With smartphones and lightning fast Wi-Fi now part of everyday life, it is difficult to remember a time when online resources were not available to researchers and students. How did we ever find information quickly?

Some of the most popular and talked about types of online media are videos, like the kinds that millions of people view every day on sites like YouTube and Vimeo. While these sources are great ways to learn about a new topic in a fast and easy way, it can be tempting to neglect citing them properly in your paper.

Need to cite an online video that you’ve used for a research paper? You’ve come to the right place. Read on for guidelines on how to cite this type of source in MLA style, APA style, Harvard, and Chicago style. Also for consideration, Cite This For Me has a handy form for citing an online image or video.

Not sure which citation style you should be using? Check with your professor and ask which style they prefer before you start writing your paper and references.

What Information Do I Need?

The most efficient way to make citations for your paper is to develop them as you’re writing, instead of waiting until the end to start adding them. By completing them as you need them within your paper, you will be less likely to forget to include an important source that you used, and therefore be less likely to be accused of plagiarism.

The types of information you include in your online video citation can vary based on the particular source you are referencing and your citation style. Here is a list of the most frequently needed data points. We’ll be using the video example linked here below and throughout this guide:

Author/contributor names (this could also be an organization or a username in some cases): Brad Traversy
Video title: CSS Crash Course For Absolute Beginners
Website where you viewed the video: YouTube
Date the video was published: July 19th 2017
Video publisher: Traversy Media
Date you viewed the video: July 25th 2018
Video running time: 1:25:10
URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfoY53QXEnI<

In-Text Citations

After you reference an online video in your paper, you should include an in-text citation that signals to the reader where you got your information from. These types of citations can be added into the sentences of your project and can look parenthetical (like this), or be footnotes that match up with a similarly numbered citation in a bibliography. All of this depends on which citation style you’re using.

Let’s take a look at some examples of how to cite an online video in MLA, APA, Chicago style format, and Harvard styles.

How to Cite an Online Video in APA Style

APA parenthetical citation: (Traversy, 2017)

Full citation:

Traversy, B. (2017, July 19). CSS crash course for absolute beginners [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfoY53QXEnI

How to Cite an Online Video in MLA Style

MLA parenthetical citation: (“CSS Crash Course”)

Full citation:

“CSS Crash Course for Absolute Beginners.” YouTube, uploaded by Traversy Media, 19 Jul. 2019, www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfoY53QXEnI.

Note that MLA includes account name that uploaded the video in the “other contributors” slot since there is often no way to verify whether the account that uploaded the video and the author of the video are the same entity.

How to Cite an Online Video in Chicago Style Format (footnote/bibliography style)


Brad Traversy, “CSS Crash Course for Absolute Beginners,” YouTube Video, 1:25:10, July 19, 2017, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfoY53QXEnI.


Traversy, Brad. “CSS Crash Course for Absolute Beginners.” YouTube Video, 1:25:10. July 19, 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfoY53QXEnI.

How to Cite an Online Video in Harvard Style*

*This is according to Harvard Cite Them Right Style 10th edition.

Harvard referencing parenthetical citation: (Traversy, 2017)

Full citation:

Traversy (2017) CSS crash course for absolute beginners. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfoY53QXEnI (Accessed: 25 July 2018).

Making citations for online videos is easier than ever with Cite This For Me!