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APA Style (7th edition)--For Prof. YPB's Classes: Personal Communication (Interviews, Emails)

This guide shows you how to cite using APA 7th edition


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)


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


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).


Note: Published interviews can appear in many types of sources (magazines, newspapers etc.). When citing published interviews, follow the guidelines for the type of source it was published in.

Citing Elders

 Note: Unlike other personal communications, Elders and Knowledge Keepers should be cited in-text and in the reference list.

Last name, First names initials. (Elder), Nation/Community. Topic/subject of communication if applicable. personal communication. Year, Month, Date. Territory Acknowledgement of where information was shared/collected. 

Works Cited List Example

Lekeyten. (Elder), Kwantlen First Nation. Community justice. personal communication. 2019, April, 4. Shared on the traditional unceded territory of the Kwantlen, Musqueam, Katzie, Semiahmoo, Tsawwassen, Qayqayt and Kwikwetlem Peoples.   

In-Text Citation Example

(Name of Person Who Was Interviewed, Year)

Example: (Lekeyten, 2019)


This citation template was developed by Norquest College in the spirit of wahkôhtowin and reconciliation. It was expanded upon by Kwantlen Polytechnic University Library and the KPU Elder in Residence, Lekeyten. 

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