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Accurate APA Style Interview Citations

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Interviews can add a personalized touch to your paper, since this information is not found anywhere else and comes from an expert. Interviews are primary sources.  Since you’ve done all the hard work and conducted the interview, make sure you cite it accurately to give your paper a polished look.

Student doing interview for research paper

Adding an Interview in APA

APA is a style set forth by the American Psychological Association. It ensures that all papers follow a certain format. Designed for social sciences and psychology pieces, it gives your writing a polished, professional appeal. However, not all communications that you include in your work are cut and dry.

No Reference Needed

While interviews can make your work one-of-a-kind, they typically aren’t something that is printed. You communicated via phone, email or even social media to get your answers. Those items aren’t considered publishable in APA. Therefore, you only need to include an in-text citation for non-published interviews. One less thing you need to worry about.

Correct Citation for an APA Interview

Interview in-text citing in APA is pretty simple. There are only three parts.

  • Author name, first and middle initial, last name (e.g. J. L. Betts). This only applies if the interviewee wasn’t mentioned in the text.
  • Personal communications (only included in first mention)
  • Date of the interview (e.g. November 30, 2018)

Example

  • According to J. L. Betts (personal communication, November 30, 2018) writing bibliographies is easy.
  • Writing bibliographies is easy. (J. L. Betts, personal communication, November 30, 2018)

Tips on Including an Interview

You’ve upgraded to the Yoda of interview citations. But you are still having a little trouble formatting the interview in the text. Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place.

Getting Quotations Perfect

If you are directly quoting in APA, use quotations for less than 40 words. This shows that the text came directly from the interviewee.

  • J. L. Betts stated that “bibliographies weren’t that hard to create.” (personal communication, November 30, 2018)

Adding Questions and Answers

Adding more than a few meager quotes to your writing will definitely make it stand out. Perfectly, add your interview questions and answers by following these tips.

  • Add quotations around the question and the answer in the text.  
  • Give the reader context that you are asking a question or getting an answer.
  • No citation is needed since the text is answering all the information.

Example

  • To understand bibliographies, I asked John Doe, English Professor, “What is bibliography?”
  • Doe answered, “a bibliography is…”

T is for Transcripts

Do you want to include the exact communication between you and the interviewee? If this is more than 40 words, then you’ll add a block text quote in APA format. To do this:

  • Quotation marks are not required. You don’t need to add quotes around a block of text in APA.
  • Indent the block of text from your interview ½ inch.
  • Introduce to your reader that you will be including the entire interview. Place a colon at the end of the introduction. 
  • No citation is needed if you provide all the information in your introduction.

Example:

Interview with Jim Jones, Professor of Nothing conducted on November 30, 2018: 

J. L. Betts: What do you think of nutrition?

Jones: ….

Getting It Perfect

Interviews are a great way to add a personalized touch to your research paper or essay. Get your citations accurate by following the few simple tips. 

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About the author

Jennifer Betts

Jennifer Betts is a diverse educational writer who has been published in multiple online forums. She also works part time as a substitute teacher with seven different school districts. Building on skills gained from a brother and son with learning disabilities, she has been a tutor and mentor for disadvantaged children for more than 20 years. Interested in learning more about Jennifer Betts, just ask.

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