Personal communication [from Direct communication using APA 6th ed.]


Examples include lecture notes, a letter, memo, unarchived online forum, and telephone conversation.

Personal communication cannot be recovered by the reader and therefore is not included in the reference list. However, they are cited in the text. Give the initials and surname of the communicator as well as the exact date of the communication (as exact as possible).

A letter available on the web is recoverable (published) using the web address (or URL) and should be referenced as a webpage

Lecture notes available on the web are recoverable (published) using the web address (or URL) and should be referenced as lecture notes or PowerPoint slides

Standard Form

Not applicable

Citation in Text

… and this point was conceded (J. Bloggs, personal communication, August 22, 2001).

Peter Smith stated (personal communication, October 8, 2006) that the work would ...


  • Many departments at Portsmouth do not allow you to use lecture notes as the source for your essays. You should use the reading list which your lecturer has given you and turn to those sources when writing your essay. If your lecturer has not indicated where they got their information, and you want to use it, go and ask for the source or check with your lecturer before using lecture notes as a source.