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Albert S. Cook Library

Human Library at Towson University

An annual event co-sponsored by the Albert S. Cook Library and Center for Student Diversity, bringing together the Towson campus community to challenge stereotypes through respectful conversations.

Citing a Personal Communication

Below are examples of how to cite a personal communication in common citation styles.If you do not have the human books name, you can use the human books title as a replacement. If you still have questions, feel free to contact the library, or confirm with your professor. 


Sec. 6.20, APA Manual See Also

In-Text Citation: (J. Smith, personal communication, August 15, 2009)

Reference List:  “Because they do not provide recoverable data, personal communications are not included in the reference list. Cite personal communication in text only. Give the initials as well as the surname of the communicator, and provide as exact date as possible.”



MLA Style Center See :

In-Text Citation: Use a signal phrase or the interviewees name e.g. (Smith) OR "In an interview with Smith..."

Reference List: Include your name as the interviewer.  Smith, Susan. Interview. By Laksamee Putnam. 22 Oct. 2002.

Chicago (Author-Date)

Sec. 14.218 and 15.48, Chicago Manual 

In-Text Citation:(Jennifer Galbraith, Interview) 

Reference List: “Reference list entries are unneeded, though each person cited must be fully identified elsewhere in the text."

Chicago (Notes-Bibliography)

Sec. 14.218, Chicago Manual See Also:

In-text Citation:1. Bill Smith, interview by author, Putnam, LA, February 18, 2016.

Reference List: Cite an unpublished interview only in notes.


Sec., CSE manual 

In-text Citation: (2016 conversation between M Jackson and me; unreferenced)

Reference List: “CSE recommends placing references to personal communications such as letters, conversations, lectures, and presentations within the running text, not as formal references.”


P. 316, ACS Style Guide

In-Text Citation: (Smith, 2015)  

Reference List: Jordan, M. T. University Union, Towson University, Towson, MD. Personal communication, 2015.