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Learn How to Format APA Personal Communication

11 May 2018

Personal communication is communication via a phone conversation, interview, lecture, email, letter, or memo. Usually, such materials are not published. 

How to Cite Personal Communication APA?

Citing personal communication in APA should appear in a text only. It should not appear in a reference list unless it is available to the public, an archive, or a repository. The reason why it should not be cited in a reference list is that it does not have the access data and cannot be checked by the reader. 

Review the basic format of APA personal communication:

  • provide your name and the name of the interviewer when creating a reference list, or use the interviewer’s name when citing in a text
  • specify the date of communication
  • mention the type of communication - oral, written, or email (provide an email address)
  • give information about the correspondent’s affiliation to a university or an organization

If you conducted a conversation with a person, use the following APA example:

  • In a conversation with A. J. Bolton, (January 17, 2015)...

If you have received a letter, use the following APA example:

  • According to a letter by A. J. Bolton (Assoc. Prof., Dept of Psychology University of Toronto) on January 17, 2015... or According to A. J. Bolton, Ph.D. (written communication, January 17, 2015)...

If you cite an email, use the following APA example:

If your material is going to be published, learn how to reference personal communication and add citations to a list using the example:

  • Clark, P.S. (January 17, 2015). Interview type (email, phone conversation, personal interview) with third-party A.J. Bolton.

More Tips on Citing Personal Communication APA Style

  • add a citation after a quote or paraphrased content from the source (interview, phone conversation, email)
  • use the first initial, then the second initial, and the last name in the end
  • if the interviewer's name was mentioned in a quote, do not use it in a citation
  • set 1 inch on top, bottom, left and right for page margins
  • choose Times New Roman fonts with 12 font size
  • double-space your paper

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