how-to-cite-an-email

How to Cite Your Teacher’s (or Anyone’s) Email

In today’s world, it’s super common for teachers to communicate with students via email. Assignments and papers are often submitted this way, and lecture notes can be easily shared with the entire class all at once. So, how would you cite this type of communication in your paper?

To cite an email from your teacher, you should make note of the following pieces of information:

  1. Your teacher’s name
  2. Title/subject of the email
  3. Recipient’s name (You!)
  4. Date sent

Below, we present the citation structure and an example in MLA, APA, and Chicago style format.

Need help citing other types of sources? Check our our helpful guides on BibMe.org, such as this one, on how to write an annotated bibliography.

MLA 8

Structure for MLA style:

Teacher’s Last Name, First Name. “Subject Line of Email.” Received by Your First Name Last Name, Date Sent.

Example:

Olsen, Mary. “Re: Midterm Homework Assignment.” Received by Jonas Bonds, 15 Mar. 2015.

APA

In APA style, no personal communication is included as an entry in your reference list. Instead, parenthetically cite your teacher’s name, the phrase “personal communication,” and the date of the communication as an in-text citation.

Examples:

(Teacher’s First Initial. Last Name, personal communication, date sent).

(E. Robbins, personal communication, January 4, 2001).

Chicago

Like in APA style, you do not need to include a reference in your bibliography for personal communications like emails. Instead, include the reference as a footnote at the bottom of the page.

Structure:

  1. Teacher’s First Name Last Name, e-mail message to class, Date sent.

Example:

  1. Patricia Burns, e-mail message to class, December 15, 2008.

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