Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Dr. E. R. Barrett


Social media has become a large part of today’s pop culture and keeping up with what is going on not only in our social circles, but around the world. It has given many a platform to unite their causes, build fandoms, and share their commentary with the world. A tool in helping group posts together or give commentary on a thought is the hashtag. In this paper I explore the evaluative roles of hashtags in social media discourse, specifically on Twitter. I use a sample of randomly selected tweets from the Twitter API stream I collected and compiled myself. I collected a total of 200,000 tweets and filtered out Re-tweets. Looking at each individual hashtag I sorted them into the categories outlined by the Appraisal Theory proposed by Martin and White (Martin & White, 2005). I explore the types of evaluation expressed in hashtags, the relationships between evaluative hashtags and how users negotiate evaluations using meme hashtags.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)