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Citation Guide (MLA 8th Edition): Interviews and Emails (Personal Communications)

When Is personal communication (in person, emails, and telephone) 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.

Personal Interview (In Person, Zoom, etc.)

Last Name of Person Who Was Interviewed, First Name. Description of Interview. Day Month Year of interview.

For in-text citations, use (Last Name of Person Who Was Interviewed)

Works Cited List Example

Myers, Elizabeth. Personal Interview. 12 Mar. 2016.

 Note: Other common interview descriptions include "Telephone interview", "Skype Interview", and "Zoom Interview".

In-Text Citation Example

(Myers)

 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:

Myers explained that "media violence is dangerous because it has been eroticized."

Email (Including Email Interviews)

Last Name of the Author of the Message, First Name. "Subject Line of Email." Received by Name of Person Who Received Email,  Day Month Year of Email.

For in-text citations, use (Last Name of Person Who Sent the Message)

Works Cited List Example

Smith, Paula. "Re: Food and Family." Received by Joseph Tan, 20 May 2016.

 Note: For email interviews, it is not required to add "Email Interview"

In-Text Citation Example

(Smith)

 Note: If the name of the person who sent the message (or 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:

 Smith asserted that food builds relationships because of a cultural appreciation inherent in enjoying a meal with family.

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