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MLA Style Guide: Personal Communications

This guide is designed to help students learn about MLA style and cite sources for their research.

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Personal communications can include interviews, emails, memos, telephone conversations, or lectures delivered in an informal setting. References to such communication should include the name of the person, the type of communication, and the date.

If you are referencing an informal lecture (for example, a lecture provided as part of a course you are taking), you should include the title of the lecture (if one exists) in quotation marks, the title of the course, the location, and the date. Do not italicize any element in the reference.

If you are referencing an email communication, you should include the subject line in quotation marks after the author's name and the recipient of the email.

Personal Communications

Information required for citing personal communications includes:

  • The name of the person
  • The type of interview or communication, e.g. personal interview, telephone interview, etc.
  • The date (day, month. and year, if possible) of the communication
  • The location and city (for a lecture
  • The subject line (for an email)

Examples of References:

Janoff, Rob. Personal interview. 28 May 2012.

Litfin, Kathy. "Sustainable Graphic Design." Environmental Sustainability GEN 2415. Class lecture, Cambrian College, Sudbury, Ontario, 16 Oct. 2011.

Smith, John. "Re: Bauhaus.". Received by Betty Jones. 30 June 2017.

Examples of In-Text Citations:

In an interview with Rob Janoff last month, he indicated that . . .

In her lecture on sustainable graphic design, Kathy Litfin stated that . . .

Subject Guide

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