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How to Cite an Online Video in MLA Style

Citing an online video in MLA style involves several key details. You need to include the video’s title, creator’s name, website, and upload date. This guide will show you how to format these components in your Works Cited entry and in-text citations.

Identifying Key Elements of an Online Video Citation

Author’s Name: Recognizing the Creator

Identifying the correct author for online videos is crucial. The author could be an individual, a group, or an organization responsible for the content. For example, a YouTube video might be created by a single user, while a documentary could be produced by a renowned studio. Properly recognizing the author ensures appropriate credit is given.

Video Title: Formatting and Punctuation Tips

The video title should be presented in quotation marks, maintaining the original capitalization and punctuation. This preserves the integrity of the title, reflecting how it appears on the platform. For example, “Understanding Quantum Physics” should be cited exactly as it is titled.

Website Name: The Role of the Hosting Platform

The website name, like YouTube or Vimeo, is crucial in the citation. It informs the reader where the video is hosted. Italicize this element to distinguish it from other citation details.

Date of Publication: Determining the Right Date

The date of publication refers to when the video was first available online. This information is crucial for understanding the context and timeliness of the content. Recording this date accurately, typically formatted as Day Month Year, enhances the citation’s reliability.

The URL: Handling Long Links

URLs are essential for locating the video. MLA style recommends including the full URL. If a URL is very long, consider using a URL shortener, ensuring the link remains functional.

Guide to Citing an Online Video in MLA

Gathering Necessary Information

Before starting your citation, gather all relevant information: the author’s name, video title, website name, publication date, and URL. This collection of details is the foundation of an accurate citation.

Formatting the Author’s Name

The author’s name should be formatted as Last Name, First Name. If the author is an organization, write the full name of the organization. For example,

“Smith, John” or “National Geographic”.

Capitalizing the Video Title

Capitalize major words in the video title, including the first and last words. Avoid capitalizing articles, prepositions, and conjunctions unless they begin the title. For instance,

“Exploring the Depths of the Ocean”.

Italicizing the Website Name

Ensure that the website name is italicized consistently throughout your citations. This practice differentiates it from other citation elements, providing clarity. For example:

YouTube or Vimeo.

Inserting the Publication Date

When inserting the publication date, ensure you follow the correct format and verify the date’s accuracy. Avoid using the date you accessed the video unless specified by your instructor.

Shortening URLs

When faced with lengthy URLs, use a reliable URL shortener to simplify your citation while maintaining access. Always test the shortened URL to ensure it directs correctly to the intended video.

Examples of MLA Citations for Different Types of Online Videos

YouTube Videos: Popular and Educational Content

For a typical YouTube video:

Smith, John. “Understanding Quantum Physics.” YouTube, uploaded by Physics World, 15 Mar. 2023,

Webinars: Professional and Academic Sources

For webinars:

Doe, Jane. “Advances in AI Research.” Webinar Central, hosted by AI Network, 20 Jan. 2024,

Documentaries: In-depth and Analytical Videos

For documentaries:

National Geographic. “The Secrets of the Amazon.” National Geographic, 12 Dec. 2022,

Interviews: Direct Quotes from Experts

For interviews:

Jones, Mark. “Interview with Dr. Sarah Lee on Climate Change.” Interview Archives, 5 Aug. 2021,

User-Generated Content: Citing Lesser-Known Creators

For user-generated content:

Alex93. “DIY Solar Panel Installation.” Vimeo, 28 Nov. 2020,

Tips for Perfecting Your MLA Video Citations

For streamlined and accurate citations, consider using our tool WriterBuddy. It simplifies the citation process, ensuring you stay compliant with MLA standards.


Why is it important to properly cite an online video in MLA style?

Properly citing an online video in MLA style ensures that you give credit to the original creator, enhances the credibility of your work, and allows your readers to locate the source material. It also demonstrates your attention to detail and adherence to academic standards.

What information do I need to gather before citing an online video in MLA?

Before citing an online video, gather the following information: the author’s name, video title, website name, publication date, and the URL. This comprehensive set of details is essential for creating an accurate and complete citation.

How do I format the author’s name and video title in an MLA citation?

The author’s name should be formatted as Last Name, First Name. The video title should be placed in quotation marks, maintaining the original capitalization and punctuation. For example: Smith, John. “Understanding Quantum Physics.”


Citing an online video in MLA style requires specific details: author’s name, video title, website name, publication date, and URL. Including all these elements ensures your citation is accurate and complete, making your references clear and reliable for your readers.

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