Well, it’s official, you can now officially cite social media sources in MLA and APA formats. Although this might not seem like a big deal, it is an important step in acknowledging social media as an important source of information for scholarly work. Of course, it warrants a discussion with students about when to cite tweets. For example, citing a person’s opinion in a paper is important, but citing a person’s tweet as a factual basis for an argument doesn’t hold up nearly as well!

Check out the citation formats below, and feel free to download, share and copy this graphic:


42 thoughts on “How To Cite Social Media: MLA & APA Formats

  1. It certainly does open up discussion “about when to cite tweets” and the like. I can imagine some pretty engaging conversations will occur over how one might evaluate a wallpost and consider it academic. Bring it on!

  2. Thanks so much for this – it flew like crazy around my twitter PLN last night, and provoked a number of people to send thank-yous to me.

    1. No problem – I’m glad it is being found useful! Did you post it somewhere? I’d love a link 🙂

  3. Thanks for posting this! It’s been ten years since I wrote my thesis, and the citation universe has certainly changed. Now I’m back in grad school working on a certificate in Educational Therapy, and need to use the current APA format for all our papers…not that I plan to cite many Tweets, but you never know! BTW, great website!

  4. what concerns me is that fact that a Tweet can actually be deleted by its author, at any point of time he/she wishes. Nevertheless, this is a great reference.

    1. Good point. In that case, a screenshot might be a good way to keep track of it for citation purposes.

  5. This really helped me cite tweets & Facebook posts for my history paper. Thank you! Do you happen to know how to parenthetically cite tweets/facebook posts too?

    1. Remember that, for MLA, the parenthetical citations usually consist of the first piece of information presented in the citation. They are like a “hyperlink” to the full information provided in the Works Cited page. So if you are citing a tweet or Facebook post, then you just include the author’s last name…similar to citing a book.

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