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University of Newcastle Library Guides

Chicago A: Notes and Bibliography Style:  Personal comm

UON Library guide to Chicago A: Notes and Bibliography Style 17th edition

Personal communication


Personal communications may cover the following examples:

  • conversations (whether face-to-face or by telephone)
  • private letters
  • private contracts
  • wills
  • email or text messages, 
  • private messages shared through social media and received by the author.

Personal communications are usually run in to the text or given in a note. They are rarely listed in a bibliography. Most such information can be referred to simply as a conversation, message, or the like; the medium may be mentioned if relevant.

An email address or the like belonging to an individual should be omitted. Should it be needed in a specific context, it must be cited only with the permission of its owner.

Text examples:

In a conversation with the author on January 6, 2009, lobbyist Ann Adams admitted that . . .

Though inconclusive, a fifteen-second video shared with the author via Instagram by the subject’s family did suggest significant dementia.

Footnote examples:

1. Jane Smith, email message to author, April 23, 2017.

2. John Smith, Facebook direct message to author, April 30, 2017.

Be sure to check with your lecturer if these kinds of resources are suitable for use in your assignments.

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