June 16, 2024
This article provides a step-by-step guide with examples on how to properly cite a video in APA format. Tips, tricks, reference tools and common mistakes to avoid are also included.


Citing sources is an essential part of academic writing, including videos. Whether it’s a documentary, a movie, or a YouTube clip, properly citing video sources in American Psychological Association (APA) format is necessary. In the digital information age, learning how to cite a video in APA format is no longer a bonus but rather a must-have for every researcher. This article provides a comprehensive guide on how to cite a video in APA format with examples.

Step-by-step guide to citing a video in APA format

To properly cite a video source in APA format, follow these steps:

Step 1: Identify the video producer

The producer of the video is the person or group responsible for creating the video. It could be an individual, an organization, or a company. Look for this information in the video’s opening or closing credits, or by searching for the video on the internet.

Step 2: Record the publication date

The publication date for a video is the date when it was originally released. This information is usually found on the video or on its publisher’s website.

Step 3: Note the video title

The title of the video is important to properly reference it in your citation. This information could also be found on the video or its publisher’s website.

Step 4: Retrieve the video

When citing a video, provide retrieval information to help readers locate the video. Examples of retrieval information include the URL (Uniform Resource Locator) or the Digital Object Identifier (DOI).

Step 5: Create the reference citation

To format the video reference citation, follow the instructions found in the APA manual or online. The APA format for a video reference citation is generally:

Video Producer. (Year). Title of video [Video file]. Publisher. Retrieved from URL

For example, a reference citation for a video on “APA citation style” produced by the American Psychological Association, which was released in 2020 and retrieved online on October 20, 2021, could appear as follows:

American Psychological Association. (2020). APA citation style [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8JyRofYsMgg

Video citation examples

Here are examples of how to cite different types of videos in APA format, using both in-text citations and reference page citations:

Streaming video

In-text citation: (Author, year)
Reference citation:
Author. (Year). Title of video [Video file]. Distributor. https://www…

YouTube video

In-text citation: (Author, year)
Reference citation:
Author. (Year). Title of video [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www….


In-text citation: (Director, year)
Reference citation:
Director, D. D. (Director). (Year). Title of documentary [Film]. Studio.


In-text citation: (Producer & Director, year)
Reference citation:
Producer, A. A. (Producer), & Director, B. B. (Director). (Year). Title of film [Film]. Studio.

Tips and tricks for citing videos in APA format

Citing videos in APA format can be a challenge. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you:

Tip 1: Find the publication date

The publication date is vital information for referencing a video source. Select the original release date rather than the date of the version you watched.

Tip 2: Collect information on the producer

The producer is essential information for video citation. Record the name, location, and website URL in the reference.

Tip 3: Remember to include retrieval information

Include retrieval information in the citation to make it easier for readers to locate the video. It could be a link to the online source or a DOI.

Quick reference guide

Here is a quick guide summarizing the steps to follow when citing a video in APA format:

– Identify the producer of the video
– Record the publication date
– Note the title of the video
– Retrieve the video with URL or DOI
– Format the reference citation according to APA guidelines

Tools and resources

Several tools can help you properly cite a video in APA format. Here are three great resources to use:

Citation generators

Citation generators such as Citation Machine, EasyBib, and BibMe can help you create quick, accurate citation entries.

APA style guides

Official APA style guides are available for purchase, or you can find free citation guides on the APA website.

Video tutorials

Online video tutorials can guide you through the process of creating video citations in APA format.

Common mistakes to avoid

Citing videos in APA format can be tricky, so we advise that you avoid these common mistakes:

Mistake 1: Missing crucial information

Ensure that you list the producer, year of publication, and title of the video in your citation so that it’s formatted correctly.

Mistake 2: Forgetting to include retrieval information

Make sure you include retrieval information in your citation, usually in the form of a URL or DOI, so readers can easily locate the video.

Mistake 3: Incorrect use of italics

Remember to italicize the title of a stand-alone video source (such as a documentary or motion picture) but not the title of a video that is part of a greater whole, like an episode in a TV series.


Citing a video correctly in APA format has never been easy, but this guide provides a step-by-step process with examples, tips, and tricks to help you do it right. Remember to collect essential information like the producer, publication date and include retrieval information so that readers can locate the video easily. Be sure to check and double-check your work with official APA guidelines and practice, practice, practice.

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