An Urgent PSA From The Folks at MLA: How to Cite a Tweet
This is an emergency.
The folks at the Modern Language Association have decided there is a proper way to cite a Tweet.
I’m sure there were extensive meetings about this.
Long meetings where people interrobanged and used interjections.
This is, of course, extremely important because students use lots of tweets in their papers.
Mostly, it’s important because the MLA realizes nothing new has happened lately in the world of grammar.
And booksellers like to sell updates to their many style manuals.
You know, to stay timely.
And students always need to have an up-to-date handbook to instruct them how to properly cite their research.
Now I suppose for certain types of papers, one might need to cite a tweet.
(Please, Lord, don’t let me get those kinds of papers.)
So this is good for me.
I have a heads up.
Now I can tell my students that tweets are not to be used in papers.
I can tell them they will need to go out into the world and actually interact with other human beings — even experts in their fields — and collect interviews.
And of course, I’m being snarky: I understand the MLA is acknowledging the fact that the Internet has changed the way everyone conducts research. Educators have to know how to cite everything from Facebook pages to PDF files to online video games. As teachers, we have to know how to cite all of these things properly because if we aren’t armed with the right tools, we open ourselves up to problems with plagiarism.
And that is the biggest pain in the butt.
So, um, like how do I cite a Facebook comment on someone’s Fan page?
Is there a rule for that yet?
Until I hear more on that, my work here is done.
What little nugget of information did you learn today? Does not have to be school related.
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