How do you cite a tweet?

Just as social media has become a regular tool we use in our daily lives to connect with our friends and the world around us, it has also become an important resource for students and researchers looking for the very latest and most relevant information. One place with the very latest information–and directly from the source–is Twitter.

So with all this highly relevant information being published in the twittersphere by the second, how do you cite it? Well it’s quite simple – you just need to focus on taking the four pieces of information that form a reference (author, date, title, source) and putting these elements in the correct order.

Can you build a reference from the following historic tweet?

We did, and this is how we did it. Our first step was to identify those four key elements common to all references:

Author: BarackObama [We use the author’s name as it appears in the source, and Barack Obama’s twitter handle is BarackObama]

Year: 6 Nov 12

Title: Four more years: [Because a tweet is already so tiny, you can use it in its entirety as the title]

Source: This is hidden from the regular tweet view, but if you click on the “Details” link within any tweet, you are taken to that tweet’s unique url, which in this case is

Once you have identified these elements, building a reference is as simple as putting those elements in the correct order. Be aware that as this is an evolving area, the main authorities for referencing may not have covered this in their manuals yet. For example the Chicago Manual of Style only provides examples for websites and blogs. But as you do with all referencing, we have followed the spirit of these and other guidelines, and come up with some formatted references for a tweet for the three main styles used at QUT.


BarackObama. (2012, November 6). Four more years: [Twitter post]. Retrieved from


BarackObama. 2012. “Four more years.”. Twitter post, November 6. Accessed 2 October, 2013.


[1] BarackObama. Four more years. [Twitter]. 2012 Nov 6 [cited 2013 Oct 2]. Available from

Changes to Westlaw AU

For Law staff, Law students & legal research aficionados!

One of the library’s online legal research platforms, Westlaw AU, has recently been upgraded and there are some significant improvements – for example, a new interface, table of contents and browse mode. Here’s a summary of the new features.

Most changes are very intuitive & the introduction of a left side pane makes accessing advanced search templates, products and documents much easier.
For tips on the new look Westlaw AU look for the light bulb symbol on the Westlaw AU homepage centre screen.




Westlaw AU provides online access to Australian law titles subscribed to by QUT Library. It includes legal research titles as well as commentaries/ looseleaf services, full text journals published by Thomson Reuters, law reports and unreported judgments.

Links to Westlaw AU are available from the library catalogue or via the library database menu.

Editing your assignment

Cat waking up

Black cat, white cat by Oui-ennui (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Have you worked all weekend on an assignment only to feel that it still needs a lot of work, and you cannot bear to look at it another second? Feeling ‘over it’ is a great time to get help from the QUT Learning and Research Desk or make a Study Solutions appointment. The good news is that feeling ‘over it’ is an entirely normal part of the writing process. Acknowledge your feelings and plan for them. Know that they too will pass and that you will feel excited again as you rush towards the finish line.

Here’s a simple cycle for defeating your writer blues: break-scribble-break-rewrite


Plan a break between finishing a first draft and editing your assignment. 24hrs is a good break from your work to get clarity—but even an hour or two can help you transition. During your break, print out your assignment, single-sided so that you have a physical document to scribble on for the next stage.


When you return to your assignment, use a pencil or pen to make comments on your draft as though you were a teacher. Use arrows and comments to signify big changes. Making your work physical helps you identify flaws and improve logical flow to really boost your grade.


Once you have finished marking up your draft, take a good long break, maybe take a walk, move to a different location or enjoy something totally unrelated to your assignment.


With your printed and scribbled-on assignment, make your corrections from beginning to end (to make sure you don’t forget any) on your computer.

You can defeat your writer blues using the break-scribble-break-rewrite cycle multiple times. The good news about editing is that you get better and better each time you practice. Just like learning guitar or surfing, writing and editing become easier with effort. Try to be gentle on yourself if you find it hard. It is hard, but it is worth it and you’ll feel great when you finally submit your work.

cat in the sun

A cat in the sun is a happy cat by Chris Pederick (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Reading for exams

Exam preparation

Copyright QUT Library CC-BY

The end of the semester is approaching and you might be feeling a little overwhelmed by your looming exams. Remember this mantra: “It is never too late for a good decision”. Most students get to this stage in the semester and they are behind in some (if not most) their reading. It is easy to fall behind when you are focussed on getting assignments submitted and keeping up date with lectures. Try not to give yourself a hard time for the work you haven’t done, but to think rationally about what reading you can achieve between now and the exam.

10 steps to get the best exam result possible from where you are now:

  1.  Set a time table for the exam preparation week (28th October to 1st November). Here is a guide: allot 13hrs per subject (1 hr x 13 weeks).
  2. Decide the best use of your time based on the sort of exam you have. E.g. if you have a multiple choice exam, only read what you need to write and answer your own multiple choice questions.
  3. Learn how to skim read. Now is not the time to read everything. Now is the time to read strategically to pass.
  4. Divide each hour of study time into two 25 minute segments.
  5. Decide on a manageable task for each segment beforehand, e.g.,

    Segment 1: Skim-read the PowerPoint slides for Week 3 lecture and write 1-2 pages of notes on what you are confident will be on the exam.

    Segment 2: Skim-read the key reading for Week 3 and write 1-2 pages of notes on what you are confident will be on the exam.

  6. Put the timer on when you read and make notes. Do not get distracted for those 25 minutes.
  7. Get up and move around when you take a break. Stretch. Get a cuppa. Pat the cat. Do some yoga
  8. By the end of the exam preparation week you should have 20-40 pages of notes for each subject. Use these new notes to guide your study until the exam.
  9. Focus your energies on the areas you are most unsure about.
  10. On the day of the exam, write out a single page of notes on the things you absolutely must not forget and memorize these.

Remember: You have a limited amount of time and energy. Use both strategically and let go of perfectionist standards as much as you can.

Like this? Check out these other QUT Library Blog posts on exams

Quick TipsExam ChecklistThe A, B, C, D of Multiple Choice, Exam Study Planner


Resource for health – Informa Health Care ejournal package

QUT Library has access to the Informa Healthcare ejournal package, which provides access to the full text of over 700 pharmaceutical and medical titles.

It covers the life science, pharmaceutical and clinical disciplines and includes more than 3.5 million pages of high-quality research and analysis in peer-reviewed journals, online and print books, newsletters, databases, directories and encyclopedias from an international body of expert contributors.

Informa Healthcare also provides users with a series of journal podcasts featuring researchers discussing their published papers and journal articles.

Access to Informa Healthcare can be obtained via the database search on the QUT Library homepage, or alternatively click here.