How to Cite a YouTube Video in MLA | Format & Examples

The MLA Works Cited entry for an online video contains the video’s creator, the title, the website or platform in italics (e.g. YouTube), the channel or user that uploaded the video, the upload date, and the URL.

If the video was uploaded by the same person or organization that created it, or if no clear creator can be identified, omit the author element and start with the video’s title instead.

The in-text citation should match the first element of the Works Cited (either the creator’s name, or a short version of the title). You can also include a timestamp in place of a page number.

Note that if you are citing a whole movie that has been uploaded to a video-sharing platform, you should use the format of an MLA movie citation instead. The same goes for a TV episode. For a TED Talk, you can follow the YouTube format if you cite it from YouTube.

Finding information for an MLA YouTube citation

On YouTube, all the information you need can be found below the video.

The name of the channel that uploaded the video should be written the same as it is on YouTube, but the title of the video should follow standard MLA capitalization rules.

Where to find information for an MLA YouTube citation

Citing videos with the same creator and uploader

YouTube videos are often uploaded by the person or organization that created them. In this case, their name should only appear once. Start the citation with the title, and list the channel name in the other contributors element.

In the example below, the video was both created and uploaded by the organization BBC News, so the reference starts with the title. A shortened version of the title appears in the in-text citation.

Format Title of Video.” Website, uploaded by Username, Day Month Year, URL.
Works Cited entry “First Look Inside Notre-Dame after Fire.” YouTube, uploaded by BBC News, 16 Apr. 2019,
In-text citation (“First Look Inside”)

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Citing videos with a different creator and uploader

Sometimes, you might want to cite a video that has been uploaded by someone other than the creator.

In this case, if you know who created the video, list them as author at the start of the Works Cited and in the in-text citation.

Format Creator last name, First name. “Title of Video.” Website, uploaded by Username, Day Month Year, URL.
Works Cited entry Newsom, Joanna. “’Sapokanikan’ (Official Video).” YouTube, uploaded by Drag City, 10 Aug. 2015,
In-text citation (Newsom)

You should also use this format if you are citing an interview uploaded to YouTube, using the interviewee’s name as the author.

Timestamps in YouTube citations

If you directly quote from a video, or you want to refer to a specific section, you can include a timestamp in your in-text citation.

Works Cited entry “My Australia: Koryom Nyuon.” YouTube, uploaded by SBS News, 1 Apr. 2019,
In-text citation (“My Australia: Koryom Nyuon” 00:14–35).

Frequently asked questions about MLA style

When do I need to include an MLA in-text citation?

You must include an in-text citation every time you quote or paraphrase from a source (e.g. a book, movie, website, or article).

How do I cite a source with no author or page numbers in MLA?

If a source has no author, start the MLA Works Cited entry with the source title. Use a shortened version of the title in your in-text citation.

If a source has no page numbers, you can use an alternative locator (e.g. a chapter number, or a timestamp for a video or audio source) to identify the relevant passage in your in-text citation. If the source has no numbered divisions, cite only the author’s name (or the title).

If you already named the author or title in your sentence, and there is no locator available, you don’t need a parenthetical citation:

  • Rajaram argues that representations of migration are shaped by “cultural, political, and ideological interests.”
  • The homepage of The Correspondent describes it as “a movement for radically different news.”
Are titles capitalized in MLA?

Yes. MLA style uses title case, which means that all principal words (nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and some conjunctions) are capitalized.

This applies to titles of sources as well as the title of, and subheadings in, your paper. Use MLA capitalization style even when the original source title uses different capitalization.

What is the easiest way to create MLA citations?

The fastest and most accurate way to create MLA citations is by using Scribbr’s MLA Citation Generator.

Search by book title, page URL or journal DOI to automatically generate flawless citations, or cite manually using the simple citation forms.

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Courtney Gahan

Courtney has a Bachelor in Communication and a Master in Editing and Publishing. She has worked as a freelance writer and editor since 2013, and joined the Scribbr team as an editor in June 2017. She loves helping students and academics all over the world improve their writing (and learning about their research while doing so!).


January 16, 2021 at 11:53 AM

I need your help.
Do you know how to quote YouTube comments? I want to use them in terms of the audience's reactions to the video.
It would be nice if you have some tips for me.

Best regards


Shona McCombes
Shona McCombes (Scribbr Team)
January 19, 2021 at 1:34 PM

Hi Anna-Lena,

MLA doesn't provide any specific guidelines for citing YouTube comments, but you can use the general template of core elements to create an appropriate citation. The most important thing is to make sure your reader can easily locate the relevant comments themselves.

I'd suggest following a similar format to citing a tweet: list the commenter's username as author, followed by the text of the comment in quotation marks (shortened if necessary). You can add a label to clarify that this is a YouTube comment. Then include details of the video as container. So, for example:

Anna-L. "Thanks for the help!" YouTube comment. “Develop a Theoretical Framework in 3 Steps.” YouTube, uploaded by Scribbr, 10 Jan. 2021,

I hope that helps!


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