Social Media used as an Academic Source

social media picBy Layla Abdullah-Poulos, president, MSiA

Social Media is becoming an increasingly significant resource for students. Many reputable educational organizations like Harvard, Yale, and even our own Empire State College have social media pages like Facebook and Twitter. Additionally, students can find comments from notable scholars like Bell Hooks, Cornell West, Tim Wise, and Neil deGrasse Tyson on current events and issues. There is also the opportunity to utilize up-to-date images.

Citing social media is acceptable in a variety of academic disciplines; however, the course instructor should always be consulted about the acceptability of using any nontraditional academic source. The American Psychological Association posted directions for citing social media sources and generating reference page entries for APA style papers:

http://blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/2013/10/how-to-cite-social-media-in-apa-style.html

Modern Language Association has not distributed social media citation directions for the MLA documentation style.

More information on citing social media can be found at the websites below:

http://connection.sagepub.com/blog/2013/09/17/how-to-cite-social-media-in-scholarly-writing/

http://guides.ucf.edu/c.php?g=78363&p=512868

So next time you find something on social media that relates to your studies, consult with your instructor about your options.

For assistance with academic writing, contact your ESC center’s Academic Support Services department.

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