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

This guide shows you how to cite using MLA 8th edition

Abbreviating Months

In your works cited list, abbreviate months as follows: 

January = Jan.
February = Feb.
March = Mar.
April = Apr.
May = May
June = June
July = July
August = Aug.
September = Sept.
October = Oct.
November = Nov.
December = Dec.

Spell out months fully in the body of your paper. 

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.

Formatting

Note: For your Works Cited list, all citations should be double spaced and have a hanging indent.

A "hanging indent" means that each subsequent line after the first line of your citation should be indented by 0.5 inches.

Interview (In Person)

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

Works Cited List Example

Myers, Elizabeth. Interview. By Bob Jones. 12 Mar. 2016. 

In-Text Citation Example

(Last Name of Person Who Was Interviewed)

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. For example:

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

Learn more: See the MLA Style Centre Website "How do I Document an Interview in MLA Style?"

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.

Works Cited List Example

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.

In-Text Citation Example

(Last Name of Person Who Was Interviewed)

Example: (Smith)

 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. For example:

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

Learn more: See MLA Handbook, p. 29 for citing emails, p. 52. for descriptions at the end of citations.

Telephone Interview

Last Name of Person Who Was Interviewed, First Name. Personal Interview. Day Month Year of interview. By Interviewer First Name Last Name. Telephone Interview.

Works Cited List Example

Ball, William. Interview. By Hyun Jae Lee. 30 Jan. 2016. Telephone Interview.

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

In-Text Citation Example

(Last Name of Person Who Was Interviewed)

Example: (Ball)

 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. For example:

Ball stated that "infections are often contracted while patients are recovering in the hospital."

Learn more: See the MLA Style Centre Website "How do I Document an Interview in MLA Style?"