Just a few years ago citing a tweet might have seemed absurd. But with academics, celebrities, and politicians all aboard the tweet train, tweets have become a valid and citable source for statements. But how does one cite a tweet? Check out the handy guide below.
Of course citation guidelines depends on whether you’re using MLA or Chicago style—or for the handful of you using APA style, we didn’t forget about you 😀. Regardless of the style, all guidelines require the same few bits of info from the tweet you’ll be citing. Let’s use a tweet from Salt Waffle’s Founder and CMO Nicole Donnelly as an example.
Here’s what you’ll need to extract from her tweet:
- Nicole’s Twitter handle (@NicoleDonnelly)
- The date and time she tweeted (4:12 PM – 8 May 2018)
- The entire text of her tweet, including hashtags (“Some blame social media for teen and tween social disconnection, when in fact the roots…”)
- The URL to her tweet (https://twitter.com/NicoleDonnelly/status/993992139125149697)
Got all that? Sweet. Now that we’ve got the details, let’s get to the citation guidelines:
@TwitterHandle. “Content of Tweet.” Twitter, Date, Time, URL.
@NicoleDonnelly. “Some blame social media for teen and tween social disconnection, when in fact the roots of contentment and belonging begin much earlier at home with chores! We all have the need to belong and contribute, this contribution begins with…” Twitter, 8 May. 2018, 4:12 p.m.,
Note that in MLA style, you omit http:// or https:// from the URL.
Last name, First name. Twitter Post. Month Day, Year, Time. Tweet URL.
Donnelly, Nicole. Twitter Post. May 8, 2018, 4:12 PM.
Yes, you read that right: “Twitter Post,” not the text of the tweet itself.
Username. (Year, Month day). TEXT OF TWEET [Tweet] https://twitter.com/USERNAME/STATUS/URL
nicoledonnelly. (2018, May 8). Some blame social media for teen and tween social disconnection, when in fact the roots of contentment and belonging begin much earlier at home with chores! We all have the need to belong and contribute, this contribution begins with… [Tweet]. https://twitter.com/NicoleDonnelly/status/993992139125149697
That covers it! Now regardless of the style guideline, you know how to cite a tweet. Have you ever had to cite a tweet? Tell us about it in the comments.