCulture, 2015)

Reference list:

WhatCulture. (2015, May 11). 10 movie sequels you didn’t know were coming in 2016 [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvz4S1GXXxKGDzs-jSIFIqQ

Tips for Accurately Citing YouTube Videos in APA Style

Finding and verifying all the required information can be challenging when citing YouTube videos. Here are some tips to make it easier:

1. Check the video description: Most YouTube videos include information about the author, date, and title in the video description. Check this information before citing.

2. Use a credible source: Be sure the video you are citing is from a reliable source. Avoid citing videos posted by anonymous sources or those with weak reputations.

3. Verify the information: Make sure that the information you plan to cite is accurate and reliable. Verify dates and titles by comparing it with other credible sources.

4. Use an online citation tool: Online citation tools like Citation Machine or EasyBib can help you create bibliographic entries with ease.

APA Citation Style: How to Cite YouTube Videos

Here is a step-by-step guide on creating an APA citation for a YouTube video:

1. Identify the author or username of the video.
2. Determine the publication date.
3. Get the title of the video.
4. Retrieve the URL.
5. Follow the proper APA format for in-text citation and reference list.

Mastering APA Citation for YouTube Videos: What You Need to Know

To sum it up, citing YouTube videos takes practice. The key to an accurate citation lies in identifying the right author, title, and date. By following the tips and rules outlined in this article and using online citation tools, you can accurately cite YouTube videos in your research papers.


Citing sources, even YouTube videos, is essential in academic writing. By following the guidelines provided in this article, you can accurately cite YouTube videos and avoid plagiarism. Remember to always check the accuracy and credibility of the information you plan to cite. Proper citation not only helps verify the sources used in your paper but also adds credibility to your work.

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