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Citing Sources: Citing Orally in Speeches

  • Citing Sources Overview
  • Citing in the Sciences & Engineering
  • APA Citation Examples
  • Chicago Citation Examples
  • Biologists: Council of Science Editors (CSE) Examples
  • MLA Citation Examples
  • Bluebook - Legal Citation

Citing Orally in Speeches

  • Citation Managers
  • Oral Source Citations - James Madison University Communication Center
  • Using Citations and Avoiding Plagiarism in Oral Presentations - Hamilton College, Dept. of Rhetoric and Communication
  • Referencing: Citing in Orals - James Cook University

General Tips:

Tell the audience your source before you use the information (the opposite of in-text citations).

Do not say, “quote, unquote” when you offer a direct quotation. Use brief pauses instead.

Provide enough information about each source so that your audience could, with a little effort, find them. This should include the author(s) name, a brief explanation of their credentials, the title of the work, and publication date.

 “In the 1979 edition of The Elements of Style, renowned grammarians and composition stylists Strunk and White encourage writers to ‘make every word tell.’”

If your source is unknown to your audience, provide enough information about your source for the audience to perceive them as credible. Typically we provide this credentialing of the source by stating the source’s qualifications to discuss the topic.

“Dr. Derek Bok, the President Emeritus of Harvard University and the author of The Politics of Happiness argues that the American government should design policies to enhance the happiness of its citizens.”

Provide a caption citation for all direct quotations and /or relevant images on your PowerPoint slides.

Direct Quotations:

These should be acknowledged in your speech or presentation either as “And I quote…” or “As [the source] put it…”

Include title and author: “According to April Jones, author of Readings on Gender…”

Periodical/Magazine:

Include title and date: “Time, March 28, 2005, explains…” or “The New York Times, June 5, 2006, explained it this way…”

Include journal title, date, and author: “Morgan Smith writes in the Fall 2005 issue of Science…”

For organizational or long-standing website, include title: “The center for Disease Control web site includes information…” For news or magazine websites, include title and date: “CNN.com, on March 28, 2005, states…” (Note: CNN is an exception to the “don’t use the address” rule because the site is known by that name.)

Interviews, lecture notes, or personal communication:

Include name and credentials of source: “Alice Smith, professor of Economics at USM, had this to say about the growth plan…” or “According to junior Speech Communication major, Susan Wallace…”

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how to cite sources during a speech

Citing Sources in an Oral Presentation

how to cite sources during a speech

Citing your sources just means telling where you got particular ideas or bits of information that did not originate in your own head. Sometimes this is called giving credit , attributing , or referencing .

When you cite sources in an oral presentation, there are 3 basic parts

  • Orally cite sources of what you say
  • Adapt a citation format to cite the sources of what is written on your visuals
  • Have a full reference list handy for answering questions

Citing Orally

What Makes Citing Orally Special

In an oral presentation, your audience can’t flip back and forth between in-text citations and a reference list, nor can they look for a footnote or an endnote: you need to tell them where the information, idea, or words come from as you say it . Since listening to a live presentation is a linear process (you can’t skim or jump around and hear it out of chronological order), it’s best to introduce the source before you present the information, so your audience members are ready to evaluate the information with the source (and your view of it) in mind when they hear the material from the source. The citation needs to be brief, because it’s hard to digest the citation while evaluating the information, both of which are given within a few seconds’ time.

Technical How-To

  • According to Joseph X, a professor of Yada Yada at Blah Blah University,…
  • Farooq Y, author of the well-researched 2010 study, Early American Nutrition and Politics , argues that…
  • Katherine Z, a journalist writing for the prestigious New York Times , offers this example….
  • Give your audience just enough detail to help them understand who provided the idea or information and how credible the source is.
  • If your source is original research (e.g. you conducted a survey, interview, experiment, or observation), just simply tell your audience what you did.
  • You might choose give your audience a brief (a couple of sentences) overview of how you did your research, much like the “methodology” part of a scientific study or the “literature review” in a scholarly article in the social sciences and humanities. This can work well when you combine original research and published resources, when you work with different fields (e.g. both popular press articles and scholarly articles), or when you rely heavily on one or two sources that you present up front.
  • Pause slightly after the introductory phrase, then read the quote expressively so that the quote sounds like a second voice. Pause slightly again after the quote to indicate switching back to your own voice. This is the best method, but not easy to master quickly. The two methods below, while not preferable, are also acceptable.
  • Say “Quote” immediately before you start reading the quote, and then say “Endquote” immediately after the last words of the quote.
  • If people can see you clearly, you can use “air quotes” by holding up one or both of your hands and moving your pointer and index fingers up and down, as if you were drawing quotation marks in the air.

Citing on Visuals

What Makes Citing on Visuals Special

In the same way that you cite the source of everything in your paper that did not originate in your own head, you must also cite the sources of the text and images that appear on your visuals.  You need to cite-as-you-go on your visuals too, because your audience can’t page back and forth in your PowerPoint. Again, keep in mind how much information your audience can handle at once.  Remember the public speaking maxim: your visuals should guide your audience’s attention and support what you’re saying, not distract from what you’re saying.

  • Use a smaller font
  • Use italics for the source (and then use underlining, not italics, for book titles)
  • Use a different color
  • Make the citation big enough so people can see it from anywhere in the room.
  • Don’t make your slides too busy. It’s okay if you don’t have enough space for all the information you would put on a formally formatted reference list. If trimming your citation, leave in the most important information: e.g. the author’s name, the title of the book or article, the sponsor and title of a website, the title of any book or journal the work is in (in the case of an article), and the date.
  • If your visual is a mashup, you still need to cite the sources of information, quotes, and images: in short, credit everything that someone else made that appears in your mashup. Use the same brief methods in the mashup that you use for other visual aids—sort of like the names and descriptions that flash on the screen when people are interviewed in a documentary or in a newscast. Make sure that you leave the citations showing long enough that someone can read them. If you add a source list and/or a set of credits at the end (don’t forget to credit the music!), make sure they scroll slowly enough that the average person can read them.

The Full and Formal Source List

Why Have a Formal Source List Available?

You might get questions that require you to refer to sources that you used in your full study, but did not use in the presentation. If you have a formal source list available, it can remind you of author names, titles, dates, and other specific information your audience might want. You might also need to repeat specific information about a source you mentioned orally or give information that was too much to put on the visual.

  • Put your list in a conventional format such as MLA style, APA style, Chicago style. If your presentation is based on a paper you wrote, you can simply use the list at the end of the paper.
  • Make your list easily available to you in hard copy so that you can retrieve it during the presentation or follow-up question period.
  • Make sure you save an electronic copy of the reference list so that you can easily email it to an audience member if needed.
  • Should you put this list as a slide at the end of the presentation? Only if you can fit it all on one slide that’s easily readable from all positions in the room. Using multiple slides often doesn’t work well because either you flip too quickly through them for them to be useful, or different audience members are interested in sources on different slides. While it might be good to have such a group of slides “just in case,” a better solution would be ready with a couple of hard copies you can hand out, if needed.

Additional Resources

  • Documentation and citation
  • Check out information literacy tutorials

Module 2: Ethical Speech

Citing sources in a speech, learning objectives.

Explain how to cite sources in written and oral speech materials.

Tips on citing sources when speaking publicly by Sarah Stone Watt, Pepperdine University

Even if you have handed your professor a written outline of your speech with source citations, you must also offer oral attribution for ideas that are not your own (see Table below for examples of ways to cite sources while you are speaking). Omitting the oral attribution from the speech leads the audience, who is not holding a written version, to believe that the words are your own. Be sure to offer citations and oral attributions for all material that you have taken from someone else, including paraphrases or summaries of their ideas. When in doubt, remember to “always provide oral citations for direct quotations, paraphrased material, or especially striking language, letting listeners know who said the words, where, and when.” [1]  Whether plagiarism is intentional or not, it is unethical, and someone committing plagiarism will often be sanctioned based on their institution’s code of conduct.

