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Chicago Citation Guide (17th 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.

Interview (In Person)

Footnote:

1. First Name Last Name of Person Who Was Interviewed, interview by First Name Last Name of Interviewer, Date of Interview.

Bibliography Entry:

n/a

 Unpublished personal interviews are usually referenced within the text itself, or cited in a footnote. They rarely appear in bibliographic entries.

Footnote Example

1. Elizabeth Myers, interview by Bob Jones, March 12, 2016. 

Shortened Footnote Example

2. Myers, interview.

Bibliography Entry Example

n/a

Citing Elders

 Note: Unlike other personal communications, Elders and Knowledge Keepers should be cited in footnotes and in the bibliography.

Footnote:

1. First Names Last Name (Elder), Nation, Topic/subject of communication is applicable, Personal communication, Territorial acknowledgement of where the information was shared, Month Date, Year. 

Bibliography:

Last Name, First Names (Elder), Nation. Topic/subject of communication if applicable. Personal communication. Territorial acknowledgement of where the information was shared. Month Date, Year.

Footnote Example

1. Lekeyten (Elder), Kwantlen First Nation, Community Justice, Personal communication, Shared on the traditional unceded territory of the Kwantlen, Musqueam, Katzie, Semiahmoo, Tsawwassen, Qayqayt, and Kwikwetlem Peoples, April 9, 2019.

Shortened Footnote Example

2. Lekeyten (Elder), personal communication. 

Bibliography Entry Example

Lekeyten (Elder), Kwantlen First Nation. Community Justice. Personal communication. Shared on the traditional unceded territory of the Kwantlen, Musqueam, Katzie, Semiahmoo, Tsawwassen, Qayqayt, and Kwikwetlem Peoples. April 9, 2019.

 

This citation template was adapted from the MLA and APA template developed by Norquest College. It was adapted by Kwantlen Polytechnic University in collaboration with Simon Fraser University and The University of British Columbia. 

Email Communication

Footote:

1. First Name Last Name of Person Who Sent Email, email message to author, Date of Message.

Bibliography Entry:

n/a

 Unpublished personal communications are usually referenced within the text itself, or cited in a footnote. They rarely appear in bibliographic entries.

Footnote Example

1. Paula Smith, email message to author, May 20, 2016.

Shortened Footnote Example

2. Smith, email message.

Bibliography Entry Example

n/a

Telephone Interview

Footnote:

1. First Name Last Name of Person Who Was Interviewed, telephone interview by First Name Last Name of Interviewer, Date of Interview.

Bibliography Entry:

n/a

 Unpublished personal interviews are usually referenced within the text itself, or cited in a footnote. They rarely appear in bibliographic entries.

Footnote Example

1. William Ball, telephone interview by Jae Lee Hyun, January 30, 2016.

Shortened Footnote Example

2. Ball, telephone interview.

Bibliography Entry Example

n/a