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How to Cite a Ted Talk

Learning how to cite a TED Talk is essential as it represents one of the most popular citation types for students majoring in Engineering, Physics, and Data Management disciplines. Still, not many students know how to work with this type of content. Let's review the main rules and specifics for MLA and APA formats. 

TED Citing in MLA  

As a rule, specifics will depend on your source (website or YouTube). For the website, you will require the following: 

  • Name of the speaker (host)
  • Title of the TED talk
  • Website's name.
  • Month and the year. 
  • Original URL. 

Note: for your in-text reference, it's recommended to provide a timestamp so your audience sees where your quote appears. 

MLA TED Talk Template: 

Speaker's Last name, First Name. “TED Talk Title.” TED, Month Year, URL.

Works Cited: 

Hyeonmi, K. “How webtoons are changing movies and TV.” TED, Feb. 2022, 

https://www.ted.com/talks/hyeonmi_kim_how_webtoons_are_changing_movies_and_tv

In-text Reference: 

(Hyeonmi 7:11)

If you plan to cite a TED Talk available from YouTube, use the following template format: 

Speaker's Last Name, First Name. "Ted Talk Title." YouTube, uploaded by TED or TEDx Talks, Day Month Year, URL. 

Works Cited: 

Imbo, Frederik. "How not to take things personally? | Frederik Imbo | TedXMechelen." YouTube, uploaded by TEDx Talks, 4 Mar. 2020, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LnJwH_PZXnM. 

In-text Reference: 

(Imbo 11:34)  

Citing a TED Talk transcript of some TED Talk video, you only have to use the first citation template by adding the word "Transcript" when you compose your References entry. See the example: 

Works Cited: 

Hyeonmi, K. “How webtoons are changing movies and TV.” TED, Feb. 2022, 

https://www.ted.com/talks/hyeonmi_kim_how_webtoons_are_changing_movies_and_tv/transcript. Transcript. 

In-text Reference: 

(Hyeonmi 7:11)

TED Citing in APA 7th Edition Style 

Once again, citation rules will differ depending on whether you are aiming for the TED's website as a source or video platforms like YouTube or Vimeo. You will require: 

  • Speaker's name. 
  • Year and date of publication. 
  • Title of the TED video. 
  • Website's name. 
  • URL. 

Here is the template on how to reference a TED Talk website: 

Speaker's Last Name, First Name Initial(s). (Year, Month). Title. [Video]. TED Conference. URL.

References Page entry: 

Stokes, C. (2012, November). How movies teach manhood. [Video]. TED Conferences. https://www.ted.com/talks/colin_stokes_how_movies_teach_manhood

In-text Citation: 

(Stokes, 2012)

(Stokes, 2012, 6:12) 

Now if you turn to YouTube TED Talk citation, here is what you must do: 

Uploader's screen name or full name [TEDxTalks]. (Year, Date). Title. Website. URL 

Note: the uploader's title is given "as is", meaning that full information must be provided exactly as it appears on the screen. 

References (Bibliography) entry: 

TEDx Talks [TEDxTalks]. (2016, April). Why "scout mindset" is crucial to good judgment | Julia Galef | TEDxPSU. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3MYEtQ5Zdn8

In-text Citation: 

(TEDx Talks, 2016) 

When you would like to quote a TED Talk for an in-text citation, the name of the author should be incorporated into your writing. For example: 

"Starting in 2021, Collins has managed to provide proof that green energy leads to even greater costs and is not always efficient (TEDx Talks, 2021)."

Remember that the most important is to provide your TED Talks title of the video accurately, which will help you to avoid plagiarism. Summing things up, you may still find APA TED Talk citation overly complex, which is why using an APA video citation generator might be a better option to save time and ensure that everything is correct. Just fill in the link and the system will do the rest for you! 

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