How to Cite a YouTube Video in Chicago Footnote Referencing
  • 4-minute read
  • 15th March 2022

How to Cite a YouTube Video in Chicago Footnote Referencing

YouTube offers many resources on its platform that can be used for entertainment, education, and even research purposes. Chicago referencing is widely used in academic writing. But how do you cite a YouTube video using Chicago footnote referencing? Read on to find out!

Citing a YouTube Video in a Footnote

Chicago referencing uses superscript numbers (1, 2, 3, etc.) in the text to link to footnotes. The citation information for the YouTube video is then provided in the footnotes as follows:

n. Author First name Last name, “Video Title,” Additional information, Month Day, Year, Format, Video length or Timestamp(s), URL.

Supplying the video length in the footnotes is optional. You may also provide a timestamp or range for the section of the video being cited.

For example:

1. Christina Costa, “How Gratitude Rewires Your Brain,” YouTube Video, February 13, 2022, TED Talk, 1:31 to 1:45, https://youtu.be/NJerBBTy074.

Here, the video and where it can be found have been clearly identified, along with the part of the video that’s being cited. We’d use a shortened footnote citation if the same video was cited later to avoid repetition.

Citing a YouTube Video in a Bibliography Entry

Generally, all cited material should appear in both the footnotes and the bibliography. However, the Chicago Manual of Style recommends that YouTube videos be cited only in the footnotes. The exceptions are if you’re using a video that’s vital to your argument, if it’s frequently cited, or if your university requires that you include it in your bibliography.

So, this is the format for a bibliography entry for a YouTube video:

Author Last name, First name. “Video Title.” Additional information. Month Day, Year. Format, Video length. URL.

And here’s the bibliography entry for the above example:

Costa, Christina. “How Gratitude Rewires the Brain.” YouTube video. February 13, 2022. TED Talk, 10:14. https://youtu.be/NJerBBTy074.

Note that the author’s first and last names are reversed in the bibliography so that it can be arranged alphabetically by the author’s last name. Punctuation in the bibliography is slightly different from that of the footnote, and the video length must be indicated.

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Optional Information to Include in Citations

Since there’s a variety of YouTube content, different information may be required for specific video genres. Below, we’ve listed a few examples:

Music Videos

For music videos, the musician is listed as the author, while the director’s name is listed after the title of the video. The words “music video” must also be included. Here’s the format for a first footnote citation:

n. Musician First name Last name, “Video Title,” directed by Director First name Last name, Month Day, Year, Music video, Video length or Timestamp(s), URL.

And here’s the format for a bibliography entry:

Musician Last name, First name. “Video Title.” Directed by Director First name Last name. Month Day, Year. Music video, Video length. URL.

Recorded Lecture

When citing a recorded lecture, it’s important to include the lecture series and university, as well as the words “video of lecture” in the citation. The date of the recording should replace the date of the upload. Here’s the format for a first footnote citation:

n. Author First name Last name, “Video Title,” Lecture Series, University Name, Month Day, Year, Video of lecture, Video length or Timestamp(s), URL.

And here’s the format for a bibliography entry:

Author Last name, First name. “Video Title.” Lecture Series, University Name, filmed Month Day, Year. Video of lecture, Video length. URL.

Chicago Referencing Proofreading

We hope you found this guide to citing YouTube videos using Chicago footnote referencing useful. If you need further help with references or other aspects of your writing, our team of expert proofreaders is ready to help. Submit a free trial document today!

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