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APA Style for Writing: Personal Communication (Interviews, Emails)

This guide will cover APA format for papers.

Tips

In-Text Citation or References List?

Interviews, e-mails and your own notes from lectures are considered personal communications in APA style. This means that they are cited within the text of your assignment, but do not get an entry on the References list.

When Is Personal Communications Used In Citation?

The category "Personal Communications" is used in situations where you are taking information from a source such as an email thread or an interview you conducted with someone else. In this case the work isn't published anywhere, someone else couldn't find and read the full interview or email on their own.

Sometimes you may find interviews with people in journals, magazines, newspapers, websites, etc. In those cases don't use the "Personal Communications" category. Instead, cite them according to where you found the information.

For example, an interview in a magazine would be cited like a magazine article. That way anyone reading your assignment could easily track down the interview for themselves by finding the same magazine article.

Interviews and E-mail

Note: Interviews and e-mail are considered personal communications in APA style. They are cited within the text of your assignment, but do not get an entry on the References list. Put the citation right after a quote or paraphrased content from the interview or e-mail.

(First Initial of Person Who Was Interviewed or sent the e-mail. Second Initial if known. Last Name, personal communication, Month Day, Year interview took place or e-mail was received)

Example

"Infections are often contracted while patients are recovering in the hospital" (J. D. Black, personal communication, May 30, 2013)

Example

Note: If the name of the person who was interviewed is mentioned in the sentence leading into the quote or paraphrased content, you do not need to repeat it in the in-text citation.

J.D. Black explained that "infections are often contracted while patients are recovering in the hospital" (personal communication, May 30, 2013).

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