How To Cite a Tweet

I found this on another site (for the life  of  me i cant find the link, ironic i know) and thought in this day and age it would  be useful After all how many of us, including  psychologists, are using social media.

How do I cite a tweet?

Begin the entry in the works-cited list with the author’s real name and, in parentheses, user name, if both are known and they differ. If only the user name is known, give it alone.

Next provide the entire text of the tweet in quotation marks, without changing the capitalization. Conclude the entry with the date and time of the message and the medium of publication (Tweet). For example:

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

The date and time of a message on Twitter reflect the reader’s time zone. Readers in different time zones see different times and, possibly, dates on the same tweet. The date and time that were in effect for the writer of the tweet when it was transmitted are normally not known. Thus, the date and time displayed on Twitter are only approximate guides to the timing of a tweet. However, they allow a researcher to precisely compare the timing of tweets as long as the tweets are all read in a single time zone.

In the main text of the paper, a tweet is cited in its entirety (6.4.1):

Sohaib Athar noted that the presence of a helicopter at that hour was “a rare event.”


The presence of a helicopter at that hour was “a rare event” (Athar).


Referencing – For Open University Students


Referencing is the bane of most student’s life… It is probably up there with applying for student finance for fun level. Every university, even different departments, have a slightly different way of doing it. The Open University has an excellent guide on their site, which goes into great detail on how to reference correctly.


There are many different reasons why you need to reference your work, mainly these are:

  •          to demonstrate that you have undertaken research for your academic work
  •          to avoid accusations of plagiarism
  •          to acknowledge the work of other authors, which can be found in books, journal articles, websites etc.

All ideas taken from the work of another author (whether directly quoted or put into your own words) need to be identified within your academic work. The idea being is that it shows the reader exactly where you got the information.

In-text citations

In-text citations enable you to indicate in your work where you have used ideas or material from other sources. Here are some examples using the OU Harvard style. If, for example, your source were a book written by Hollway and published in 1999, your in-text references would follow one of these three formats:

•          Further work (Hollway, 2009) supports this claim.

•          Further work by Hollway (2009) supports this claim.

•          ‘This theory is supported by recent work’ (Hollway, 2009, p. 25).

If the reference covers more than one page, it would be: (Hollway, 2009, pp.34-47).

Listing full references at the end of your work

Everything that you have cited within your work should be listed alphabetically at the end of your essay on a separate page. You need to identify the source type (e.g. book, journal article) and use the correct referencing format.

A book reference has several different parts all intended to give the reader as much information as possible:

AUTHOR: By surname followed by the initial of the first letter. Quite often, this will be The Open University.

YEAR: The year that this edition of the book published, not when it was written. It is bracketed.

TITLE: This will either be the title of the book itself or the chapter; it may also be the module title. Titles of books should be italicised and chapters should be in inverted commas.



Example 1. A standard reference might be

Bromley, S., Clarke, J., Hinchliffe, S. and Taylor, S. (eds) Exploring Social Lives, Milton Keynes, The Open University.

Alternatively, if you are referencing a chapter it will look like this:

Hollway, W. (2009) ‘Identity Change and Identification’, in Bromley, S., Clarke, J., Hinchliffe, S. and Taylor, S. (eds) Exploring Social Lives, Milton Keynes, The Open University.

It is important to remember that you only ever reference what you have read, so if you use information from Freud that you read in the course book, then you reference the course book. This is known as ‘secondary referencing’ and should make it clear in your work that you have not read the original and are referencing the secondary source, for example:

In-text citation: Freud, cited in Hollway (2009), loves his mum.

Meanwhile in the reference list, you would provide details for the source you read it in like a normal reference.


Referencing Apps and Programs

While I do not generally use them myself, although I am about to try a new app called ReferenceMe, which also has a web site, I appreciate some people may find them useful.


Here is a list of some of the most popular web based programs:

Neil’s Toolbox

Cite This For Me

Harvard Generator

Cite 2 Write


Referencing in word

Click here and download the “” file.

Copy the contents of the zip file into your Microsoft Word bibliography style directory. This directory can be found in different places depending on your machine and the software it is running. Two typical places for Windows are:

%programfiles%\Microsoft Office\Office14\Bibliography\Style

<user directory>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Bibliography\Style

Microsoft Reference function is accessible from the reference tab.


Word comes with a list of default referencing style. Choose the referencing style that you want to use, in our case it will be the Harvard referencing system.


Click on the ‘Insert Citation’ button to open the add citation window.


Word 2010 & 2013 allow us to add different source type such as ‘Journal Article’ for our essay.


Click on the insert citation button to view a list of your citation and click any of them to create an inline citation in your essay.


You can create a bibliography page by clicking on the ‘Bibliography’ button.


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