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Mentone Girls' Grammar School | Kerferd Library

Senior School Referencing

Senior School help and support with academic integrity and referencing.

Source: Black, S. (2020).

Referencing Interviews, emails and conversations

Updated for APA 7th edition

Senior School referencing | Personal communications: Introduction

APA StyleIn-text references (citations) and Reference lists (Bibliography) help you avoid plagiarism. When referencing the School uses APA 7th edition. APA is one of the more widely used referencing guidelines.

Use APA CiteMaker to build your references lists (bibliographies) as well as your in-text references (citations).

Referencing is a key part of the School's Academic Integrity policies and procedures. Copyright refers to who owns the work (text, images, data, etc.) you are using. Copyright and Creative Common licenses tell you if you have permission to use the other person's work and ideas.

Senior School referencing | Personal communications: General guidelines

APA 7th edition guidelinesNOTE: Use the following guidelines when citing and referencing personal communications. See also the Explore more section at the bottom of this page.

Personal communications include emails, text messages, online chats or direct messages, personal interviews, telephone conversations, live speeches, unrecorded classroom lectures, memos, letters, messages from nonarchived discussion groups or online bulletin boards, and so on.

  • Because readers cannot retrieve the information in personal communications, personal communications ARE NOT included in the reference list; THEY ARE CITED in the text only. Give the initial(s) and surname of the communicator, and provide as exact a date as possible,
  • Present a quotation of fewer than 40 words in quotation marks within the text.
  • Present a quotation of 40 words or more in a block quotation indented below the text.

When quoting research participants, abide by any ethical agreements regarding confidentiality and/or anonymity... Take care to obtain and respect participants’ consent to have their information included in your report. To disguise participant information, you may need to assign pseudonyms to participants,obscure identifying information, and / or present aggregate information.

Senior School referencing | Personal communications: Examples

NOTE: The interviewer is the person asking the questions and conducting the interview, and the interviewee is the person answering the questions and / or being interviewed. If the interview is recorded on a web site, blog, or podcast.

Reference lists [Bibliographies]:

For unpublished interviews e.g. interviews by students for reports and / or assignments use the following. Because the interview is unpublished the whole bibliographic reference should be placed in ( ) brackets.

(Interviewer's surname, Initials. [Year, Month, date of the interview]. [Interview type: e.g. email, phone, personal] interview with Interviewee's surname initial.)


(Smith, J. 2018, September 12. personal interview with Bloggs, M.).


(Smith, J. 2018, September 12. phone interview with Bloggs, M.).


(Smith, J. 2018, September 12. email interview with Bloggs, M.).

In text reference [citation] examples:
Direct quote

"When we were young we went to the Mentone Picture Theatre every weekend to see the latest Hollywood movie. After the movie we would all rush around to the milk bar next store for a milkshake before going home" (Hoskins, 2018)

Indirect quote

As part of my local history project I interviewed my grandmother. She remembered going to the Mentone Cinema every weekend to see a film before having a milkshare before going home. (Hoskins, 2018)

Protecting the rights and welfare of participants.

When interviewing people for reports and assignments it is important to behave ethically. For example:

  • You must tell the person you are interviewing (the interviewee) that you will be using what they say in a School assignment.
  • You must get the interviewee's approval to use what they say in your School assignment. If the person does not agree you cannot use what they have said in your work. You may need to get the interviewee to sign a simple release form. Check with your teacher to see if you need to use a release form. If you do need a release form you will need to keep a copy for your records so you have proof the interviewee has given you approval.
  • You must protect the interviewee's privacy. There may be times you can use what an interviewee has said, or findings from an interview, but you cannot identify the interviewee in your school assignment. Again check with your teacher when dealing with issues of privacy.

For more details see the APA Code of ethics at

Senior School referencing | Personal communications: Explore more

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