MLA does not have a specific recommendation for YouTube videos, so the standard is to use the format for online film or video. Here are the basics:
Author’s Name or Poster’s Username. “Title of Video.” Online video clip. Name of Website. Name of Website’s Publisher, date of posting. Web. date retrieved.
It is very common for any web resources not to have all of the info MLA would like. If any piece is unavailable, make your best effort to find it. Sometimes you have to look at other portions of the website to find the required info, and sometimes it is truly unavailable. In that case, skip it and move on to the next piece required.
You could also try using EasyBib's form for Film and online video.
- Start of by pasting in the URL of the video.
- Review the info retreived to make sure it is correct.
- Review the info that EasyBib says is missing and try to find it, filling each piece in the form.
- When done grab your citation.
- Note that you will need to add Online video clip after the title.
Here is an example (without the double spaced, hanging indent Times new Roman 12" formatting)
Shimabukuro, Jake. "Ukulele Weeps by Jake Shimabukuro." Online video clip. YouTube. YouTube, 22 Apr. 2006. Web. 9 Sept. 2010.
Once you’ve watched all of the unboxing videos YouTube has to offer (assuming you have a spare century), you might want to check out the lectures and educational content available. In fact, you might even want to cite them in your work.
But since YouTube videos aren’t conventional academic sources, the rules for citing them are a little different. In this post, we look at how to cite an online video with Harvard referencing.
When referencing a YouTube video, the key thing to remember is that you should give the username of the uploader and the date of the upload in citations:
Ian Ayre describes Rawls’ veil of ignorance as important in philosophy and law (YaleCourses, 2015).
Here, for example, we give the name of the account that uploaded the video, even though the video names Ian Ayre as the presenter.
You can even quote a YouTube video directly in your work. To do this, provide a timestamp in citations to indicate where the quoted passage occurs in the video:
Ayre suggests that decision makers behind a theoretical veil of ignorance would make ‘better and less biased choices’ (YaleCourses, 2015, 00:02:20).
In this case, the timestamp shows that the passage occurs two minutes and twenty seconds into the video. This is equivalent to giving page numbers when quoting a print source.
In the Reference List
As with other sources, YouTube videos cited in your work should be added to a reference list at the end of your document. The format for these references is:
Username, Year. Title. [online video] Available at: URL [Accessed Date].
For the video cited in the examples above, for instance, we’d write:
YaleCourses, 2015. Rawlsian Veil of Ignorance. [online video] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4rRzMeAkULc [Accessed 19 December 2016].
Harvard Referencing: A Proviso
Keep in mind that Harvard referencing is not a single, unified system. As such, you should check your style guide in case the rules your university uses differ from those described here.
If your style guide doesn’t give specific information on citing a YouTube video, the method here should be fine. Just remember to make your referencing clear and consistent throughout!