Twitter is a social media platform that has progressed into an invaluable resource within academia. It became popular, as it provides instant access to data and announcements from a range of sources. As it is now common to include it as a credible source in academic papers, citing these sources correctly is crucial for upholding academic integrity and preventing plagiarism. This article will cover how to format an APA Twitter citation properly.
The American Psychological Association established the APA style guide, which is a standardized format of citing sources in academic writing. When formatting an APA Twitter citation, you give credit to the author and allow other readers to find the original source.
Finding the information for the citation
You can find all the information for the APA Twitter citation directly on the Tweet or Twitter profile:
- Tweet: You will need the Tweet’s complete text, the author’s real name (if known), the Twitter handle, the exact date of the tweet, and the URL.
- Twitter profile: You will need the author’s real name (if known), the Twitter handle, the description from the profile (if relevant to your work), and the URL.
Examples and format of an APA Twitter citation
Citing a Tweet:
|In-Text Citation:||(Author's Last Name or Account Name, Year)||(Gates, 2020)|
|Reference Entry:||Author’s Last name, First Initial or "Account name". (Year, Month Day). First 20 words of the tweet [Tweet]. Twitter. URL.||Gates, B. [@BillGates]. (2020, March 24). Schools are closing across the country leaving many parents juggling work and kids at home… [Tweet]. Twitter. https://twitter.com/BillGates/status/1242494924460972032|
Citing a Twitter profile:
|In-Text Citation:||Author's Last Name or Account Name, n.d.)||(Gates, n.d.)|
|Reference Entry:||Author’s Last name, First Initial or "Account name". (n.d.). Tweets [Twitter profile]. Twitter. Retrieved Month Day, Year, from URL.||Gates, B. [@BillGates]. (n.d.). Tweets [Twitter profile]. Twitter. Retrieved May 17, 2023, from https://twitter.com/BillGates|
Yes, the APA format requires including the URL to allow readers to access the original source.
If the real name is unknown, use the Twitter handle instead. Remember to keep the handle in its original case, even if it breaks normal title capitalization conventions.
If the tweet has been deleted and is no longer accessible, you should not cite it as a source. Try to find an alternative source that provides the same information.