In your speech, make reference to the quality and credibility of your sources. Identifying the qualifications for a source, or explaining that their ideas have been used by many other credible sources, will enhance the strength of your speech. For example, if you are giving a speech about the benefits of sleep, citing a renowned sleep expert will strengthen your argument. If you can then explain that this person’s work has been repeatedly tested and affirmed by later studies, your argument will appear even stronger. On the other hand, if you simply offer the name of your source without any explanation of who that person is or why they ought to be believed, your argument is suspect. To offer this kind of information without disrupting the flow of your speech, you might say something like:

Mary Carskadon, director of the Chronobiology/Sleep Research Laboratory at Bradley Hospital in Rhode Island and professor at the Brown University School of Medicine, explains that there are several advantages to increased amounts of sleep. Her work is supported by other researchers, like Dr. Kyla Wahlstrom at the University of Minnesota, whose study demonstrated that delaying school start times increased student sleep and their performance (National Sleep Foundation, 2011).

This sample citation bolsters credibility by offering qualifications and identifying multiple experts who agree on this issue.

  • Turner, Kathleen J., et al.  Public Speaking . Pearson, 2017. ↵
  • Jobs, S. (2005, June 14). "You've got to find what you love," Jobs says. Retrieved September 30, 2020, from http://news.stanford.edu/news/2005/june15/jobs-061505.html ↵
  • Tips on citing sources. Authored by : Sarah Stone Watt. Located at : http://publicspeakingproject.org/supporting.html . License : CC BY-NC-ND: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives . License Terms : Used with Permission

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7.3 Citing Sources

Learning objectives.

  • Understand what style is.
  • Know which academic disciplines you are more likely to use, American Psychological Association (APA) versus Modern Language Association (MLA) style.
  • Cite sources using the sixth edition of the American Psychological Association’s Style Manual.
  • Cite sources using the seventh edition of the Modern Language Association’s Style Manual.
  • Explain the steps for citing sources within a speech.
  • Differentiate between direct quotations and paraphrases of information within a speech.
  • Understand how to use sources ethically in a speech.
  • Explain twelve strategies for avoiding plagiarism.

A bibliography

Quinn Dombrowski – Bilbiography – CC BY-SA 2.0.

By this point you’re probably exhausted after looking at countless sources, but there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done. Most public speaking teachers will require you to turn in either a bibliography or a reference page with your speeches. In this section, we’re going to explore how to properly cite your sources for a Modern Language Association (MLA) list of works cited or an American Psychological Association (APA) reference list. We’re also going to discuss plagiarism and how to avoid it.

Why Citing Is Important

Citing is important because it enables readers to see where you found information cited within a speech, article, or book. Furthermore, not citing information properly is considered plagiarism, so ethically we want to make sure that we give credit to the authors we use in a speech. While there are numerous citation styles to choose from, the two most common style choices for public speaking are APA and MLA.

APA versus MLA Source Citations

Style refers to those components or features of a literary composition or oral presentation that have to do with the form of expression rather than the content expressed (e.g., language, punctuation, parenthetical citations, and endnotes). The APA and the MLA have created the two most commonly used style guides in academia today. Generally speaking, scholars in the various social science fields (e.g., psychology, human communication, business) are more likely to use APA style , and scholars in the various humanities fields (e.g., English, philosophy, rhetoric) are more likely to use MLA style . The two styles are quite different from each other, so learning them does take time.

APA Citations

The first common reference style your teacher may ask for is APA. As of July 2009, the American Psychological Association published the sixth edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association ( http://www.apastyle.org ) (American Psychological Association, 2010). The sixth edition provides considerable guidance on working with and citing Internet sources. Table 7.4 “APA Sixth Edition Citations” provides a list of common citation examples that you may need for your speech.

Table 7.4 APA Sixth Edition Citations

MLA Citations

The second common reference style your teacher may ask for is MLA. In March 2009, the Modern Language Association published the seventh edition of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (Modern Language Association, 2009) ( http://www.mla.org/style ). The seventh edition provides considerable guidance for citing online sources and new media such as graphic narratives. Table 7.5 “MLA Seventh Edition Citations” provides a list of common citations you may need for your speech.

Table 7.5 MLA Seventh Edition Citations

Citing Sources in a Speech

Once you have decided what sources best help you explain important terms and ideas in your speech or help you build your arguments, it’s time to place them into your speech. In this section, we’re going to quickly talk about using your research effectively within your speeches. Citing sources within a speech is a three-step process: set up the citation, give the citation, and explain the citation.

First, you want to set up your audience for the citation. The setup is one or two sentences that are general statements that lead to the specific information you are going to discuss from your source. Here’s an example: “Workplace bullying is becoming an increasing problem for US organizations.” Notice that this statement doesn’t provide a specific citation yet, but the statement introduces the basic topic.

Second, you want to deliver the source; whether it is a direct quotation or a paraphrase of information from a source doesn’t matter at this point. A direct quotation is when you cite the actual words from a source with no changes. To paraphrase is to take a source’s basic idea and condense it using your own words. Here’s an example of both:

You’ll notice that in both of these cases, we started by citing the author of the study—in this case, the Workplace Bullying Institute. We then provided the title of the study. You could also provide the name of the article, book, podcast, movie, or other source. In the direct quotation example, we took information right from the report. In the second example, we summarized the same information (Workplace Bullying Institute, 2009).

Let’s look at another example of direct quotations and paraphrases, this time using a person, rather than an institution, as the author.

Notice that the same basic pattern for citing sources was followed in both cases.

The final step in correct source citation within a speech is the explanation. One of the biggest mistakes of novice public speakers (and research writers) is that they include a source citation and then do nothing with the citation at all. Instead, take the time to explain the quotation or paraphrase to put into the context of your speech. Do not let your audience draw their own conclusions about the quotation or paraphrase. Instead, help them make the connections you want them to make. Here are two examples using the examples above:

Notice how in both of our explanations we took the source’s information and then added to the information to direct it for our specific purpose. In the case of the bullying citation, we then propose that businesses should either adopt workplace bullying guidelines or face legal intervention. In the case of the “aha!” example, we turn the quotation into a section on helping people find their thesis or topic. In both cases, we were able to use the information to further our speech.

Using Sources Ethically

The last section of this chapter is about using sources in an ethical manner. Whether you are using primary or secondary research, there are five basic ethical issues you need to consider.

Avoid Plagiarism

First, and foremost, if the idea isn’t yours, you need to cite where the information came from during your speech. Having the citation listed on a bibliography or reference page is only half of the correct citation. You must provide correct citations for all your sources within the speech as well. In a very helpful book called Avoiding Plagiarism: A Student Guide to Writing Your Own Work , Menager-Beeley and Paulos provide a list of twelve strategies for avoiding plagiarism (Menager-Beeley & Paulos, 2009):

