How to cite a TED Talk in MLA

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.

Format Speaker last name, First name. “Talk Title.” TED, Month Year, URL.
Works Cited entry Jacobs, A. J. “The Life Cycle of a Cup of Coffee.” TED, Jan. 2021,
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.

Format Speaker last name, First name. “Video Title.” YouTube, uploaded by TED or TEDx Talks, Day Month Year, URL.
Works Cited entry Bailey, Chris. “How to Get Your Brain to Focus | Chris Bailey | TEDxManchester.” YouTube, uploaded by TEDx Talks, 5 Apr. 2019,
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.

Format Speaker last name, First name. “Talk Title.” TED, Month Year, URL.
Works Cited entry Jacobs, A. J. “The Life Cycle of a Cup of Coffee.” TED, Jan. 2021, Transcript.
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 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 and edits for Scribbr, and reads a lot of books in his spare time.

1 comment

Jack Caulfield
Jack Caulfield (Scribbr Team)
January 15, 2021 at 3:48 PM

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