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MLA Citation Guide (8th Edition): Social Media

This guide shows you how to cite using MLA 8th edition

Abbreviating Months

In your works cited list, abbreviate months as follows: 

January = Jan.
February = Feb.
March = Mar.
April = Apr.
May = May
June = June
July = July
August = Aug.
September = Sept.
October = Oct.
November = Nov.
December = Dec.

Spell out months fully in the body of your paper. 

Tips

Author

A username can be provided in place of a real name. If both username and real name are provided, put the user name first with the real name following in brackets. 

Creator information may often be found under a section called "About" for some types of social media, however this is not always standard.

Date

The format of all dates is: Date Month (shortened) Year. E.g. 5 Sept. 2012.

If no date is given, leave that information out of the citation. 

Errors in Spelling or Grammar in Tweets

In the citation, write out the actual Tweet and keep spelling and grammar the same as in the original, even if there are errors. However, when quoting the Tweet in your assignment,  write [sic] in square brackets next to the errors to indicate the errors are not your own.

For example, if the Tweet was written "It isn't you're fault the media is violent", in your assignment, you will write: "It isn't you're [sic] fault the media is violent."

Time Stamps in Audio and Video Recordings

As there are no page numbers in audio and video recordings, include a timestamp instead. Time stamps are given in the following format: 

(Author's Last Name hours:min:seconds-hours:min:seconds) 

If you are citing something that is less than an hour long, you can start minutes. 

Examples: 

(Smith 01:15-02:20)

(Jones 01:20:15-01:22:22) 

Formatting

Note: For your Works Cited list, all citations should be double spaced and have a hanging indent.

A "hanging indent" means that each subsequent line after the first line of your citation should be indented by 0.5 inches.

Blog Post

Author's Last Name, First Name or Username if real name not provided. "Title of Blog Post." Name of Blog, Blog Network/Publisher if given, Day Month Year of blog post, URL of blog post. Accessed Day Month Year blog was visited.

Works Cited List Example

Naish, Darren. "If Bigfoot Were Real." Tetrapod Zoology, Scientific American Blogs, 27 June 2016, blogs.scientificamerican.com/tetrapod-zoology/if-bigfoot-were-real/. Accessed 28 June 2016.

In-Text Citation Example

(Author's Last Name)

(Naish)

 Note: Blog posts have no page numbers, paragraph numbers or section headings so this information is left out of the in-text citation.

Podcast Episode

Host's Last Name, First Name, host(s). "Title of Podcast Episode." Title of Overall Podcast, Season Number if given, Episode Number if given, Web Site Hosting if Different From Podcast Title, Day Month Year of Episode, URL of Episode. Accessed Day Month Year podcast was downloaded/played.

Works Cited List Example

Orton, Tyler, and Patrick Blennerhassett, hosts. "Lessons From the Brexit." BIV Podcast, episode 18, Business Vancouver, 28 June 2016, www.biv.com/article/2016/6/biv-podcast-episode-18-lessons-brexit/. Accessed 2 July 2016.

In-Text Citation Example

(Host's Last Name Start Time of Revelant Section-End Time of Section)

(Orton and Blennerhassett 01:15-02:22)

For more examples, see the MLA Style Center. 

Streaming Video From a Website (YouTube, Vimeo, etc.)

Last Name, First Name of video creator or Username of Creator. "Title of Video." Title of the Hosting Website, uploaded by Username, Day Month Year of Publication, URL of video. Accessed Day Month Year video was viewed.

Works Cited List Example

Sethi, Ramit. "How to Write a Winning Resume, With Ramit Sethi." YouTube, uploaded by I Will Teach You to Be Rich, 23 June 2015, www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0fjkKCsM1w. Accessed 28 June 2016.

 Note: If the video creator is unknown, begin the citation with the title of the video.

In-Text Citation Example

If video creator is known:

(Last Name of Video Creator Start Time of Revelant Section-End Time of Section)

(Sethi 00:03:30-00:04:16)

If video creator is unknown:

("Words from Title" Start Time of Revelant Section-End Time of Section)

("Secrets of Drawing" 02:40-03:25)

 Note: Cite the relevant hour, minute and seconds as displayed in your media player.

For more information on citing videos found online, check out the MLA website

Twitter (Tweets)

Twitter Handle (First Name Last Name if known). "The entire tweet word-for-word." Twitter, Day Month Year of Tweet, Time of Tweet, URL.

Works Cited List Example

@ReallyVirtual (Sohaib Athar). "Helicopter hovering above Abbottad at 1AM is a rare event." Twitter,  4 Jan. 2013, 3:58 p.m., twitter.com/reallyvirtual/status/64780730286358528?lang=en.

In-Text Citation Example

(Twitter handle)

(@ReallyVirtual)

Wikipedia

"Title of Entry." Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia, Wikimedia Foundation, Day Month Year entry was last modified, Time entry was last modified, URL of entry. Accessed Day Month Year Wikipedia entry was last viewed.

 Note: The date and time the article was last modified appears at the bottom of each Wikipedia article.

Keep in mind that Wikipedia may not be considered an acceptable source for a college or university assignment. Be sure to evaluate the content carefully and check with your instructor if you can use it as a source in your assignment.

Works Cited List Example

"Body Image." Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 16 June 2016, 7:41 pm, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_image. Accessed 28 June 2016.

Citation Example

("Title of Entry")

("Body Image")

Facebook

Author Last Name, First Name or Account Name. Description of Post. Facebook, Day Month Year of Post, Time of Post, URL. Accessed Day Month Year post was viewed.

Works Cited List Example

Rick Mercer Report. Spread the Net Challenge Winners 2016. Facebook, 23 Mar. 2016, 9:00 a.m., www.facebook.com/rickmercerreport. Accessed 26 June 2016. 

 Note: As Facebook posts can be lengthy, describe the post instead of reposting its content. To find the time of a Facebook post, hover your mouse next to the date of the post over the clock icon. It may not be possible to link directly to the specific post itself.

In-Text Citation Example

(Author's Last Name or Account Name)

(Rick Mercer Report)

Citing Two Authors

If there are two authors, cite the the authors as follows (list authors in the order they are given on the page, not alphabetically):

Last Name, First Name of First Author, and First Name Last Name of Second Author.

Example: Smith, James, and Sarah Johnston.

Citing Three or More Authors

If there are three or more authors, cite only the name of the first author listed with their Last Name, First Name Middle Name followed by a comma et al.

Example: Smith, James, et al.