  • Do your own work, and use your own words. One of the goals of a public speaking class is to develop skills that you’ll use in the world outside academia. When you are in the workplace and the “real world,” you’ll be expected to think for yourself, so you might as well start learning this skill now.
  • Allow yourself enough time to research the assignment. One of the most commonly cited excuses students give for plagiarism is that they didn’t have enough time to do the research. In this chapter, we’ve stressed the necessity of giving yourself plenty of time. The more complete your research strategy is from the very beginning, the more successful your research endeavors will be in the long run. Remember, not having adequate time to prepare is no excuse for plagiarism.
  • Keep careful track of your sources. A common mistake that people can make is that they forget where information came from when they start creating the speech itself. Chances are you’re going to look at dozens of sources when preparing your speech, and it is very easy to suddenly find yourself believing that a piece of information is “common knowledge” and not citing that information within a speech. When you keep track of your sources, you’re less likely to inadvertently lose sources and not cite them correctly.
  • Take careful notes. However you decide to keep track of the information you collect (old-fashioned pen and notebook or a computer software program), the more careful your note-taking is, the less likely you’ll find yourself inadvertently not citing information or citing the information incorrectly. It doesn’t matter what method you choose for taking research notes, but whatever you do, you need to be systematic to avoid plagiarizing.
  • Assemble your thoughts, and make it clear who is speaking. When creating your speech, you need to make sure that you clearly differentiate your voice in the speech from the voice of specific authors of the sources you quote. The easiest way to do this is to set up a direct quotation or a paraphrase, as we’ve described in the preceding sections. Remember, audience members cannot see where the quotation marks are located within your speech text, so you need to clearly articulate with words and vocal tone when you are using someone else’s ideas within your speech.
  • If you use an idea, a quotation, paraphrase, or summary, then credit the source. We can’t reiterate it enough: if it is not your idea, you need to tell your audience where the information came from. Giving credit is especially important when your speech includes a statistic, an original theory, or a fact that is not common knowledge.
  • Learn how to cite sources correctly both in the body of your paper and in your List of Works Cited ( Reference Page ) . Most public speaking teachers will require that you turn in either a bibliography or reference page on the day you deliver a speech. Many students make the mistake of thinking that the bibliography or reference page is all they need to cite information, and then they don’t cite any of the material within the speech itself. A bibliography or reference page enables a reader or listener to find those sources after the fact, but you must also correctly cite those sources within the speech itself; otherwise, you are plagiarizing.
  • Quote accurately and sparingly. A public speech should be based on factual information and references, but it shouldn’t be a string of direct quotations strung together. Experts recommend that no more than 10 percent of a paper or speech be direct quotations (Menager-Beeley & Paulos, 2009). When selecting direct quotations, always ask yourself if the material could be paraphrased in a manner that would make it clearer for your audience. If the author wrote a sentence in a way that is just perfect, and you don’t want to tamper with it, then by all means directly quote the sentence. But if you’re just quoting because it’s easier than putting the ideas into your own words, this is not a legitimate reason for including direct quotations.
  • Paraphrase carefully. Modifying an author’s words in this way is not simply a matter of replacing some of the words with synonyms. Instead, as Howard and Taggart explain in Research Matters , “paraphrasing force[s] you to understand your sources and to capture their meaning accurately in original words and sentences” (Howard & Taggart, 2010). Incorrect paraphrasing is one of the most common forms of inadvertent plagiarism by students. First and foremost, paraphrasing is putting the author’s argument, intent, or ideas into your own words.
  • Do not patchwrite ( patchspeak ) . Menager-Beeley and Paulos define patchwriting as consisting “of mixing several references together and arranging paraphrases and quotations to constitute much of the paper. In essence, the student has assembled others’ work with a bit of embroidery here and there but with little original thinking or expression” (Menager-Beeley & Paulos, 2009). Just as students can patchwrite, they can also engage in patchspeaking. In patchspeaking, students rely completely on taking quotations and paraphrases and weaving them together in a manner that is devoid of the student’s original thinking.
  • Summarize, don’t auto-summarize. Some students have learned that most word processing features have an auto-summary function. The auto-summary function will take a ten-page document and summarize the information into a short paragraph. When someone uses the auto-summary function, the words that remain in the summary are still those of the original author, so this is not an ethical form of paraphrasing.
  • Do not rework another student’s paper ( speech ) or buy paper mill papers ( speech mill speeches ) . In today’s Internet environment, there are a number of storehouses of student speeches on the Internet. Some of these speeches are freely available, while other websites charge money for getting access to one of their canned speeches. Whether you use a speech that is freely available or pay money for a speech, you are engaging in plagiarism. This is also true if the main substance of your speech was copied from a web page. Any time you try to present someone else’s ideas as your own during a speech, you are plagiarizing.

Avoid Academic Fraud

While there are numerous websites where you can download free speeches for your class, this is tantamount to fraud. If you didn’t do the research and write your own speech, then you are fraudulently trying to pass off someone else’s work as your own. In addition to being unethical, many institutions have student codes that forbid such activity. Penalties for academic fraud can be as severe as suspension or expulsion from your institution.

Don’t Mislead Your Audience

If you know a source is clearly biased, and you don’t spell this out for your audience, then you are purposefully trying to mislead or manipulate your audience. Instead, if the information may be biased, tell your audience that the information may be biased and allow your audience to decide whether to accept or disregard the information.

Give Author Credentials

You should always provide the author’s credentials. In a world where anyone can say anything and have it published on the Internet or even publish it in a book, we have to be skeptical of the information we see and hear. For this reason, it’s very important to provide your audience with background about the credentials of the authors you cite.

Use Primary Research Ethically

Lastly, if you are using primary research within your speech, you need to use it ethically as well. For example, if you tell your survey participants that the research is anonymous or confidential, then you need to make sure that you maintain their anonymity or confidentiality when you present those results. Furthermore, you also need to be respectful if someone says something is “off the record” during an interview. We must always maintain the privacy and confidentiality of participants during primary research, unless we have their express permission to reveal their names or other identifying information.

Key Takeaways

  • Style focuses on the components of your speech that make up the form of your expression rather than your content.
  • Social science disciplines, such as psychology, human communication, and business, typically use APA style, while humanities disciplines, such as English, philosophy, and rhetoric, typically use MLA style.
  • The APA sixth edition and the MLA seventh edition are the most current style guides and the tables presented in this chapter provide specific examples of common citations for each of these styles.
  • Citing sources within your speech is a three-step process: set up the citation, provide the cited information, and interpret the information within the context of your speech.
  • A direct quotation is any time you utilize another individual’s words in a format that resembles the way they were originally said or written. On the other hand, a paraphrase is when you take someone’s ideas and restate them using your own words to convey the intended meaning.
  • Ethically using sources means avoiding plagiarism, not engaging in academic fraud, making sure not to mislead your audience, providing credentials for your sources so the audience can make judgments about the material, and using primary research in ways that protect the identity of participants.
  • Plagiarism is a huge problem and creeps its way into student writing and oral presentations. As ethical communicators, we must always give credit for the information we convey in our writing and our speeches.
  • List what you think are the benefits of APA style and the benefits of MLA style. Why do you think some people prefer APA style over MLA style or vice versa?
  • Find a direct quotation within a magazine article. Paraphrase that direct quotation. Then attempt to paraphrase the entire article as well. How would you cite each of these orally within the body of your speech?
  • Which of Menager-Beeley and Paulos (2009) twelve strategies for avoiding plagiarism do you think you need the most help with right now? Why? What can you do to overcome and avoid that pitfall?

American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author. See also American Psychological Association. (2010). Concise rules of APA Style: The official pocket style guide from the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

Howard, R. M., & Taggart, A. R. (2010). Research matters . New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, p. 131.

Menager-Beeley, R., & Paulos, L. (2009). Understanding plagiarism: A student guide to writing your own work . Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, pp. 5–8.

Modern Language Association. (2009). MLA handbook for writers of research papers (7th ed.). New York, NY: Modern Language Association.

Workplace Bullying Institute. (2009). Bullying: Getting away with it WBI Labor Day Study—September, 2009. Retrieved July 14, 2011, from http://www.workplacebullying.org/res/WBI2009-B-Survey.html

Stand up, Speak out Copyright © 2016 by University of Minnesota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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Citations & Avoiding Plagiarism

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Why use Verbal Citations?

  • Adds credibility.
  • Shows your work.
  • Avoids plagiarism by giving credit to others for their work/ideas.
  • Shows timeliness of research and resources.

