How to Cite a Meme in APA, MLA, or Chicago
The meme is one of the funniest and weirdest trends to arise from digital images on the Internet. There are memes to make you laugh at almost anything, from funny cats to politicians to a successful kid. Though unconventional, if you choose to cite a meme, this guide can help!
The best way to cite a meme is to use a citation structure similar to what you would use for citing a digital image. Memes are, after all, digital images that have been slightly altered or edited.
To cite a meme properly, you must identify the following pieces of information:
- Title of meme. If it has no official title, create a short description of your own.
- Title of the website where the meme was published
- URL of the website the meme was published
- Date the meme was published (if known)
- Date you accessed/retrieved the meme
- Publisher of the site
Basically, identify the website where the meme was posted. Then, cite the meme like you would if you found it through the original website where it was posted. Let’s review how to do this in MLA format, APA format, and Chicago/Turabian.
For our examples, let’s look at the meme “I Regret Nothing” found at https://knowyourmeme.com/photos/257271-i-regret-nothing.
Use the following structure to cite a meme in MLA 9:
“Title of Meme” or Description of the image/meme. Title of the Website where it was published, Publisher, Day Month Year it was published (if known), URL (remove http:// or https://).
Here’s how the above example would be cited in MLA format:
“I Regret Nothing” meme. Know Your Meme, Literally Media, 24 Feb. 2012, knowyourmeme.com/photos/257271-i-regret-nothing.
Here’s how the above example would be cited in an in-text citation:
(Shortened Meme Title or Description)
(“I Regret Nothing”)
Use the following structure to cite a meme in APA:
Title of meme/image or your own description of the image [Digital image]. (Year Published). Retrieved from URL
Here’s how the above example would be cited in APA format:
I regret nothing [Digital image]. (2002). Retrieved from https://knowyourmeme.com/photos/257271-i-regret-nothing
Use the following structure to cite a meme in Chicago/Turabian:
Title or description. Digital image. Website Title. Mo. Day, Year Published. Accessed Mo. Day, Year (only include if there is no publication date). URL.
Here’s how the above example would be cited in Chicago/Turabian:
I Regret Nothing. Digital image. Know Your Meme. Feb. 24, 2002. https://knowyourmeme.com/photos/257271-i-regret-nothing.
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