Editing 2.0 – How to Cite a Tweet!
Written by Adrienne Cullen
Editing is all about precision. But how does it deal with Twitter and citing Tweets? The Atlantic magazine has come up with a new format for this star of the social media. We’ll certainly be applying it at Brown & Green!
It’s simple. Also, I just love the “Tweet” at the end. However, it’s curious that no URL is required, especially given the difficulty of Twitter search for anything not said in the past day or two.
Here’s a deeper look at the instructions:
Begin the entry in the works-cited list with the author’s real name and, in parentheses, user name, if both are known and they differ. If only the user name is known, give it alone.
Next provide the entire text of the tweet in quotation marks, without changing the capitalization. Conclude the entry with the date and time of the message and the medium of publication (tweet). For example:
Athar, Sohaib (ReallyVirtual). “Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1AM (is a rare event).” 1 May 2011, 3:58pm. Tweet.
The date and time of a message on Twitter reflect the reader’s time zone. Readers in different time zones see different times and, possibly, different dates, on the same tweet. The date and time that were in effect for the writer of the tweet when it was transmitted are normally not known. Thus, the date and time displayed on Twitter are only approximate guides to the timing of a tweet. Another example:
Thomas, Matt (mattthomas). “This. RT @JenHoward How do you cite a tweet? The MLA is glad you asked. (You did ask, didn’t you?) bit.ly/ykLfcQ.” 2 March 2012, 2:21pm. Tweet.