Creating an Verbal Citation

General guidelines.

Be brief, but p rovide enough information that your audience can track down the source.

Highlight what is most important criteria for that source.

Include who/what and when.

  • Author 
  • Author's credentials
  • Title of Work
  • Title of Publication
  • Date of work/publication/study

Use an introductory phrase for your verbal citation.

According to Professor Jane Smith at Stanford University.... (abbreviated verbal citation)

When I interviewed college instructor John Doe and observed his English 101 class...

Jason Hammersmith, a journalist with the Dallas Times, describes in his February 13, 2016 article....  (Full verbal citation)

Full vs. abbreviated verbal citations

Full verbal citations  include all the information about the source thereby allowing the source to be easily found.  ex. According to Harvard University professors, Dr. Smith and Dr. Jones research on this topic published in the Summer 2015 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine....

Abbreviated verbal citations  include less information about the source, but still includes the most important aspects of that specific source.  ex. A 2015 study in the New England Journal of Medicine reports that Harvard University professors....

  • FILE: Guide to Oral Footnoting (a/k/a verbal citations) This document from Matt McGarrity, a University of Washington communication instructor, provides examples and tips on how to verbally cite information in a speech.

Speaking a Verbal Citation

Verbal citations should come at the beginning of the cited idea or quotation..

It is a easier for a listening audience to understand that what they hear next is coming from that source. 

Introduce the quote (ex "And I quote" or "As Dr. Smith stated"...) PAUSE. Start quotation. PAUSE at the end of the quotation.

Introduce the quote. Say QUOTE. Start quotation. Say END QUOTE. 

Example 1 : Listen to the first few minutes of this video to hear how the speaker incorporates a verbal citation.

2018 NSDA Informative Speech Champion Lily Indie's "Nobody puts Baby in a closet"  has examples of verbal citations. Listen to two verbal citations starting at the 5:30 mark and running until 6:50 mark in this YouTube video.

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Verbal Citations in Speeches and Presentations

What should you include in a verbal citation, when you give a speech....

(click on image to enlarge)

image of caption bubble with this info: You do not want a verbal citation to interrupt the flow of speech by giving too many details for example, it would be unnecessary to list the page number, volume and issue number of a journal article  but you need to give enough details so that your audience knows where the information came from, who the author is and what their credentials are, and often how current the information is

Why cite sources verbally?

  • to c onvince your audience  that you are a  credible  speaker.  Building on the work of others lends authority to your presentation
  • to prove that your information comes from solid,  reliable sources that your audience can trust.
  • to give credit to others for their ideas, data, images (even on PowerPoint slides), and words to  avoid plagiarism.
  • to  leave a path for your audience  so they can locate your sources.

What are tips for effective verbal citations?

When citing books:

  • Ineffective : “ Margaret Brownwell writes in her book Dieting Sensibly that fad diets telling you ‘eat all you want’ are dangerous and misguided.” (Although the speaker cites and author and book title, who is Margaret Brownwell?  No information is presented to establish her authority on the topic.)
  • Better : “Margaret Brownwell, professor of nutrition at the Univeristy of New Mexico , writes in her book, Dieting Sensibly, that …” (The author’s credentials are clearly described.)

When citing Magazine, Journal, or Newspaper articles

  • Ineffective : “An article titled ‘Biofuels Boom’ from the ProQuest database notes that midwestern energy companies are building new factories to convert corn to ethanol.” (Although ProQuest is the database tool used to retrieve the information, the name of the newspaper or journal and publication date should be cited as the source.)
  • Better : “An article titled ‘Biofuels Boom’ in a September 2010 issue of Journal of Environment and Development” notes that midwestern energy companies…” (Name and date of the source provides credibility and currency of the information as well as giving the audience better information to track down the source.)

When citing websites

  • Ineffective : “According to generationrescue.org, possible recovery from autism includes dietary interventions.” (No indication of the credibility or sponsoring organization or author of the website is given)
  • Better : “According to pediatrician Jerry Kartzinel, consultant for generationrescue.org, an organization that provides information about autism treatment options, possibly recovery from autism includes dietary interventions.” (author and purpose of the website is clearly stated.)

Note: some of the above examples are quoted from: Metcalfe, Sheldon. Building a Speech. 7th ed. Boston: Wadsworth, 2010. Google Books. Web. 17 Mar. 2012.

Video: Oral Citations

Source: "Oral Citations" by COMMpadres Media , is licensed under a Standard YouTube License.

Example of a Verbal Citation

Example of a verbal citation from a CMST 238 class at Green River College,  Auburn, WA, February 2019

What to Include in a Verbal Citation

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Reading Scholarly Papers

how to cite sources during a speech

Organizing Sources

how to cite sources during a speech

All direct quotes, paraphrasing, summarizing, statistics, and outside opinions count as outside information, and must be cited. If you have never developed a system for keeping track of your citations, the following video provides an easy to use but effective system.

View Transcript

Hi, everyone! This is Lara Hammock from the Marble Jar channel and in today's video, I'll tell you how I use Google Sheets to organize my citations and sources for papers and research projects.

I'm in my first year of graduate school and we do a lot of writing. References and citations are very important, as they are for any discipline. I supposed if I was writing a dissertation with a hundred citations, I would feel the need to pay for and learn a whole complicated citation software, but since I'm not, I prefer to use tools that I already use and know well. AND despite the fact I'm not writing a dissertation, I have written some papers that have had over 25 sources, so I do need SOME kind of system to organize and manage my citations.

I started out, as most people do, with kind of a hodge-podge system of just cutting and pasting URLs from the Internet and sticking them at the bottom of the Word document of the paper. Or, if I'm doing research, I'd just copy and paste URLs with maybe some quotes from the study or article. The problem was, if I had multiple quotes, I couldn't organize them by topic for fear of losing the reference link, or I'd have to duplicate the URL multiple times. Plus, scrolling down to check these references was annoying. I needed a better, less messy system.

Here's what I do now. For each research project or paper, I create a new Google Sheets spreadsheet for references. You could easily do this in any spreadsheet program. I name it something like Class name - Project name - Citations and Quotes. Let's use a research project that I just did for my Policy class as an example. My spreadsheet name is "Policy - Ex-Felon Voting Rights Citations and Quotes." Then -- I make 2 tabs. The first tab is called Quotes, the second is Sources. I'm going to put a sample of this Citation Spreadsheet up on my Google Drive to share with you. To use it, just follow the link that I will provide in the notes section, make a copy into your own Drive, and then use it or modify it as you see fit.

Sample Google Spreadsheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1PaQbDLrTFptlZAlarTkdj_syYBxs1zUaqqXulF1e11A/edit?usp=sharing

Back to the spreadsheet -- so, now as I'm doing my research and reading a bunch of different articles -- in this case, mostly news articles and opinion pieces -- I starting finding quotes or statistics that help me to understand the issue or that I might want to use in my paper. So, I copy the quote and paste it into this first column. Okay -- the second column is a reference number. I'm going to want to remember where I got this quote from -- so go to the article and copy the URL or website address. I note some basics about the source and what the article is about -- in this case it's an Editorial from The Washington Post Editorial Board. Now I go into the Sources tab paste the URL under website address, note some basics about the article -- more for my own recall ability than anything else, and I number it -- #1. Now, I'm going to have a bunch of other articles to put in here, so I might as well go ahead and fill in these numbers, 1 to 10. Okay, back to the Quotes tab, I'm going to indicate that this quote came from article #1. Now, I can paste several quotes from the same article, I just need to indicate where they came from. So, here is my completed spreadsheet for this research project. I have 13 sources and 38 quotes. I obviously did not use all of those in my paper, but they helped to shape my understanding of the topic and served as a repository for the quotes and statistics that I DID end up using.

