How to Cite a TED Talk in MLA | Format & Examples

To cite a TED Talk from the TED website in MLA, list the name of the speaker, the talk title, the site name TED, the month and year, and the URL.

In an in-text citation, you can use a timestamp to highlight a specific quote where necessary.

MLA format Speaker last name, First name. “Talk Title.” TED, Month Year, URL.
MLA Works Cited entry Jacobs, A. J. “The Life Cycle of a Cup of Coffee.” TED, Jan. 2021,
MLA in-text citation (Jacobs 3:15)

Citing a TED Talk from YouTube

If you’re citing the TED Talk not from their site but from YouTube, the format differs slightly. You should still list the speaker in the author position, but also list the uploader (usually “TED” or “TEDx Talks”) and give the full upload date, since it’s available on YouTube.

MLA format Speaker last name, First name. “Video Title.” YouTube, uploaded by TED or TEDx Talks, Day Month Year, URL.
MLA Works Cited entry Bailey, Chris. “How to Get Your Brain to Focus | Chris Bailey | TEDxManchester.” YouTube, uploaded by TEDx Talks, 5 Apr. 2019,
MLA in-text citation (Bailey 12:15)

Citing a transcript of a TED Talk

If you’re quoting from the transcript of the video, link to this instead of the video, and add “Transcript” to the end of your Works Cited entry.

MLA format Speaker last name, First name. “Talk Title.” TED, Month Year, URL.
MLA Works Cited entry Jacobs, A. J. “The Life Cycle of a Cup of Coffee.” TED, Jan. 2021, Transcript.
MLA in-text citation (Jacobs 3:54)

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Frequently asked questions about MLA citations

How do I cite a source with no author or page numbers in MLA?

If a source has no author, start the MLA Works Cited entry with the source title. Use a shortened version of the title in your MLA in-text citation.

If a source has no page numbers, you can use an alternative locator (e.g. a chapter number, or a timestamp for a video or audio source) to identify the relevant passage in your in-text citation. If the source has no numbered divisions, cite only the author’s name (or the title).

If you already named the author or title in your sentence, and there is no locator available, you don’t need a parenthetical citation:

  • Rajaram argues that representations of migration are shaped by “cultural, political, and ideological interests.”
  • The homepage of The Correspondent describes it as “a movement for radically different news.”
Are titles capitalized in MLA?

Yes. MLA style uses title case, which means that all principal words (nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and some conjunctions) are capitalized.

This applies to titles of sources as well as the title of, and subheadings in, your paper. Use MLA capitalization style even when the original source title uses different capitalization.

What is the easiest way to create MLA citations?

The fastest and most accurate way to create MLA citations is by using Scribbr’s MLA Citation Generator.

Search by book title, page URL or journal DOI to automatically generate flawless citations, or cite manually using the simple citation forms.

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Jack Caulfield

Jack is a Brit based in Amsterdam, with an MA in comparative literature. He writes for Scribbr and reads a lot of books in his spare time.


Eddie Snider
June 8, 2022 at 10:02 PM

What if I have two videos for the same speaker in my paper?


Jack Caulfield
Jack Caulfield (Scribbr Team)
June 9, 2022 at 10:16 AM

Hi Eddie,

When you have two or more sources from the same author (in this case speaker), you can distinguish between them in your in-text citations by adding a short version of the title after the author's name. For example, (Jacobs, "Life Cycle" 3:15)


Rianna Real
November 24, 2021 at 7:28 AM

what if there are two (or multiple) speakers in the TED talk? How would I cite that and which name would I use?


Jack Caulfield
Jack Caulfield (Scribbr Team)
December 2, 2021 at 12:05 PM

Hi Rianna,

When a source has two authors, you should write both their names with only the first one reversed in your Works Cited list, e.g. Smith, Thomas, and Barbara Michelle Williams. Also write both names in your in-text citation, e.g. (Smith and Williams 20)

When a source has three or more authors, you should list the first author’s name followed by “et al.” (meaning “and others”) in both the Works Cited list (Smith, Thomas, et al.) and your in-text citations (Smith et al. 20).


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