How to Cite a Tweet in Your Essay

5 years ago

It's a strange new world of essay writing. Back when I was in school, you were golden if you memorized how to cite a book, a magazine article, and the World Book encyclopedia.  Now, if you're using the Internet to write your paper, you may need to know how to cite a professional website, a blog, or Twitter.  And if you have to cite a lot of Tweets, well, there's an app for that.

Image: Paula Reedyk via Flickr

The citation format for a Tweet is fairly simple:

Last Name, First Name (User Name). "Whole Tweet."  Date. Time. Tweet.

For instance, if you were writing a paper about Candy Crush and wanted to include this tweet:

You would write:

Ford, Melissa (stirrupqueen). "Candy Crush is down on the phone.  Does this mean I have to actually work today?"  August 15, 2013.  8:39 AM.  Tweet.

And yes, high schoolers, you would have to ask me for my name since it isn't on my Twitter account.  Creating a citation page means doing a little sleuth work, or asking people for the details you're missing.  Or, you could also slide up the username, and by repeating it twice, still create a citation that works in any essay (see below).

Now what if you had a lot of citations to write?  You could use Ben Hedlund's Tweet2Cite, a free website that allows you to put in the permalink for the Tweet and have it spit back out the proper citation format for both MLA and APA style.

For my Tweet above, it provided:

MLA

stirrupqueen (stirrupqueen). "Candy Crush is down on the phone. Does this mean I have to actually work today?". 15 Aug 2013, 12:39 UTC. Tweet

APA

stirrupqueen. (2013, Aug 15). Candy Crush is down on the phone. Does this mean I have to actually work today? [Twitter post]. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/stirrupqueen/status/367988900456706048

Do you think essay writing is harder or easier today with the ability to do research or find supportive evidence on the Internet?

Melissa writes Stirrup Queens and Lost and Found. Her novel about blogging is Life from Scratch.

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