Answered By: Gabe Gossett
Last Updated: Jan 09, 2018     Views: 2405

Let's imagine that we did an interview with someone named Hank Viking on April 23, 2013, and we would like to quote him. We want to write the quote into the paper by saying: According to Hank Viking, "Douglas firs are taller than maples."

In this case the APA Manual doesn’t give complete guidance and there are a few rules that might conflict with each other. Normally, a name and initials are included in the in-text citation. But, in most cases you would put the in-text citation immediately following a name when it is used within the natural language of the sentence and only use the last name. What to do?

In this case it might make the most sense to use a full name, followed by the quotation, followed by the rest of the citation: (personal communication, April 13, 2013). Including the name twice would be unnecessarily redundant. 


Example 1 (Full name of person interviewed followed by quote)

According to Hank Viking, "Douglas firs are taller than maples" (personal communication, April 23, 2013).


Example 2 (Paraphrase of personal communication)

Western Washington University is the best master's granting university in the universe (B. Shepard, personal communication, September 23, 2009).


Since there is some grey area on this count it might be worth checking with your instructor to see if they have a personal preference.

More information can be found in section 6.20, page 179 of the APA Manual.

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