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  • 8/12/2019 APA Style Blog_ How to Cite Social Media in APA Style (Twitter, Facebook, and Google+).pdf

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    Blog Home

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    APA Style Home

    October 18, 2013

    How to Cite Social Media in APA Style (Twitter, Facebook, and Google+)

    by Chelsea Lee

    Thanks to developments in technology and feedback from our users, the APA Style team has updated the formats for citing social media,

    including content from Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. These guidelines are the same as youll find in our APA Style Guide to Electronic

    References, Sixth Edition(available in PDF and Kindle formats).

    Three Ways to Cite Social MediaThere are three main ways to cite social media content in an APA Style paper:

    generally with a URL,

    as a personal communication, and

    with a typical APA Style in-text citation and reference list entry.

    We'll look at each of these along with examples.

    General Mentions With a URL

    If you discuss any website or page in general in a paper (including but not limited to social media), it is sufficient to give the URL in the text the first time it is

    mentioned. No reference list entry is needed. Here is an example:

    News agencies like CNN provide breaking news coverage to millions of people every

    day on their website (http://www.cnn.com) and Twitter account (http://twitter.com

    /CNN). In our first investigation, we analyzed the content of CNNs Twitter feed

    during the year 2012.

    Personal Communications

    If you paraphrase or quote specific information from social media but your readership will be unable to access the content (e.g., because of friends-only privacy

    settings or because the exchange occurred in a private message), cite the content as a personal communication (seePublication Manual 6.20). A personal

    communication citation should be used because there is no direct, reliable path for all readers to retrieve the source. Here is an example:

    K. M. Ingraham (personal communication, October 5, 2013) stated that she found her

    career as an educational psychologist intellectually stimulating as well as emotionally

    fulfilling.

    In-Text Citations and Reference List Entries

    Finally, if you paraphrase or quote specific, retrievable information from social media, provide an in-text citation (with the author and date) and a reference list

    entry (with the author, date, title, and source URL). The guidelines below explain how to format each of these elements for any social media citation, and

    examples follow.

    A u t h o r

    First, provide either an individual authors real last name and initials in inverted format (Author, A. A.) or the full name of a group. This allows the

    reference to be associated with and alphabetized alongside any other works by that author.

    Second, provide social media identity information. On Twitter, provide the authors screen name in square brackets (if only the screen name is known,

    provide it without brackets). On Facebook and Google+, when the author is an individual, spell out his or her given name in square brackets.

    The author reflects who posted the content, not necessarily who created it. Credit additional individuals in the narrative if necessary.

    D a t e

    Provide the year, month, and day for items that have a specific date associated with them, such as status updates, tweets, photos, and videos; otherwise,

    provide only the year.

    If the date is unknown, use n.d. (for no date) instead.

    If the date is unknown but can be reasonably approximated, use ca. (for circa) followed by the approximated year, in square brackets.

    For multiple citations from the same author in the same year (regardless of the month or day), alphabetize the entries by title and add a lowercase letter

    after the year (e.g., 2013a, 2013b; n.d.-a, n.d.-b; or [ca. 2013a], [ca. 2013b]). Ignore nonletter characters such as the at sign (@) and pound sign (#) when

    alphabetizing.

    T i t l e

    Provide the name of the page or the content or caption of the post (up to the first 40 words) as the title.

    Do not italicize the titles of status updates, tweets, pages, or photographs; do italicize the titles of items that stand alone, such as videos and photo albums.

    If the item contains no words (e.g., a photograph without a caption), provide a description of the item in square brackets.Describe the content form (e.g., tweet, Facebook status update, photograph, timeline, video file) after the title in square brackets.

    So u r c e

    Provide a retrieval URL that leads as directly and reliably to the cited content as possible (click a posts date stamp to access its archived URL).

    Provide a retrieval date if the content may change (e.g., whole feeds or pages). Do not provide a retrieval date if the post has a specific date associated with

    it already (e.g., status updates, tweets, photos, and videos).

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    Example CitationsTweet, Individual Author

    Gates, B. [BillGates]. (2013, February 26). #Polio is 99% eradicated. Join me &

    @FCBarcelona as we work to finish the job and #EndPolio. VIDEO: http://b-gat.es/X75Lvy [Tweet]. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/BillGates/status

    /306195345845665792

    In-text citation: (Gates, 2013).

    Tweet, Group Author

    Stanford Medicine [SUMedicine]. (2012, October 9). Animal study shows sleeping

    brain behaves as if it's remembering: http://stan.md/RrqyEt #sleep#neuroscience #research [Tweet]. Retrieved from https://twitter.com

    /SUMedicine/status/255644688630046720

    In-text citation: (Stanford Medicine, 2012).

    Facebook Status Update, Individual Author

    Gaiman, N. [Neil]. (2012, February 29). Please celebrate Leap Year Day in the

    traditional manner by taking a writer out for dinner. Its been four years since

    many authors had a good dinner. We are waiting. Many of us have our forks or

    chopsticks at the [Facebook status update]. Retrieved from

    https://www.facebook.com/neilgaiman/posts/10150574185041016

    In-text citation: (Gaiman, 2012).

    Facebook Status Update, Group Author

    APA Style. (2011, March 10). How do you spell success in APA Style? Easy! Consult

    Merriam-Websters Collegiate Dictionary or APAs Dictionary of Psychology. Read

    more over at the APA Style Blog [Facebook status update]. Retrieved fromhttps://www.facebook.com/APAStyle/posts/206877529328877

    In-text citation: (APA Style, 2011).

    Google+ Post

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    Cornell University. (2012, October 11). Having a cup of coffee before closing your eyes

    is the most effective way to combat daytime drowsiness, according to research.

    Sounds counterintuitive, but it takes 20 minutes for the caffeine to get into your

    bloodstream. So if you take [Google+ post]. Retrieved from

    https://plus.google.com/116871314286286422580/posts/NqCFGr4eveT

    In-text citation: (Cornell University, 2012).

    Social Media Video

    American Psychological Association. (2011, September 19). This is psychology: Family

    caregivers[Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com

    /photo.php?v=10150303396563992&set=vb.290103137578

    In-text citation: (American Psychological Association, 2011).

    Social Media Photo or Graphic, With Caption

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    National Geographic. (2012, November 20). A supertelephoto lens allowed Colleen

    Pinski to capture this image of an annual solar eclipse. See more top shots:

    http://on.natgeo.com/UasjJH [Photograph]. Retrieved f rom

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151148294503951&

    set=pb.23497828950.-2207520000.1357225190

    In-text citation: (National Geographic, 2012).

    The photographer can be credited in the narrative, for example, Colleen Pinski photographed a solar eclipse using a telephoto lens (National Geographic,

    2012).

    Social Media Photo or Graphic, Without Caption

    U.S. Census Bureau. (2012, October 10). [Pathways after a bachelors degree in

    psychology: Educational attainment, common occupations, and synthetic

    work-life earnings and estimates] [Infographic]. Retrieved from

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151027855527364&

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    set=a.10151027848052364.407698.202626512363

    In-text citation: (U.S. Census Bureau, 2012).

    Social Media Photo Album

    Red Bull Stratos. (2012, October 15).Mission to the edge of space, accomplished

    [Photo album]. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.