How to Cite Twitter and Facebook, Part I: General

Chelsea blog by Chelsea Lee

Because posts from online social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, are not yet often fodder for scholarly research, specific reference examples aren’t included in the Publication Manual. Well, whenever you need a reference format for something that’s not explicitly covered in the manual, you can adapt our examples to meet your needs (see p. 193). I’ll show you how, using example posts from President Obama’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

To cite a Twitter or Facebook feed as a whole or to discuss it in general, it is sufficient to give the site URL in text, inside parentheses. There is no need for a reference list entry.

President Obama uses Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/barackobama) and
Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/barackobama) to keep citizens up
to speed on his initiatives, especially health care reform and Supreme
Court nominations.

It’s the same method you’d use to cite a website as a whole (see this FAQ).

On Monday I will address citing particular Twitter or Facebook posts.

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