Just a quick note -- because of the nature of this research project, most of my sources were articles about current events, but this system also works great for scholarly research since so much is accessible on the Internet these days through your academic institution's research portal. I also use this system to capture quotes from books. Check out my video on exporting quotes from Kindle books into a spreadsheet such as this.

There are two things that I find really helpful about this system:

1) Easy to categorize - Because each quote has its own line, you can tag each quote with a theme or category. For example, in this column, I'm going to put in the main reasoning that states use to disenfranchise ex-offenders. There are a handful: safety, punishment, violation of social contract, political ideology, race etc. Not every quote is going to get a tag, but I can tag all of the ones that apply and then I can sort by this column. That way, if this is how I've decided to structure my paper, in this case -- by state rationale, I have quotes that are all nicely grouped together and ready to use for each topic. The second thing, is that this system makes it

2) Easy to cite while drafting - So, I'm writing my paper and I want to use a good statistic. Here's one: "McAuliffe's order affected 200,000 people in a state where 3.9 million people voted in the 2012 presidential election." So, I go ahead and quote this in my paper. Now, I don't want to slow down my writing process do the whole citation now (for me, that is an entirely different thinking process), so when I'm drafting, I just put the reference number in parenthesis right behind the quote. Like this (4). Then, once I've drafted and edited the paper, I go back in looking for reference numbers and replace them with proper citations. This is easy to do since I have a nice centralized place where I've gathered all of the source website information.

This system has worked well for me. Let me know what you think! Comments are always appreciated and thanks for watching!

You may also choose to organize your notes on sources in a more topical manner. For instance, you may have main points as a heading and include bullet points of quotes, information, and statistics. Be sure to include your sources!

TWITTER IN SCHOLARLY COMMUNICATION

  • First conceived by Andrea Kuszewski in 2011
  • “Liu notes that the hashtag was originally intended for science journalists, who typically lack access to the online library resources available to researchers at large universities; however, her research has demonstrated that academics and students use #icanhazpdf services more frequently than those in communications fields” (p. 7)
  • “Such requests are evidence of users choosing social media over the library as a means of obtaining scholarly materials” (p. 11)
  • https://www.altmetric.com/blog/interactions-the-numbers-behind-icanhazpdf
  • “Specific tools, such as Twitter, have proved popular for frequent use by scholars to communicate with their counterparts and promote each other’s work” (Al-Aufi & Fulton, 2015, p. 228)

Now, how do you incorporate those sources into your writing? This wonderful video from ASU and Crash Course covers how you can use paraphrasing, quotations, and explanations without plagiarism.

Citing Your Sources

how to cite sources during a speech

Ask your professor which style you should use for your class. APA, MLA, and Chicago are the three mostly commonly used citation styles at Santa Fe College, with APA being the most common citation style for speech classes.

APA manual cover

  • APA Citation Guide [Tyree Library] Guide created by the Tyree Library with information on formatting, example citations, and tutorials.
  • APA Style Blog The official blog, answering and clarifying questions about APA.
  • The Basics of APA Style Official tutorial on APA.

Chicago Manual of Style cover

  • Chicago-Style Citation Quick Guide Quick examples from the official style guide.
  • Chicago Citation Guide [Tyree Library] Guide created by the Tyree Library with information on formatting, example citations, and tutorials.

  • MLA Citation Guide [Tyree Library] Guide created by the Tyree Library with information on formatting, example citations, and tutorials.
  • The MLA Style Center The official website for MLA style, with more examples, guidelines, and a place to ask questions.

Oral Citations

  • Oral Citation Basics

how to cite sources during a speech

To orally cite something, you will need to give sufficient information about the source to your audience. Typically, this is the author, title, and date of a source. By including this information, you allow your listeners to find your original sources, as well as allow them to hear that your sources are recent and are credible.

Orally Citing Information in Your Speech from Andrew Ishak on Vimeo .

Provide the author, title, and date of the book.

Colonel Charles Hoge in his 2010 book Once a Warrior, Always a Warrior coins the term 'rageaholism,' which refers to "persistent rage and hostility."

Provide the author, publication name, and date.

The recent 2013 Law & Human Behavior article by Kahn, Byrd, and Pardini, shows that young men who have high callous-unemotional traits, such as a lack of empathy, are more likely to be arrested for serious crimes.

Provide the website title and date.

In a March 2014 piece on the Blue Review website, anthropologist John Ziker found that college professors spend 17% of their day in meetings.

Provide the name of the interviewer (if not you), the name and credentials of the interviewee, and the date.

In an February 25 interview with Jon Stewart on The Daily Show , Michio Kaku notes that memories can currently be uploaded into mice, and eventually this could be used to help sufferers of Alzheimer's disease.

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8.4 Citing Sources

Young woman sitting at a table with a laptop in front of her while smiling at a person sitting on the other side of the table

By this point you’re probably exhausted after looking at countless sources, but there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done. Most public speaking teachers will require you to turn in either a bibliography or a reference page with your speeches. In this section, we’re going to explore how to properly cite your sources for a Modern Language Association (MLA) list of works cited or an American Psychological Association (APA) reference list. We’re also going to discuss plagiarism and how to avoid it.

Why Citing Is Important

Citing is important because it enables readers to see where you found information cited within a speech, article, or book. Furthermore, not citing information properly is considered plagiarism, so ethically we want to make sure that we give credit to the authors we use in a speech. While there are numerous citation styles to choose from, the two most common style choices for public speaking are APA and MLA.

APA versus MLA Source Citations

Style refers to those components or features of a literary composition or oral presentation that have to do with the form of expression rather than the content expressed (e.g., language, punctuation, parenthetical citations, and endnotes). The APA and the MLA have created the two most commonly used style guides in academia today. Generally speaking, scholars in the various social science fields (e.g., psychology, human communication, business) are more likely to use APA style , and scholars in the various humanities fields (e.g., English, philosophy, rhetoric) are more likely to use MLA style . The two styles are quite different from each other, so learning them does take time.

APA Citations

The first common reference style your teacher may ask for is APA. As of October 2019, the American Psychological Association published the seventh edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association ( http://www.apastyle.org ) . The seventh edition provides considerable guidance on working with and citing Internet sources.

MLA Citations

The second common reference style your teacher may ask for is MLA. In March 2009, the Modern Language Association published the seventh edition of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (Modern Language Association, 2009) ( http://www.mla.org/style ). The seventh edition provides considerable guidance for citing online sources and new media such as graphic narratives.

Citing Sources in a Speech

Once you have decided what sources best help you explain important terms and ideas in your speech or help you build your arguments, it’s time to place them into your speech. In this section, we’re going to quickly talk about using your research effectively within your speeches. Citing sources within a speech is a three-step process: set up the citation, give the citation, and explain the citation.

First, you want to set up your audience for the citation. The setup is one or two sentences that are general statements that lead to the specific information you are going to discuss from your source. Here’s an example: “Workplace bullying is becoming an increasing problem for US organizations.” Notice that this statement doesn’t provide a specific citation yet, but the statement introduces the basic topic.

Second, you want to deliver the source; whether it is a direct quotation or a paraphrase of information from a source doesn’t matter at this point. A direct quotation is when you cite the actual words from a source with no changes. To paraphrase is to take a source’s basic idea and condense it using your own words. Here’s an example of both:

You’ll notice that in both of these cases, we started by citing the author of the study—in this case, the Workplace Bullying Institute. We then provided the title of the study. You could also provide the name of the article, book, podcast, movie, or other source. In the direct quotation example, we took information right from the report. In the second example, we summarized the same information (Workplace Bullying Institute, 2009).

Let’s look at another example of direct quotations and paraphrases, this time using a person, rather than an institution, as the author.

Notice that the same basic pattern for citing sources was followed in both cases.

