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How to Cite a TED Talk in APA Style

TED Talks are popular sources of information in academic and professional contexts. Citing TED Talks in APA style requires specific elements: speaker’s name, talk title, “TED” as the publisher, date, and URL. These details apply to both in-text citations and reference list entries. Proper citation of TED Talks ensures credit to speakers and maintains academic integrity when using these digital presentations in research papers.

Key Elements Required in a TED Talk Citation

When citing a TED Talk in APA style, you must include several key elements: 

  • Speaker’s Name: The person delivering the talk.
  • Date: The date the talk was published online.
  • Title of the Talk: Italicized for emphasis.
  • Format Description: Usually [Video].
  • Source: The URL where the talk can be accessed.

Important Elements from TED Talks Citation

The Crucial Details

To create an accurate citation, you need to gather the following details: 

  • Speaker: Full name of the speaker.
  • Title: Official title of the TED Talk.
  • Date: The date the talk was posted on the TED website.
  • URL: Direct link to the TED Talk.

Tips for Verifying Information from TED Talks

Ensuring the accuracy of the information you gather is crucial. Always check the TED website for the most up-to-date and accurate details. Cross-reference with other reliable sources if necessary. Watching the talk and noting down essential details yourself can also help verify the information.

Step-by-Step Guide: From Speaker’s Name to URL

Creating a reference list entry involves several steps: 

  • Speaker’s Name: Start with the last name, followed by initials.
  • Date: Enclose the publication date in parentheses.
  • Title of the Talk: Italicize the title and use sentence case.
  • Format Description: Indicate the format in brackets, e.g., [Video].
  • Source: Provide the URL.


Robinson, K. (2006, February). Do schools kill creativity? [Video]. TED Conferences.

How to Format a TED Talk Citation with Missing Details

If certain details are missing, such as the date or official title, provide as much information as possible: 

  • No Date: Use (n.d.) to indicate no date.
  • No Title: Use a descriptive title in brackets.


Smith, J. (n.d.). [Discussion on climate change]. TED Conferences.

Examples of Well-Formatted TED Talk References in APA Style

Here are a few more examples to illustrate properly formatted citations: 

Adichie, C. N. (2009, July). The danger of a single story [Video]. TED Conferences.

Brown, B. (2010, June). The power of vulnerability [Video]. TED Conferences.

In-Text Citations for Quoting or Paraphrasing TED Talks

Simplifying In-Text Citations: Direct Quotes vs. Paraphrases

For in-text citations, differentiate between direct quotes and paraphrases. Direct quotes should include the speaker’s last name, the year, and a timestamp if available: 

  • Direct Quote: “We need to embrace vulnerability” (Brown, 2010, 05:32).
  • Paraphrase: Brown (2010) argues that vulnerability is a crucial aspect of human connection.

The Role of Timestamps in TED Talk Citations

Timestamps help pinpoint the exact part of the talk you’re referencing, which is especially useful for longer talks. Include the timestamp in minutes and seconds: 

  • Example: (Adichie, 2009, 12:45)

Real-Life Examples of In-Text Citations for TED Talks

Here are examples demonstrating in-text citations: 

“Creativity is as important as literacy” (Robinson, 2006, 03:14).

Adichie (2009) highlights the risks of a single narrative.

Best Practices for Citing TED Talks in Academic Papers

Common Mistakes to Avoid in TED Talk Citations

Avoiding common mistakes can save time and improve the accuracy of your citations. Ensure you: 

  • Include all required elements (speaker, date, title, URL).
  • Use the correct format and punctuation.
  • Verify details directly from the TED website.

Reviewing and Revising TED Talk Citations for Accuracy

Regularly review and revise your citations to ensure they meet APA standards. Cross-check with the official APA guidelines and use citation tools for assistance 

Using Citation Tools

Using tools like WriterBuddy can streamline the citation process. It can help create accurate citations, including the APA TED Talk Citation, by providing step-by-step guidance and verification. 


How do I cite a TED Talk in APA style if the date is missing?

If the date is missing for a TED Talk, use “(n.d.)” in place of the date in your citation. For example: Smith, J. (n.d.). [Discussion on climate change]. TED Conferences. 

Can I use a descriptive title if the TED Talk doesn’t have an official title?

Yes, if the TED Talk doesn’t have an official title, use a descriptive title in brackets. For instance: Doe, J. (2021, January). [Talk on innovative education methods]. TED Conferences. 

How do I include a timestamp in an in-text citation for a TED Talk?

To include a timestamp in an in-text citation, provide the minute and second at which the quoted or referenced material appears. For example:
“Creativity is as important as literacy” (Robinson, 2006, 03:14)

What information is necessary for citing a TED Talk in APA style?

To cite a TED Talk in APA style, you need the speaker’s full name, the date the talk was published, the title of the talk (italicized), the format [Video], and the URL. For example:
Adichie, C. N. (2009, July). The danger of a single story [Video]. TED Conferences.


Accurate citation of TED Talks in APA format is crucial for academic credibility. The process involves including speaker information, talk title, publication details, and URL. Following these guidelines helps properly attribute ideas to speakers and provides readers with necessary information to access the original content.










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