Correctly Citing a Betazoid Telepathic Message

Before the rise of the internet, citing sources for a research paper or essay was a matter of using a style book for journalism or academia. On the internet, it’s easy to cite sources with a link, which we do all the time. But what do you do in a paper (made of paper or an unlinkable format) for a class or magazine when the source is something on the internet for which no style guide exists? For example, if your source is a comment on Instagram, that could create a sourcing dilemma. Librarian John Farrier raised this question recently on Twitter, using a Betazoid telepathic message as an example. How could you possibly source it in an academic paper?

It seems that at least one modern style style guide has that covered. The MLA Handbook has been recently updated to its eighth edition, and the Modern Language Association responded to the question with the correct citation.

Telepathic message. Sent to John Farrier, 20 Sept. 2016.

However, since the Ferengi are not known for their telepathic powers, he probably didn’t get the message and had to rely on Twitter.

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