The final step in correct source citation within a speech is the explanation. One of the biggest mistakes of novice public speakers (and research writers) is that they include a source citation and then do nothing with the citation at all. Instead, take the time to explain the quotation or paraphrase to put into the context of your speech. Do not let your audience draw their own conclusions about the quotation or paraphrase. Instead, help them make the connections you want them to make. Here are two examples using the examples above:

Notice how in both of our explanations we took the source’s information and then added to the information to direct it for our specific purpose. In the case of the bullying citation, we then propose that businesses should either adopt workplace bullying guidelines or face legal intervention. In the case of the “aha!” example, we turn the quotation into a section on helping people find their thesis or topic. In both cases, we were able to use the information to further our speech.

Using Sources Ethically

The last section of this chapter is about using sources in an ethical manner. Whether you are using primary or secondary research, there are five basic ethical issues you need to consider.

Avoid Plagiarism

First, and foremost, if the idea isn’t yours, you need to cite where the information came from during your speech. Having the citation listed on a bibliography or reference page is only half of the correct citation. You must provide correct citations for all your sources within the speech as well. In a very helpful book called Avoiding Plagiarism: A Student Guide to Writing Your Own Work , Menager-Beeley and Paulos provide a list of twelve strategies for avoiding plagiarism (Menager-Beeley & Paulos, 2009):

  • Do your own work, and use your own words. One of the goals of a public speaking class is to develop skills that you’ll use in the world outside academia. When you are in the workplace and the “real world,” you’ll be expected to think for yourself, so you might as well start learning this skill now.
  • Allow yourself enough time to research the assignment. One of the most commonly cited excuses students give for plagiarism is that they didn’t have enough time to do the research. In this chapter, we’ve stressed the necessity of giving yourself plenty of time. The more complete your research strategy is from the very beginning, the more successful your research endeavors will be in the long run. Remember, not having adequate time to prepare is no excuse for plagiarism.
  • Keep careful track of your sources. A common mistake that people can make is that they forget where information came from when they start creating the speech itself. Chances are you’re going to look at dozens of sources when preparing your speech, and it is very easy to suddenly find yourself believing that a piece of information is “common knowledge” and not citing that information within a speech. When you keep track of your sources, you’re less likely to inadvertently lose sources and not cite them correctly.
  • Take careful notes. However you decide to keep track of the information you collect (old-fashioned pen and notebook or a computer software program), the more careful your note-taking is, the less likely you’ll find yourself inadvertently not citing information or citing the information incorrectly. It doesn’t matter what method you choose for taking research notes, but whatever you do, you need to be systematic to avoid plagiarizing.
  • Assemble your thoughts, and make it clear who is speaking. When creating your speech, you need to make sure that you clearly differentiate your voice in the speech from the voice of specific authors of the sources you quote. The easiest way to do this is to set up a direct quotation or a paraphrase, as we’ve described in the preceding sections. Remember, audience members cannot see where the quotation marks are located within your speech text, so you need to clearly articulate with words and vocal tone when you are using someone else’s ideas within your speech.
  • If you use an idea, a quotation, paraphrase, or summary, then credit the source. We can’t reiterate it enough: if it is not your idea, you need to tell your audience where the information came from. Giving credit is especially important when your speech includes a statistic, an original theory, or a fact that is not common knowledge.
  • Learn how to cite sources correctly both in the body of your paper and in your List of Works Cited ( Reference Page ) . Most public speaking teachers will require that you turn in either a bibliography or reference page on the day you deliver a speech. Many students make the mistake of thinking that the bibliography or reference page is all they need to cite information, and then they don’t cite any of the material within the speech itself. A bibliography or reference page enables a reader or listener to find those sources after the fact, but you must also correctly cite those sources within the speech itself; otherwise, you are plagiarizing.
  • Quote accurately and sparingly. A public speech should be based on factual information and references, but it shouldn’t be a string of direct quotations strung together. Experts recommend that no more than 10 percent of a paper or speech be direct quotations (Menager-Beeley & Paulos, 2009). When selecting direct quotations, always ask yourself if the material could be paraphrased in a manner that would make it clearer for your audience. If the author wrote a sentence in a way that is just perfect, and you don’t want to tamper with it, then by all means directly quote the sentence. But if you’re just quoting because it’s easier than putting the ideas into your own words, this is not a legitimate reason for including direct quotations.
  • Paraphrase carefully. Modifying an author’s words in this way is not simply a matter of replacing some of the words with synonyms. Instead, as Howard and Taggart explain in Research Matters , “paraphrasing force[s] you to understand your sources and to capture their meaning accurately in original words and sentences” (Howard & Taggart, 2010). Incorrect paraphrasing is one of the most common forms of inadvertent plagiarism by students. First and foremost, paraphrasing is putting the author’s argument, intent, or ideas into your own words.
  • Do not patchwrite ( patchspeak ) . Menager-Beeley and Paulos define patchwriting as consisting “of mixing several references together and arranging paraphrases and quotations to constitute much of the paper. In essence, the student has assembled others’ work with a bit of embroidery here and there but with little original thinking or expression” (Menager-Beeley & Paulos, 2009). Just as students can patchwrite, they can also engage in patchspeaking. In patchspeaking, students rely completely on taking quotations and paraphrases and weaving them together in a manner that is devoid of the student’s original thinking.
  • Summarize, don’t auto-summarize. Some students have learned that most word processing features have an auto-summary function. The auto-summary function will take a ten-page document and summarize the information into a short paragraph. When someone uses the auto-summary function, the words that remain in the summary are still those of the original author, so this is not an ethical form of paraphrasing.
  • Do not rework another student’s paper ( speech ) or buy paper mill papers ( speech mill speeches ) . In today’s Internet environment, there are a number of storehouses of student speeches on the Internet. Some of these speeches are freely available, while other websites charge money for getting access to one of their canned speeches. Whether you use a speech that is freely available or pay money for a speech, you are engaging in plagiarism. This is also true if the main substance of your speech was copied from a web page. Any time you try to present someone else’s ideas as your own during a speech, you are plagiarizing.

Avoid Academic Fraud

While there are numerous websites where you can download free speeches for your class, this is tantamount to fraud. If you didn’t do the research and write your own speech, then you are fraudulently trying to pass off someone else’s work as your own. In addition to being unethical, many institutions have student codes that forbid such activity. Penalties for academic fraud can be as severe as suspension or expulsion from your institution.

Don’t Mislead Your Audience

If you know a source is clearly biased, and you don’t spell this out for your audience, then you are purposefully trying to mislead or manipulate your audience. Instead, if the information may be biased, tell your audience that the information may be biased and allow your audience to decide whether to accept or disregard the information.

Give Author Credentials

You should always provide the author’s credentials. In a world where anyone can say anything and have it published on the Internet or even publish it in a book, we have to be skeptical of the information we see and hear. For this reason, it’s very important to provide your audience with background about the credentials of the authors you cite.

Use Primary Research Ethically

Lastly, if you are using primary research within your speech, you need to use it ethically as well. For example, if you tell your survey participants that the research is anonymous or confidential, then you need to make sure that you maintain their anonymity or confidentiality when you present those results. Furthermore, you also need to be respectful if someone says something is “off the record” during an interview. We must always maintain the privacy and confidentiality of participants during primary research, unless we have their express permission to reveal their names or other identifying information.

Pistol Pete walking in a crowd of OSU students.

Having gathered a wealth of information from various sources for his speech on Oklahoma State University’s traditions, Pistol Pete realized he needed to correctly orally cite these sources during his presentation. While he was familiar with written citations, he was unsure about the best way to acknowledge these sources out loud without disrupting the flow of his speech.

