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How to Cite a YouTube Commercial in MLA Format

by Susan Sherwood, Demand Media

    Writers in the liberal arts and humanities use a wide range of references. Often material is located on the Web, and researchers sometimes use content-heavy sites, such as YouTube. For example, the commercials available on YouTube might interest writers focusing on consumerism or advertising. Because the seventh edition of the "MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers" does not specify how to reference commercials on YouTube, you can use a format consistent with the handbook.

    In-Text Citation

    When you use material from a commercial in text, include a citation within parentheses. Insert the name of the individual or company that posted the video; for example: (Doe). If you mentioned the poster's name in the text, do not use the parenthetical citation.

    Works Cited Page

    Include in-text citations on the Works Cited page. Begin with the poster's name, which may be an individual -- last name, comma, first name -- or a company. Add a period. Put the title of the video with a period inside quotation marks. Identify the medium with "Online video clip" without quotation marks. Add a period. Put the name of the site in italics. Add a period. List the publisher of the site, which is also YouTube, a comma, and the day, month and year posted. Add a period. Identify the location with "Web" without quotation marks. Add a period. List the day, month and year you accessed the commercial. For example: Doe, John. "The Hottest Hot Dogs Ever." Online video clip. YouTube (in italics). YouTube, 3 May 2011. Web. 1 March 2013.

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    About the Author

    Living in upstate New York, Susan Sherwood is a researcher who has been writing within educational settings for more than 10 years. She has co-authored papers for Horizons Research, Inc. and the Capital Region Science Education Partnership. Sherwood has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from the University at Albany.

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