How to: cite a tweet

In my second-to-last semester, I found myself writing an essay on Twitter’s role in news. Like many students around the world who’ve written essays on everything from celebrity culture to breaking news, I asked myself: “How exactly do I cite this tweet?”

I ended up winging it, and I didn’t lose any points on my “works cited” page, since there was no official format for citing the 140-character updates I had referenced.

But recently, the Modern Language Association (MLA) released an official format for citing tweets in academic essays, using one of the now famous live-tweets from last May’s raid on Osama Bin Laden as an example:

“Athar, Sohaib (ReallyVirtual). ‘Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1AM (is a rare event).’ 1 May 2011, 3:58 p.m. Tweet.”

Check out the official format for citing a tweet below.

[Photo via The Atlantic]