As you research your MLA paper, you may find that using interviews of prominent researchers in your field is a good source. Or you may decide to interview someone yourself. Depending on the type and manner of publication, interviews may be considered primary sources.
Primary Source Interviews
As you know, a primary source is one that contains original material, not an evaluation of a source. In the case of interviews, if you find a published interview in a magazine, check these items to determine if it’s primary or not.
- Was the interview conducted by the author?
- Is the interview about the subject?
- Is the published version the original one?
Two Types of Interviews
There are two types of interviews that you’ll use for your MLA essay:
- Personal Interviews
- Published Interviews
If you interview a person, cite your entry the same as a personal communication since it hasn’t been published. Three common ways of conducting a personal interview are through email, telephone, or in person.
An Email Interview
Last Name of Person Who Was Interviewed, First Name. “Subject Line of Email.” Received by Name of Person Who Received Email, Day Month Year of Email. Email Interview
In Person Interview
Last Name of Person Interviewed, First Name. Interview. By Interviewer First Name Last Name. Day Month Year of interview
Last Name of Person Interviewed, First Name. Interview. Day Month Year of interview. By Interviewer First Name Last Name. Telephone Interview.
For interviews published in print or found online, cite them according to the format of the publication. For example, an interview published in a magazine is formatted the same way as any magazine article. Place the interviewee’s name where the author’s name would go.
Source: ( MLA Handbook)
For example, if you use this interview of Rudolfo Anaya discussing the reasons why his book Bless Me Ultima is often banned, cite it like this:
Using personal or published interviews is a good way to give your readers a direct link to your subject’s mind. You can direct your questions to help guide your project and develop your thesis. Cite your sources accurately so researchers can access your sources.