How to Cite a Person Using APA Format

Updated February 08, 2018

Whether a student or a professional, chances are that you will need to cite sources for a report or document you create. If you are studying or working within a social science field such as psychology or sociology, you will be using the American Psychological Association formatting style. Although you'll often be using books, journal articles and online documents as resources, you may use in-person or email interviews as well. According to the APA, these sources should be cited within your work, but should not appear in the reference list since they are considered unrecoverable sources.

Create an in-text citation by positioning a set of parenthesis at the end of the sentence that references the interview or email communication.

Insert the name of the person, the words "personal communication" and the full date of the interview or email -- in that order -- within the parenthesis. The person's name should include the first name initial followed by the last name.

An example of this citation would read as, "(R. Morgan, personal communication, September 13, 2010)."

Insert the missing source information in the parenthesis if some of the required information is already included in your sentence. For example, if you include the source's name in the sentence, you do not need to also add it in the parenthetical citation.

A sample of this citation would read as, "According to R. Morgan, the effects of financial stress on the body can be serious (personal communication, September, 13, 2010)."

End your referenced sentence with the period punctuation on the outside of the final parenthesis in the citation. The citation should appear as part of the sentence, not outside of it.

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Warnings

  • No matter what kind of sources you use, always provide citations for any statements or data included in your work that did not originate with you. It is plagiarism if you do not.

About the Author

Previously working for the North Carolina Community College System, Rachel Morgan has been a freelance writer and editor for over six years. She has a bachelor's degree in public health as well as a master's degree in English.