Pete decided to consult with his public speaking professor, an expert in the art of oral communication. His professor explained that the key to orally citing sources was to seamlessly integrate the citations into the narrative of the speech. She advised Pete to briefly mention the author or source while presenting the information, making sure it felt natural and didn’t distract from the overall message.

With this advice in mind, Pete practiced his speech, making sure to give due credit to his sources. For instance, when discussing the history of OSU traditions, Pete might say, “As noted in Dr. Johnson’s comprehensive history of Oklahoma State University found in the podcast “Just Poking Around” in July of 2022…” or “According to an article from the university archives from the Oklahoma State official website in 2002…”

Pete also learned the importance of giving context for the cited information. When citing a yearbook or an archived newsletter, he could say something like, “As described in the 1960 OSU yearbook…” or “As an issue of the OSU newsletter from the 1980s recounts…”

With careful practice, Pistol Pete found he was able to cite his sources naturally and effectively, maintaining the narrative flow of his speech. He felt more confident, knowing he was respecting the work of his sources while also providing his audience with well-researched and accurate information about OSU’s beloved traditions. Armed with his well-prepared speech, Pete was ready to inspire his fellow Cowboys and Cowgirls with the rich heritage of their university. What are some transitional phrases, like “According to…” that you can use to seamlessly incorporate your source citations?

American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author. See also American Psychological Association. (2010). Concise rules of APA Style: The official pocket style guide from the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

Howard, R. M., & Taggart, A. R. (2010). Research matters . New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, p. 131.

Menager-Beeley, R., & Paulos, L. (2009). Understanding plagiarism: A student guide to writing your own work . Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, pp. 5–8.

Modern Language Association. (2009). MLA handbook for writers of research papers (7th ed.). New York, NY: Modern Language Association.

Workplace Bullying Institute. (2009). Bullying: Getting away with it WBI Labor Day Study—September, 2009. Retrieved July 14, 2011, from http://www.workplacebullying.org/res/WBI2009-B-Survey.html

components or features of a literary composition or oral presentation that have to do with the form of expression rather than the content expressed (e.g., language, punctuation, parenthetical citations, and endnotes)

style scholars in the various social science fields (e.g., psychology, human communication, business) are more likely to use

the style scholars in the various humanities fields (e.g., English, philosophy, rhetoric) are more likely to use

when you cite the actual words from a source with no changes

to take a source’s basic idea and condense it using your own words

Introduction to Speech Communication Copyright © 2021 by Individual authors retain copyright of their work. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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6.4 Citing Sources

poster with the words citation needed on it

Most public speaking teachers will require you to turn in either a bibliography or a reference page with your speeches. In this section, we’re going to explore how to properly cite your sources for a Modern Language Association (MLA) list of works cited or an American Psychological Association (APA) reference list. We’re also going to discuss plagiarism and how to avoid it.

Why Citing Is Important

Citing enables readers to see where you found information used within a speech, article, or book. Citing your sources is one way that you demonstrate your credibility and integrity to your audience. When you cite your sources, you are showing your audience that your ideas are based on the most up-to-date ideas and best practices within your subject area as well as differentiating between your own insights and the intellectual property of others. Failing to cite your information properly, or at all, is considered plagiarism, which is representing someone’s words or ideas as your own. Because plagiarism is a type of academic dishonesty, educational institutions have strict prohibitions against it.

APA versus MLA Source Citations

While there are numerous citation styles to choose from, the two most common style choices for public speaking are APA (American Psychological Association) and MLA (Modern Language Association). Scholars in the social sciences (e.g., psychology, human communication, business) tend to use APA style , while scholars in the humanities (e.g., English, philosophy, rhetoric) are more likely to use MLA style . The two styles are quite different from each other, so learning them does take time. Your instructor will tell you which citation style to use for citing your sources.

Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab has a useful chart that explains the differences between APA and MLA Citation Style for different types of sources: https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/using_research/documents/20191212CitationChart.pdf .

Citing Sources in a Speech

In this section, we’ll discuss how to incorporate and cite outside sources in a speech. Citing sources within a speech is a three-step process: setting up the citation, incorporating the cited information, and explaining the citation. All three parts of this process are necessary to signal to your audience that you are going to support your claim with ideas or words that are not your own as well as explain how those ideas relate to your claim. Putting source material into your speech without framing it is “ drive-by quoting ,” a practice that disorients your audience by not giving them everything they need to understand how the source is relevant to your own claims.

Setting up the Citation

First, you want to set up your audience for the citation. The setup is one or two sentences that put your source into context and signal to the audience that you are about to transition from your own ideas to someone else’s.

For example:

Workplace bullying is becoming an increasing problem in the United States, and employers are reluctant to take steps to address this problem.

This statement introduces the basic topic and provides a context for the outside material you will use to support this observation.

Incorporating the Cited Information

The set up is followed by the cited information, which you can directly quote, paraphrase, or summarize. Directly quoting a source is to take a passage from it verbatim and enclose it in quotation marks to indicate that these words are not your own. Paraphrasing and summarizing are ways of restating the source’s ideas in your own words. A paraphrase is approximately the same length as the original passage, while a summary is a shorter version of the original passage. Because paraphrases and summaries are written in your own words, you do not enclose them in quotations.

Important!  While paraphrases and summaries of sources are written in your own words, you must still cite the original author because you are using someone else’s ideas.

Direct Quotation : Workplace bullying is becoming an increasing problem in the United States, and employers are reluctant to take steps to address this problem. In their 2009 report “Bullying: Getting Away with It,” the Workplace Bullying Institute found that “doing nothing to the bully (ensuring impunity) was the most common employer tactic (54%).”

Paraphrase: Workplace bullying is becoming an increasing problem in the United States, and employers are reluctant to take steps to address this problem. According to a 2009 study by the Workplace Bullying Institute entitled “Bullying: Getting Away with It,” 54 percent of employers took no action against bullies after workers reported a problem.

In both of these cases, the source information is first introduced by citing the author—in this case, the Workplace Bullying Institute. We then provided the title of the study. You could also provide the name of the article, book, podcast, movie, or other source.

Let’s look at another example of direct quotations and paraphrases, this time using a person, rather than an institution, as the author.

Direct Quotation : In her book The Elements of Library Research: What Every Student Needs to Know , Mary George, senior reference librarian at Princeton University’s library, defines insight as something that “occurs at an unpredictable point in the research process and leads to the formulation of a thesis statement and argument. Also called an ‘Aha’ moment or focus.”

Paraphrase : In her book The Elements of Library Research: What Every Student Needs to Know , Mary George, senior reference librarian at Princeton University’s library, tells us that insight is likely to come unexpectedly during the research process; it will be an “aha!” moment when we suddenly have a clear vision of the point we want to make.

Notice that the same basic pattern for citing sources was followed in both cases.

Explaining the Citation

One of the biggest mistakes of novice public speakers (and research writers) is incorporating cited material without explaining how it supports their claim, or “hit and run” quoting. The cited material does not speak for itself. It’s your job as writer and speaker to explain how the quotation or paraphrase supports your claim. Don’t force your audience to draw their own conclusions: help them make the connections you want them to make.

In the examples below, the material that explains the significance of the paraphrase or quote is in bold type.

Bullying Example Direct Quote: Workplace bullying is becoming an increasing problem in the United States, and employers are reluctant to take steps to address this problem. In their 2009 report “Bullying: Getting Away with It,” the Workplace Bullying Institute found that “doing nothing to the bully (ensuring impunity) was the most common employer tactic (54%).” Clearly, organizations need to be held accountable for investigating bullying allegations. If organizations will not voluntarily improve their handling of this problem, the legal system may be required to step in and enforce sanctions for bullying, much as it has done with sexual harassment.

