Should I include a hashtag when I quote or cite a tweet?
Note: This post relates to content in the eighth edition of the MLA Handbook. For up-to-date guidance, see the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook.
Yes. Since hashtags are used for a variety of reasons in tweets—to categorize the tweet, to communicate with a group, to convey humor, and so on—hashtags should be included in quotations of tweets. And hashtags can provide important information about tweets, so they should be included in the titles of tweets in entries in the works-cited list. The MLA Handbook recommends using the full text of a tweet as its title (29). However, sometimes the text of a tweet is too long to be used as a title, and so the text may be truncated with an ellipsis. In that case, it is OK not to include hashtags. Otherwise you should use the full text of a tweet, including hashtags, as its title. The following provides an example, adapted from the MLA Handbook:
@persianwiki. “We have report of large street battles in east & west of Tehran now – #Iranelection.” Twitter, 23 June 2009, twitter.com/persianwiki/status/2298106072.
MLA Handbook. 8th ed., Modern Language Association of America, 2016.