The two most common citation formats that are used at Kirkwood Community College are MLA and APA. MLA has been making an effort to keep up with the most current communication technology and this summer released a format for citing a tweet. Now I doubt very often the need will come up in an academic paper to cite a tweet, but if you find yourself in need of doing it there are now instructions which you can read in depth at the article below.
The basic format is (minus the hanging indent of the second line which WordPress won’t let me do):
Last name, First Name of Tweeter (User Name). “The entire tweet.” Date. Time. Tweet.
Uthoff, Sarah (Trundlebedtales). “
@icecubepress You’re right, but ironically if you really want to do things well with computers, patience is of primary importance.” 10 September 2012. 7:19 PM. Tweet.
From the web Twitter interface click on “Expand” or “View conversation” (normally only one of these options will show depending on if it’s part of a conversation or not) and the full date and time will appear under the tweet. As the article says, although older tweets are preserved (and in fact are now archived by the Library of Congress) they can be difficult to find. However, the just having the word Tweet and not a direct URL keeps it aligned with similar formats in MLA.
And in case you are interested here’s an article about Tweet Preservation: