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How to Cite an Online Video in APA Style

Online videos are increasingly used as sources in academic work. Citing online videos in APA style requires specific elements: author or uploader’s name, publication date, video title, platform or website name, and URL. These details apply to both in-text citations and reference list entries. Proper citation ensures credit to creators and allows readers to locate the source.

Key Elements of APA Style for Online Videos

Every APA citation for an online video should include the following elements: 

  • Author: The individual or group who created the video.
  • Date: When the video was published or uploaded.
  • Title: The title of the video, italicized.
  • Source: The URL where the video can be found. 

Crafting Your Citation

Identifying the Author

The author can be a person, a group, or an organization. For individual creators, use the last name followed by initials (e.g., Smith, J.). For organizations, use the full name (e.g., National Geographic). If the author’s name is not available, start the citation with the title of the video. 

Noting the Publication Date

The publication date is typically listed near the video on the hosting platform. Format the date as (Year, Month Day). If only the year is available, use that. For instance, (2021, July 15). 

Titling the Video Correctly

Capitalize only the first word of the title and subtitle, as well as any proper nouns. Italicize the entire title. For example:

The wonders of the ocean: A deep dive.

Including the Source

The URL should be the direct link to the video. Ensure the link is functional and leads directly to the content. For instance:

“Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=example.” 

In-Text Citations for Online Videos

How to Seamlessly Integrate In-Text Citations

In-text citations for online videos should include the author’s last name and the year of publication. For example: (Smith, 2021). If you directly quote or paraphrase specific parts, include the timestamp. For example:

(Smith, 2021, 1:15). 

Examples and Best Practices for In-Text Citations

For a general reference, you might write:

According to Smith (2021), the ocean’s biodiversity is vast. For a specific quote: “The ocean is home to millions of species” (Smith, 2021, 2:05). 

Examples of APA Citations for Different Types of Videos

Single Author Videos: Simple and Straightforward

Smith, J. (2021, July 15). The wonders of the ocean: A deep dive [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=example

Multiple Authors: Handling Complex Credits

Smith, J., & Johnson, L. (2021, July 15). The wonders of the ocean: A deep dive [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=example

No Author or Anonymous: Special Cases and Solutions

The wonders of the ocean: A deep dive [Video]. (2021, July 15). YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=example

Special Considerations for Unique Video Sources

Citing Videos from Social Media Platforms

When citing videos from social media, include the username and platform. For example:

National Geographic. (2021, July 15). Exploring the coral reefs [Video]. Instagram. https://www.instagram.com/p/example

Timestamping Specific Quotes or Sections

For specific sections or quotes, include the timestamp in the in-text citation:

(Smith, 2021, 3:45). 

Citing User Comments and Interactive Elements

When citing comments, include the username and the date of the comment:

OceanLover123. (2021, July 16). Comment on J. Smith’s The wonders of the ocean: A deep dive. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=example&lc=example

Useful Tools for Accurate Citations

You can use our tool https://writerbuddy.ai/ to streamline the citation process.  

FAQs

What if the author of the online video is not listed?

If the author of the online video is not listed, begin the citation with the title of the video followed by the date of publication and the source URL. For example: The wonders of the ocean: A deep dive [Video]. (2021, July 15). YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=example.

How do I cite a specific part of a video in APA style?

To cite a specific part of a video, include the timestamp in your in-text citation. For instance: “The ocean is home to millions of species” (Smith, 2021, 2:05).

Can I use a shortened URL in my citation?

No, always use the full and direct URL in your citation to ensure that the video can be easily located by readers. Shortened or truncated URLs are not recommended.

How should I cite a video from a social media platform like Instagram?

When citing a video from a social media platform, include the username and the platform. For example: National Geographic. (2021, July 15). Exploring the coral reefs [Video]. Instagram. https://www.instagram.com/p/example. 

Conclusion

APA citations for online videos include the author or uploader’s name, publication date, video title, platform or website name, and URL. Use the author’s last name and year for in-text citations. If no author is available, use the video title. Create a full entry in your reference list.

 

 

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