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Video Citation Guide and Examples in Chicago

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Why Cite Video Content in Chicago

As one of the oldest citation styles, Chicago is a writing standard that mostly deals with print and online sources that contain text. Still, as the social media content quickly makes it through essays and research papers as a reference, citing a video Chicago style becomes necessary.

Since Chicago is considered as a serious research paper format that deals with manuscripts and publications, the use of online videos or any multimedia content for such matters are cited in notes. The only reason why they appear in an average bibliography is when some source represents critical importance or is cited more than once.

How to Cite Videos in Chicago

  • When you have to cite a video Chicago style, the first and the most important step that you have to take is locating the name of the creator (if possible), followed by the video’s title, and the date when it was posted online. The URL must be included as a complete link. 
  • Once ready, include a brief description of the video type after the post date. It is also recommended to include a video’s duration as well. 
  • You must provide the creator’s name exactly the way it has been listed. If the talk goes about a pseudonym or a nickname, this rule applies as well. However, if the real name of the author can be determined by visiting the source, it must be included in parentheses. 
  • The superscript number should be placed in Footnotes citation. 
  • It follows a different format from the full bibliography where the content must be mentioned as a “video” without a complete description. 

Summing things up, it appears that we need: 

  • Author’s real name or user name, if present. 
  • Video’s title in italics. 
  • Date of the post. 
  • Duration Length. 
  • URL. 

Let’s cite Youtube video Chicago style in practice:  

Note quote (reference number first, duration length not included): 

₂ Designmate Pvt. Ltd. – Official, “Science – Transmission of Sound,” June 21, 2012, video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkNJvZINSEY. 

Bibliography: 

Designmate Pvt. Ltd. – Official. “Science – Transmission of Sound.” June 21, 2012. Educational video. 5:20. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkNJvZINSEY

Remember that citing is always time-challenging by seeking all the information and links if you also have several books and magazines. It is best to use our Chicago style generator that handles multimedia and all kinds of reference content. It is completely free and requires no registration. Just fill in all the information you have available and the Chicago generator will do the rest for you!

How to Cite a Youtube Video in Chicago

Note citing: 

₁ Adam McGrath, “How Sound Works – The Physics of Sound Waves,” May 3, 2015, video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBYz82nS_xk.

Full note Bibliography: 

Adam McGrath, “How Sound Works – The Physics Of Sound Waves,” May 3, 2015, Instruction video, 16:12, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBYz82nS_xk.

Citing Film in Chicago

Unlike Youtube citation, citing a film marks a difference between the entire work that you refer to or an episode. In this particular case with film citing, the 17th edition offers templates.

Entire Work

First Name Last Name, Title in italics, directed/performed by First Name Last Name (Release Year; City: Studio/Distributor, Video Release Year), format medium.

Note: 

Casablanca, directed by Michael Curtiz (1942; Flagstaff, AZ: Warner Home Video, 2006), DVD.

Bibliography:

Curtiz, Michael, dir. Casablanca. 1942; Flagstaff, AZ: Warner Home Video, 2006. DVD.

Episode

Sometimes you have to use Chicago video citation for part or an episode of a film. Here is the template:

Title, Episode Number, “Episode Title,” Directed/written/performed by First Name Last Name, aired Month Day, Year, on Network Name, URL. 
Are You Afraid of The Dark?, Episode 3, “Part Three: Destroy All Tophats,” Directed by Dean Israelite, aired 25 October 2019, on Nickelodeon. 
Dean Israelite, dir. Are You Afraid of The Dark?. Season 1, Episode 3, “Part Three: Destroy All Tophats.” Aired 25 October, 2019, on Nickelodeon.

Television (TV Series)

Chicago citation video rules for TV-series go the same way as the films with the addition of extra information. It is necessary to cite both the number and the title of an episode.

Entire Work

Note reference:

Star Trek: Atlantis, Season 5, Episode 18, “Identity,” directed by William Waring, written by Brad Wright and Robert C. Cooper, featuring Joe Flanigan, Rachel Luttrell, and Jason Momoa, aired 12 December, 2008, in Sci-Fi Channel, Sony Pictures Television.  

Bibliography: 

Brad Wright and Robert C. Cooper, writers. Star Trek: Atlantis. Season 5. episode 18, “Identity.” Directed by William Waring, featuring Joe Flanigan, Rachel Luttrell, and Jason Momoa. Aired 12 December, 2008, in Sci-Fi Channel, Sony Pictures Television.

Live Performances

Although any live performance cannot be cited per se since it is not a certain medium, there are still cases when Chicago citation for video content allows it. 

In such a case, it goes this way: 

x Title in italics, Contributors, Location, Date. 

It becomes this note: 

Anyone, Anywhere, written by Daniel Cavanagh, dir. Vincent Cavanagh, Katowice Large Hall of Performing Arts, Katowice, PL, June 5, 2012. 

As a rule, the Bibliography page omits this kind of citing.

Audio Recordings

Note Template: 

Group, Composer or Performer, “Title,” contributing individuals, Recording Date, Recording Company or Publisher, Track Number on Album’s Title, Year, Medium.
₁. Nirvana, “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” recorded September 24, 1991, track 1 on Nevermind, DGC Records, Compact Disc. 

Bibliography follows a slightly different template: 

Name of group, performer, or composer. Title. Contributors. Release date. Recording Company or Publisher, Medium.
Nirvana. “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” By Kurt Cobain. Recorded September 24, 1991. Track 1 on Nevermind. DGC Records, CD.

Chicago Citation Generator

Even if you know how to cite without mistakes, getting at least five assignments done will take you about thirty minutes when it is much better to take a walk in the park and have some rest. Here is where our free Chicago citation generator helps. Just write down your available information into relevant fields and let us generate perfect citations. It will not only save your time but will keep you away from accidental citation mistakes or any plagiarism risks!

FAQ

How to describe Chicago style video citation content? Can you provide some examples?

It can be “educational video”, “music video”, “Ad campaign” or “cartoon” among other things. Just describe the type.

What should I do if I can’t identify all contributors playing in a live orchestra performance?

It is sufficient to mention the conductor, the band, or an artist.

Is there a rule in Chicago of what exactly must be included? Can I avoid some information?

It depends on a source type because you should analyze the role of a quote. If an actor is more important for your citation than a director, mention this information instead.

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