Monday, December 07, 2009

How to Cite Twitter and Facebook - APA Style

Twitter and Facebook have DEFINITELY made an impact on Academia!!!!  APA Style now has defined how to cite them in a formal APA-formatted paper/article!

It's not even in the latest 6th edition of the APA Style Manual (you remember, the one with so many mistakes in its first printing that they had to call back all of those copies and have issued a reprint - the question is, how do you cite the second printing of the 6th edition?  =-)

Well, Chelsea Lee on the APA Style blog has provided guidance and examples for citing these social media sources. She says that these formats will work until more "definitive guidance is available." So I guess this means that she has received the blessing from the APA Oracles to share these rules.

Chelsea provides her guidance in two postings:

How to Cite Twitter and Facebook, Part I: General
This provides the format for just referring to a Twitter feed ( or or a Facebook presence (http://www.facebook/barackobama or

How to Cite Twitter and Facebook, Part II: Reference List Entries and In-Text Citations
This posting refers to citing particular posts.  These posts need to reference both the source and the specific posting.  The examples are more complicated than I want to post here so I will leave you to click on the title link to see how they work.

I teach a Seminar at the University of Northern Iowa on Writing a Graduate Paper.  I find it humorous how paranoid students get when they have to write in APA format. It becomes a barrier to writing because they are afraid that they don't know everything there is to know about APA.


By the end of my class, I have tried to demystify APA and convince the students that the important part of their writing is what they say and how they organize their thoughts.  The APA format is only to ensure consistency between authors and it can be implemented (and refined) towards the end of the writing process.

Sometimes it works . . . =-)

Trying to format the plethora of sources available in the world today is a moving target and I take my hat off to the folks at APA.  It's genius to run a blog that can be used to channel recommendations about formatting sources between their editions that are published about every 6 years.  It's just that educators shouldn't take the format's importance to the point of squelching creativity and original thought.

This posting about referencing Facebook and Twitter is only a small part of the many suggestions available.

What is your opinion about APA and how it's importance in teaching writing in schools?
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  1. Wow, that's good to know how to cite APA style for facebook and twitter. :))

  2. Thank you, Dr Z. This post is coming in handy right now!

  3. American Psychological Association, or APA, style guidelines are becoming increasingly popular every day.

    APA Editor

  4. Thanks for sharing useful information, really liked reading the info.
    APA Style Editor

  5. Before you begin to write your academic paper, read these brief and simple instructions on how to add each reference in a right manner, have a quick peek to find more!


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