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How to Cite an Interview in MLA

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Interview used for research paper

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.

  1. Was the interview conducted by the author?
  2. Is the interview about the subject?
  3. 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

Personal 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.

Examples

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

Anaya, Rudolfo. “Re: Banning of Bless Me Ultima.” Received by Jessica Carranza, 4 June 2019. Email Interview.

 

In Person Interview

Last Name of Person Interviewed, First Name. Interview. By Interviewer First Name Last Name. Day Month Year of interview

Anaya, Rudolfo. Interview. By Jessica Carranza. 4 June 2019.

 

Telephone Interview

Last Name of Person Interviewed, First Name. Interview. Day Month Year of interview. By Interviewer First Name Last Name. Telephone Interview.

Anaya, Rudolfo. Interview. 4 June 2019. By Jessica Carranza. Telephone interview.

 

Published Interviews

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.

Saro-Wiwa, Ken. “English Is the Hero.” No Condition Is Permanent: Nigerian Writing and the Struggle for Democracy, edited by Holger Ehling and Claus-Peter Holste-von Mutius, Rodopi, 2001, pp. 13–19.

 

Source: ( MLA Handbook)

Online Interviews

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:

Anaya, Rudolfo. “Bless Me Ultima.” C-Span 2013 LCV Cities Tour. 6 Feb. 2013. https://www.c-span.org/video/?311198-1/bless-me-ultima. Accessed 4 June 2019.

 

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.

About the author

Adrienne Mathewson

Adrienne Mathewson, Editor-in-Chief of Bibliography.com, is an Information Professional with a Master’s in Library, Information & Science from San José State University with an emphasis on information literacy and scholarly publishing. She is a certified librarian through the State of New Mexico. As Editor-in-Chief of SJSU School of Information SRJ. Adrienne guided the editorial team through the scholarly journal’s double-blind, peer reviewed process to provide quality, cited articles to library information and science researchers. Her passion for digital inclusion and information literacy led her to volunteer as a digital training team member of Librarians Without Borders. Adrienne has over 25 years of experience as a freelance writer and editor.

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