MLA Format for Personal Observations
Personal observations are a type of primary research conducted by going to a place or event and recording your experiences. You must format each different kind of personal observation -- interviews, oral presentations and live performances -- correctly to give others an understanding of your research.
Citing an interview is different if you conducted the interview yourself rather than reading or watching someone else’s interview. Start with the name of the person you interviewed. Include the way the interview was conducted -- "Personal Interview," "Telephone Interview" or "Email Interview" -- and list the date you conducted it.
Lectures, speeches, addresses, readings and conference presentations are all cited the same way. Give the speaker’s name and the title of her presentation in quotation marks. List the event's sponsor, if applicable, followed by the location and date. At the citation’s end, state the presentation type.
To record a live performance, such as a play, opera, dance or concert, list the title of the play in italics, the playwright, the director with “Dir.” before his name, “Perf.” followed by the main performers’ names and the site of the performance, followed by the date. Write “Performance” at the end of the citation.
- Purdue Online Writing Lab: What Is Primary Research and How do I get Started?
- MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th Edition; The Modern Language Association
Brittany Howard holds an M.A. in English from Valdosta State University and is a college instructor. She has experience teaching English, humanities and developmental courses.