Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

APA (7th Edition) Referencing Guide

Guide to APA citation style using the 7th Edition of the APA Style Manual.

Personal communication

Personal communication is used for any information that is given to you "in person".

It covers sources such as (but not limited to):

  • A conversation or interview between you and your source
  • A copy of someone's notes given to you or sent to you, but not available to anyone else unless given or sent to them.
  • A personal email or letter
  • Any information sent via instant messaging or in a format that can only be seen by the person who sent it, and the person who received it.

If you aren't sure if what you have is personal communication, ask the following question:

"Can it be retrieved (that is, can anyone find it if they know where to look), or does it have to be given?"

Personal communication is not recorded in your reference list. You only refer to it in text.

For example: is normally expected that the writer will consider the topic objectively (H. Hooper, personal communication, February 14, 2013).

As Scott Dale noted, Ray Bradbury is a male author (personal communication, February 9, 2018).

We acknowledge the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first inhabitants of the nation and acknowledge Traditional Owners of the lands where our staff and students, live, learn and work.Acknowledgement of Country

Creative Commons Licence
Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA) 4.0 International License. Content from this Guide should be attributed to James Cook University Library. This does not apply to images, third party material (seek permission from the original owner) or any logos or insignia belonging to JCU or other bodies, which remain All Rights Reserved.