Citing an Online Video with Chicago Footnote Referencing

Citing an Online Video with Chicago Footnote Referencing

From TED Talks to e-courses, platforms like YouTube offer a lot of educational resources these days. You can even use them when researching a college paper. But how do you cite an online video in academic writing? In this post, we explain how this works with Chicago footnote referencing.

Citing an Online Video in a Footnote

In Chicago referencing, you cite a source with a superscript number in the text. These numbers point to footnotes. For an online video, the information required in the first footnote include:

  • The citation number
  • Subject or creator name (e.g., the presenter or writer)
  • The words “interviewed by” and the interviewer’s name (if applicable)
  • Video title in quote marks
  • Video format and length
  • Name of uploader (if different from creator)
  • Date of upload
  • URL
  • Date of access (if required by your institution)
  • Timestamp for part of video cited (if applicable)

You might not be able to find all this information. However, as long as you provide enough detail to identify the source and where it can be found, you’ll be fine. For instance, we could cite a TED Talk by Kate Darling like this:

1. Kate Darling, “Why we have an emotional connection to robots | Kate Darling,” YouTube video, 11:51, TED, November 6, 2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uq6XgrYBugo, 6:26.

Here, we’ve clearly identified the video, where it can be found, and the relevant part of the video. If we then cited the same video later, we would use a shortened citation format to prevent repetition.

Reference List

Any videos cited in your paper should also appear in the reference list at the end of the document. The information to include here is similar to the first citation. However, the punctuation is slightly different, and the creator’s names should be inverted. For example:

Darling, Kate. “Why we have an emotional connection to robots | Kate Darling.” YouTube video, 11:51. TED. November 6, 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uq6XgrYBugo.

Putting the surname first allows you to sort the reference list by author surname. As shown above, moreover, you do not need to include a pinpoint citation in the reference list, unlike footnotes.

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