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MLA Guide

This guide contains information to help you cite your sources in MLA format.

Citing Social Media

General Rules

Author - If the source uses a username, screen name, or other pseudonym, include it as the author’s name if the author’s real name is not known. If both are known, list the username first, then follow it with the author’s name in parenthesis. Example: @realadamrose (Adam Rose).

Alphabetizing - When alphabetizing works cited entries, ignore any special characters (such as @) in an online username.

Titles – For emails, use the subject as the title (in quotation marks, capitalize like a title). For short messages/posts without title (like a tweet or facebook post), list the entire message (without changes) in quotation marks in place of a title. For longer messages or images without a title, create a description of the source, and list this in place of a title (written plain text, no quotes/no italics, capitalize only the first word and any proper nouns).

Time - In addition to the date, include the time when available. Time should be consistently listed in either 12-hour (with a.m./p.m.) or 24-hour time.

Accessed Date - Include the date you accessed the source if it can be edited (examples: a blog, Instagram or Facebook post). For sites like Twitter and Tiktok that do not allow editing (only deleting), you do not need to include a date accessed. If you are unsure, include the date accessed.


A Blog Post, Listserv,  or Discussion Group

Format: Author(s). “Post Title or Email Subject.” Title of Website in Italics, Website Publisher (if different than title), Date Posted, Time, URL. Accessed Date.

*Note: Include username as author when author’s real name is not known.  If the author is using a username, include author’s real name if known in parenthesis after the username.

Example 1: Pierdinock, Amber. “Black History Month.” The Stacks, Spartanburg Community College Library, 2 Feb. 2021, libguides.sccsc.edu/blog/Black-History-Month. Accessed 8 Feb. 2021.

Example 2: One Frugal Girl. “Use Your Why to Find Purpose In Life.” One Frugal Girl, 8 Nov. 2019, www.onefrugalgirl.com/category/minimalism/page/3/. Accessed 14 June 2020.


Facebook

Format: Author or Facebook Account Name. Description of post or meme. Facebook, Date Posted, Time, URL. Accessed Date.

*Note: Individual authors should be listed last name, first name.

*Note: For short posts without title, list the entire message (without changes) in quotation marks in place of a title. For longer messages or images without a title, create a description of the source, and list this in place of a title (written plain text, no quotes/no italics, capitalize only the first word and any proper nouns.

*Note: Include the time of posting, with the time separated by a comma from the date and the ending with a comma. Be consistent with how you list times in your work cited. Either all in 12 hour clock or all in military time.

Example 1: Inspirational Quotes for Students Life. “Every student has some failures in past...... I think we should forget that failures ..... But we should Never forget That we taught from our failures in the past....”Facebook, 20 Feb. 2018, 11:45 p.m., www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1205511206246047&id=475499445913897&__tn__=-R. Accessed 8 Feb. 2021.

Example 2:  The Weeknd. Information on red suit on Rolling Stone including pictures. Facebook, 19 Sep. 2020, 5:46 p.m., www.facebook.com/theweeknd/posts/3484052348285226?__tn__=-R. Accessed 15 Dec. 2020.

Example 3:  Witherspoon, Reese. “I did it! Did you? Feels good to exercise my right to VOTE. 18 days until the election! Have you sent your ballots in?? Text me a photo of your "I Voted" stickers! 615-235-5390.” Facebook, 16 Oct. 2019, 11:33am, www.facebook.com/ReeseWitherspoon/photos/a.613856408733999/3397354113717534/?type=3&theater. Accessed 3 Nov. 2020.


Instagram

Format: @Username (Author). “Entire caption of the picture or video.” Instagram, Date Posted, URL. Accessed Date.

*Note: Include author’s real name if known in parenthesis after the username.

*Note: In place of a title for images with a short caption, include the entire caption (no changes) in quotation marks. For longer captions or images without a caption, create a description of the source, and list this in place of a title (written plain text, no quotes/no italics, capitalize only the first word and any proper nouns.

Example 1: @coolerfuture. “FACT: The countries that pay the highest price for #globalwarming, are the countries least responsible for causing the problem!” Instagram, 19 Oct. 2020, www.instagram.com/p/CGhpXJPFaze/?igshid=1dwjn4m3wr1xc. Accessed 23 Oct. 2020.

Example 2:  @realadamrose (Adam Rose). “double maskin’ it. also i feel like it’s been forever since i posted a picture on ig. been mostly videos. should i be posting more pics??” Instagram, 23 Jan. 2021, www.instagram.com/p/CKaGReGlmQt/?igshid=12m32sym43h5k. Accessed 1 Feb. 2021.


TikTok

Format: @Username (Author). “Caption of video.” TikTok, Date Posted, URL.

*Note: Include author’s real name if known in parenthesis after the username.

*Note: If there is no caption for the video, create a description to use in place of a title. Write it in plain text (no quotes/no italics), and capitalize only the first word and any proper nouns.

 Example 1: @lisaremillard (Lisa Remillard). “#tax #unemployment #stimulus I asked the IRS, YOUR most most popular questions.” TikTok, 5 Feb. 2021, vm.tiktok.com/ZMedmreM3/.

Example 2:  @cbsnews. “How NASA's Mars Perseverance rover will make the most difficult landing ever attempted on the red planet. #news #mars #nasa #edutok #stepbystep.” TikTok, 5 Feb. 2021, vm.tiktok.com/ZMedm1xu8/.


Twitter

Format: @Username (Author). “Entire post without changes.” Twitter, Date Posted, Time, URL.

*Note: Include author’s real name if known in parenthesis after the username.

*Note: Include the time of posting. Be consistent with how you list time - use12-hour time (with a.m./p.m.) or  24-hour time.

Example 1:  @hankgreen (Hank Green). “The wild thing about Crash Course is that students think everyone knows about it, teachers think it’s their little secret, and administrators have no idea it exists. This is not a great outcome for getting funding, but we’ll figure it out.” Twitter, 8 Feb. 2021, 12:14 a.m., twitter.com/hankgreen/status/1358645423460683776.

Example 2:  @ColIegeStudent. “Haven’t gotten enough attention today, think i’ll put my dog on my lap during my zoom lecture.” Twitter, 12 Jan. 2021, 4:20 p.m., twitter.com/ColIegeStudent/status/1349104103708913666.