For some types of jobs, you may want to use a YouTube video for reference. If the parameters of the work indicate that you must use the APA (American Psychological Association) format for citations and references, you must place the information of the video as if it were a document or report of non-periodic publication that you find on the internet. If you want to cite a video comment, you will have to use the same format as for blog comments.
Method 1 of 3: Cite a YouTube Video
Step 1. Get as much information as you can
You will most likely have to do some deep research to find the video data you need to create the reference. So, do your best and gather as much information as possible.
- If the person who posted the video isn't the one who produced it, try to find the original producer or creator. If the person who posted it is also the creator, then try to find out their first and last name.
- If possible, try to find and use the original video. Due to the appearance of "viral videos", this could be difficult (they could even have deleted the original video). Generally, the video from the oldest post or with the most views is usually the original.
Step 2. The first thing that is placed is the author's last name
Like any citation in APA format, the information in the reference list begins with the author's last name, which in this case would be the creator or producer of the video you want to cite. Start with the last name, followed by a comma and the initials of the first and middle names (if you know them). After the real name, put the YouTube user in square brackets. Make sure to respect the capital letters used by the author in his username.
- If you can't find the person's real name, you can set the username as the author. In this case, it would no longer be necessary to put it in brackets.
- Some videos have a corporate author, such as a company or news network. In this case, you will have to use the full name of the institution that created the video. For example, you could put "BBC News" or "Microsoft."
- Example: last name, first initial. Middle Initial. [Username].
- Example: Apsolon, M. [markapsolon].
- Example: BBC News.
Step 3. Provide the video publication date
After the author's name, you will need to include the date the video was posted on YouTube in parentheses. To find the information, open the description box below the video and look for the date. If the video has been edited or revised and there is a second version, use the most recent date. The date format is placed as follows: year followed by a comma and then the month and day.
- Example: last name, first initial. Middle Initial. [Username]. (Year month day).
- Example: Apsolon, M. [markapsolon]. (September 9, 2011).
Step 4. Enter the title of the video
The title is below the video frame in bold type. In the reference, you should place it in italics and use capital letters as if it were a normal sentence. Also, you should add the font format in brackets after the title. In the case of a YouTube video, it will always be “video file”. Sometimes the video has a different title than the one in the header. Since the idea of the reference is that the readers find the video you mention, it is better to use the title that is used on the page and not the other title of the same video.
- Example: last name, first initial. Middle Initial. [Username]. (Year month day). Video title [Video file].
- Example: Apsolon, M. [markapsolon]. (September 9, 2011). NFL highlights. [Video file].
Step 5. Include a direct link to the video
The last part of the reference information should begin with the phrase “retrieved from” followed by a direct link to the video. To get the link, click the "share" button. Do not copy the link from the search engine's address bar, as it may not match the permanent link in the video.
- Example: last name, first initial. Middle Initial. [Username]. (Year month day). Video title [Video file]. Retrieved from URL
- Example: Apsolon, M. [markapsolon]. (September 9, 2011). NFL highlights. [Video file]. Recovered from
Method 2 of 3: Quote a YouTube comment
Step 1. Consider the reliability of the source
The reasons for citing a YouTube comment may vary depending on the topic of the research paper. Generally, a comment is not a good source of reliable data because the identity or rank of authority of the commenter cannot be verified.
- For example, maybe you want to record how people react to a video or you want to conduct a study of "viral videos" or "internet trolls." These are good reasons to cite YouTube comments in your research paper.
- If you have questions or concerns, talk to your teacher before submitting the work.
Step 2. Enter the name of the author of the comment
Like any citation in APA format, the information begins with the name of the author. Usually, you only have access to the person's username and not their real name. In this case, you will have to place it as is, without the brackets.
- Click on the username and see if their real name is available in the account information. If so, enter the real name, starting with the last name and followed by the initials of the first and middle names (if available).
- Example: Jackson, L. A. [snickerdoodle].
Step 3. In parentheses, put the year the comment was posted
Unfortunately, YouTube does not provide the exact posting dates for comments. Instead, you'll see it say "2 days ago" or "3 years ago." Use this information to determine the year of publication.
Example: Jackson, L. A. [snickerdoodle]. (2014)
Step 4. Include the title of the video
After the parenthesis with the date, put a period. Write the abbreviation "Re:" to indicate that the comment was made in response or in reference to the indicated video. In this way, the reader will know that it is a comment and not the video itself.
- The title of the video should be italicized, but the abbreviation should not (as it is not part of the title). After the title, you will have to put the “video file” format in square brackets.
- Example: Jackson, L. A. [snickerdoodle]. (2014). Re: Manatee nose with horn sound [Video file].
Step 5. Provide the direct link of the video
Click on the video's "share" icon to copy the URL. This should come after the phrase “Recovered from” at the end of the reference.
Example: Jackson, L. A. [snickerdoodle]. (2014). Re: Manatee nose with horn [Video file]. Recovered from
Method 3 of 3: Write the references within the text
Step 1. First put the author's last name
When you mention the YouTube video within the text of your work, you will need to place the relevant information in parentheses that directs the reader to the correct reference on your list.
- Use the same name that you have placed on the list. If you have the real name of the creator of the video, use his last name. If you could only find the username, enter it.
- If the creator of the video is a corporate author or news agency rather than a single person, use the full name of the institution in the in-text citation.
- Example: (PlanktonBouy
Step 2. Include the year the video was published
Regardless of whether you have the exact publication date in the list reference, for the in-text citation you will only have to enter the year. This number follows the author's last name or username, separated by a comma.
- In the case of having only one username, remember to respect the capital letters of the original name.
- Example: (PlanktonBouy, 2010)
Step 3. Provide the name and year for the comment citations
If you're citing a YouTube comment instead of the video, you'll need to use the same name and year format. The information in the reference list will serve to clarify to the reader that it is a video comment and not the video itself.
- Example: (GOFISH, 2014)
- Remember to use the year the comment was posted and not the video.