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MLA 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 as a magazine article. That way anyone reading your assignment could easily track down the interview for themselves by finding the same magazine article.

Personal (In Person) or Telephone Interview


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


Myers, Elizabeth. The Dangers of Violence in the Media. 12 Mar. 2016. Personal Interview.

Email Interview


Last Name of Person Who Was Interviewed, First Name. "Subject Line of Email." Received by Name of Person Who Received Email. Day Month Year of Email. Email Interview.


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

  Note: The words Email Interview are added to the citation to specify that it is an interview