Citing personal communications: MLA (9th ed.) citation guide

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This guide is based on the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 9th ed. and provides selected citation examples for common types of sources.

For more detailed information, please consult the full manual: available in print and online.


For personal communications such as emails, letters, and interviews, you only need a name, description, and date. Elements are separated by periods.


An interview includes the name of the person interviewed, a short description of the interview, and the date.

Parenthetical (in-text)

Jamie Peterson views yoga and meditation as excellent ways to cope with exam stress.

Works cited

Peterson, Jamie. Personal interview. 17 May, 2021.

Jung, Ryan. FaceTime interview. 22 Aug, 2022.

Do not create works cited entries for interviewees who wish to remain anonymous. It is suggested that you create an endnote that indicates the source is a personal communication, provide the method of communication (e.g. in-person meeting, FaceTime, phone) and the date of the interaction. 

See Columbia College's MLA Citation Guide (9th Edition): Interviews and Emails (Personal Communications) for more interview examples.


Section 5.23 of the Handbook says that "if you are documenting a communication you received, pertinent information includes a reference to yourself as author or by name in the Title of Source element" (124). Recall the MLA core elements.

Parenthetical (in-text)

Exercise can help boost both physical and mental health (Zamora).

Works cited

Zamora, Estelle. E-mail to the author. 3 May 2018.

Zamora, Estelle. E-mail to Penny Kirkland. 3 May 2018.

See Kwantlen Polytechnic University's MLA Citation: Personal communications for an email example that includes a subject line.


A letter would typically include the name of the person who sent the letter, a brief description, and the date.

Works cited

Powell, Margaret. Letter to the author. 18 Mar. 2019.