Lectures are useful sources of information in academic writing. But how do you cite a lecture or lecture notes using APA referencing? In this post, we will explain the basics of in-text citations and reference list entries for published lecture notes, video recordings of lectures, and unrecorded lectures.
Citing Published Lecture Notes in APA Referencing
APA is an author–date referencing system, which means that you cite sources by giving the author’s surname and a date of publication in the text. For published lecture notes, this means citing the person who prepared the lecture notes (usually the same person who gave the lecture) and the year of the lecture:
For Jones (2016), balanced literacy is vital.
Balanced literacy requires equal input and output (Smith, 2019).
In the reference list, meanwhile, you would list published lecture notes as follows:
Surname, Initial(s). (Year, date of publication). Title of lecture [Format of notes]. Name of site where notes are available. URL
Therefore, we would list the lecture notes above accordingly:
Jones, J. (2016, March 23). Guided reading: Making the most of it [PowerPoint slides]. SlideShare. https://www.slideshare.net/hellojenjones/guided-reading-making-the-most-of-it
Smith, T. (2019, October 30). Lecture 1: Introducing balanced literature [PDF lecture notes]. School of Education, University of Somewhere. https://www.universityofsomewhere.ac.uk/education/lecture-notes/smith/balanced-literature
However, this only applies if the lecture notes have been made available after the fact (e.g., via a college website). To cite a lecture directly, see the options below.
Citing a Recording of a Lecture in APA Referencing
For a video recording of a lecture, the rules are a little different. Rather than citing the person who gave the lecture, you will need to cite the account that uploaded the video lecture to the host site. For example, if you were citing this video, you would cite “YaleCourses” as the author (not “Fry,” the lecturer):
Truth in literature differs from everyday truth (YaleCourses, 2009).
And if you are quoting the video, you may need to provide a timestamp.
In the reference list, meanwhile, you will need to use the following format:
Name of Account. (Year, Date of upload). Title of video [Video]. Host site. URL
Therefore, the reference list entry for the video above would read as follows:
YaleCourses. (2009, September 1). 1. Introduction [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YY4CTSQ8nY
Citing an Unrecorded Lecture in APA Referencing
You can also cite an unrecorded lecture as a personal communication in APA referencing. To do this, you would need to give the initial(s) and surname of the lecturer, plus the exact date of the lecture, in your writing:
Some, however, claim that these methods are flawed despite their wide acceptance in the industry (P. Johnson, personal communication, September 22, 2021).
You do not need to include personal communications in the reference list.
Keep in mind, though, that you should only cite an unrecorded lecture as a last resort! If you’re thinking of citing a lecture without a recording or published notes, then, you may want to look for a published source that contains the same information (e.g., one of the sources discussed in the lecture).
Expert APA Referencing
We hope this guide has helped you reference lecture notes or a lecture according to APA style. If you have any doubts, however, get in touch with our expert proofreaders for help to ensure your work is error free.