How To Cite Social Media In Scholarly Writing

how-to-cite-social-mediaHow To Cite Social Media In Research

by TeachThought Staff

Back in 2012, we shared how to cite a tweet.

We followed that up with how to cite an app.

So when we saw the very useful teachbytes graphic above making some noise on pinterest on several different popular #edtech websites, it reminded us of the constant demands changing technologies place on existing ways we do business.

When and in what contexts it makes sense to cite social media content is probably a more relevant post than sharing a graphic that simply shows the format, but they’re both nice to have, yes?

Citation Style

Of course, citation style matters, and the two most popular are the APA and MLA.

The APA (American Psychological Association) has their rules for citing social media in academic writing. They even have a thorough ($12) guide to clarify the process, while the MLA (Modern Language Association), as far as we can tell, has yet to expressly address apps and social media as anything other than “software.”

And to an extent, this makes sense. As media becomes more nuanced, new modalities emerge, authors use new channels to distribute their thinking–and even as the “crowd” becomes a legitimate source of information (see wikipedia, twitter, erc.), new rules for governing that reality will continue to emerge. The more general those rules are, the less reactive governing bodies will have to be moment by moment.