We wouldn\u2019t recommend using Facebook or Twitter as your main source when writing an essay. However, there are times when you may need to cite a social media post. Here, then, we\u2019re looking at when and how to reference social media using Oxford-style footnote citations.\nWhen to Cite a Social Media Post\nSocial media is not, shall we say, academically rigorous. Rather, it is full of nonsense. Some of it is entertaining nonsense, but that doesn\u2019t mean it belongs in your university work. You need academic rigour!\n\nAs a rule, then, you shouldn\u2019t cite a social media post if there is another source available. If you need to cite the date of the Peasants\u2019 Revolt, for example, you\u2019re better off with a history book.\n\n[caption id="attachment_12809" align="aligncenter" width="384"] Revolting peasants.[\/caption]\n\nBut you can cite social media in some cases. This might be because a company has tweeted about its performance or a politician about their policies, or it could be because you\u2019re writing a paper on how people respond to news online. Whatever the reason, though, you need to give a full citation.\n\nSo, then, how do you cite a social media post in Oxford referencing?\nHow to Cite a Social Media Post in a Footnote\nTo cite a social media post in Oxford referencing, you need to give a footnote citation. The first footnote should include the following:\n\n \tAuthor\/Username \u2013 Ideally, the first initial and surname of the author; you can use an organisational name or a username instead if required.\n \tTitle\/First Words of Post \u2013 If the post has no title, use the opening words (enough to make the post identifiable, but no more than one sentence).\n \tPlatform \u2013 Where the post was made (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn).\n \tDate Posted \u2013 The day, month and year it was posted.\n \tURL \u2013 The URL for the post (not the poster\u2019s page or profile as a whole).\n \tDate of Access \u2013 The date you last accessed the post.\n\nIn practice, the first footnote citation of a social media post would look something like this:\n1. McDonald\u2019s Australia (@maccas), \u2018Hi Sal! Prices can vary slightly between restaurants\u2026\u2019, Twitter, 14 July 2018, twitter.com\/maccas\/status\/1018005297368100864, accessed 21 July 2018.\nIf you then go on to cite the same post later in the same document, you can use a shortened footnote format to avoid excessive repetition.\nSocial Media Posts in the Bibliography\nThe format for a social media post in an Oxford bibliography is similar to the first footnote citation. The differences are that you should:\n\n \tReverse the initial and surname for the author so that you can list the post alphabetically by author surname alongside other sources.\n \tUse a half-inch (1.27cm) hanging indent for each line after the first.\n\nOtherwise, the bibliography entry for a social media post will include the same information as the first footnote citation for the source.\nOxford Variations\n\u2018Oxford referencing\u2019 is a style rather than a system. It varies between institutions, including on how to present citations and the bibliography entry.\n\nThe format we use above follows common Oxford conventions, but you should also check your style guide (if you have one) to confirm that this is correct for you. Beyond that, just make sure all your referencing is clear and consistent. And if you\u2019d like an expert academic editor to help on that front, simply submit your written work for proofreading today.