Bullying Example Paraphrase: Workplace bullying is becoming an increasing problem in the United States, and employers are reluctant to take steps to address this problem. According to a 2009 study by the Workplace Bullying Institute entitled “Bullying: Getting Away with It,” 54 percent of employers took no action against bullies after workers reported a problem. Clearly, organizations need to be held accountable for investigating bullying allegations. If organizations will not voluntarily improve their handling of this problem, the legal system may be required to step in and enforce sanctions for bullying, much as it has done with sexual harassment.

Aha! Example Direct Quote : In her book The Elements of Library Research: What Every Student Needs to Know , Mary George, senior reference librarian at Princeton University’s library, defines insight as something that “occurs at an unpredictable point in the research process and leads to the formulation of a thesis statement and argument. Also called an ‘Aha’ moment or focus.” As many of us know, reaching that “aha!” moment does not always come quickly, but there are definitely some strategies one can take to help speed up this process.

Aha! Example Paraphrase: In her book The Elements of Library Research: What Every Student Needs to Know , Mary George, senior reference librarian at Princeton University’s library, tells us that insight is likely to come unexpectedly during the research process; it will be an “aha!” moment when we suddenly have a clear vision of the point we want to make. As many of us know, reaching that “aha!” moment does not always come quickly, but there are definitely some strategies one can take to help speed up this process.

Notice how in both of our explanations we took the source’s information and then added to the information to direct it for our specific purpose. In the bullying example, we then propose that businesses should either adopt workplace bullying guidelines or face legal intervention. In the “aha!” example, we turn the quotation into a section on helping people find their thesis or topic. In both cases, we were able to use the information to support our claims.

Using Sources Ethically

The last section of this chapter is about using sources in an ethical manner. Whether you are using primary or secondary research, there are five basic ethical issues you need to consider.

Strategies to Avoid Plagiarism

  • First, and foremost, if the idea isn’t yours, you need to cite where the information came from during your speech. Having the citation listed on a bibliography or reference page is only half of the correct citation. You must provide correct citations for all your sources within the speech as well.
  • Do your own work and use your own words. One of the goals of a public speaking class is to develop skills that you’ll use in the world outside academia. When you are in the workplace and the “real world,” you’ll be expected to think for yourself, so you might as well start learning this skill now.
  • Allow yourself enough time to research the assignment so that you will have enough time to cite your sources. One of the most commonly cited excuses students give for plagiarism is that they didn’t have enough time to do the research. In this chapter, we’ve stressed the necessity of giving yourself plenty of time. The more complete your research strategy is from the very beginning, the more successful your research endeavors will be in the long run. Remember, not having adequate time to prepare is no excuse for plagiarism.
  • Keep track of your sources by taking careful notes while you do your research. A common mistake that people can make is that they forget where information came from when they start creating the speech itself. Chances are you’re going to look at dozens of sources when preparing your speech, and it is very easy to suddenly find yourself believing that a piece of information is “common knowledge” and not citing that information within a speech. This problem can be avoided by taking careful notes as you conduct your research, either with a pen and notebook or a Word document or spreadsheet. Write down the source of the information along with any key ideas or direct quotes that you might want to use. When you keep track of your sources, you’re less likely to inadvertently lose sources and not cite them correctly.
  • Make sure to clearly differentiate your voice in the speech from the voice of specific authors of the sources you quote. The easiest way to do this is to set up a direct quotation or a paraphrase that includes the author and title of the source. Remember, audience members cannot see where the quotation marks are located within your speech text, so you need to clearly articulate with words and vocal tone when you are using someone else’s ideas within your speech.
  • Learn how to cite sources correctly both in the body of your paper and in your List of Works Cited (Reference Page). Most public speaking teachers will require that you turn in either a bibliography or reference page on the day you deliver a speech. Many students make the mistake of thinking that the bibliography or reference page is all they need to cite information, and then they don’t cite any of the material within the speech itself. A bibliography or reference page enables a reader or listener to find those sources after the fact, but you must also correctly cite those sources within the speech itself; otherwise, you are plagiarizing.
  • Quote accurately and sparingly. Paraphrase and summarize whenever possible. A public speech should be based on factual information and references, but it shouldn’t be a string of direct quotations stitched together. Experts recommend that no more than 10 percent of a paper or speech be direct quotations (Menager-Beeley & Paulos, 2009). When selecting direct quotations, always ask yourself if the material could be paraphrased in a manner that would make it clearer for your audience. If the author wrote a sentence in a way that is just perfect, and you don’t want to tamper with it, then by all means directly quote the sentence. But if you’re just quoting because it’s easier than putting the ideas into your own words, this is not a legitimate reason for including direct quotations.
  • Paraphrase carefully. Modifying an author’s words in this way is not simply a matter of replacing some of the words with synonyms. Instead, as Howard and Taggart explain in Research Matters, “paraphrasing force[s] you to understand your sources and to capture their meaning accurately in original words and sentences” (Howard & Taggart, 2010). Incorrect paraphrasing is one of the most common forms of inadvertent plagiarism by students. First and foremost, paraphrasing is putting the author’s argument, intent, or ideas into your own words.
  • Do not patchwrite (patchspeak). Menager-Beeley and Paulos define patchwriting as “mixing several references together and arranging paraphrases and quotations to constitute much of the paper. In essence, the student has assembled others’ work with a bit of embroidery here and there but with little original thinking or expression” (Menager-Beeley & Paulos, 2009). Just as students can patchwrite, they can also engage in patchspeaking. In patchspeaking, students rely completely on taking quotations and paraphrases and weaving them together in a manner that is devoid of the student’s original thinking.
  • Summarize, don’t auto-summarize. Some students have learned that most word-processing programs have an auto-summary function. The auto-summary function will take a ten-page document and summarize the information into a short paragraph. When someone uses the auto-summary function, the words that remain in the summary are still those of the original author, so this is not an ethical form of paraphrasing. Also, auto summaries generated by word processing programs aren’t always accurate summaries. Writing an accurate summary is a complex task best performed by a human brain.
  • Do not represent someone else’s work as your own by reworking another student’s speech or buying or downloading one from a speech mill. Presenting someone else’s work as your own is also plagiarism as well as academic fraud. Penalties for academic fraud can be as severe as suspension or expulsion from your institution.

Don’t Mislead Your Audience

If you know a source is clearly biased, and you don’t spell this out for your audience, then you are purposefully trying to mislead or manipulate your audience. Instead, if the information may be biased, tell your audience that the information may be biased and allow your audience to decide whether to accept or disregard the information.

Give Author Credentials

You should always provide the author’s credentials. In a world where anyone can say anything and have it published on the Internet or even publish it in a book, we have to be skeptical of the information we see and hear. For this reason, it’s very important to provide your audience with background about the credentials of the authors you cite.

Use Primary Research Ethically

Lastly, if you are using primary research within your speech, you need to use it ethically as well. For example, if you tell your survey participants that the research is anonymous or confidential, then you need to make sure that you maintain their anonymity or confidentiality when you present those results. Furthermore, you also need to be respectful if someone says something is “off the record” during an interview. We must always maintain the privacy and confidentiality of participants during primary research, unless we have their express permission to reveal their names or other identifying information.

American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author. See also American Psychological Association. (2010). Concise rules of APA Style: The official pocket style guide from the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

“CRAAP Method.” LSU Libraries. 16 February 2022. https://guides.lib.lsu.edu/ENG1001/CRAAP.

George, M. W. (2008). The elements of library research: What every student needs to know. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, p. 183.

Howard, R. M., & Taggart, A. R. (2010). Research matters. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, p. 131.

Menager-Beeley, R., & Paulos, L. (2009). Understanding plagiarism: A student guide to writing your own work. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, pp. 5–8.

Modern Language Association. (2009). MLA handbook for writers of research papers (7th ed.). New York, NY: Modern Language Association.

Moxley, Joseph M. “Research.” Writing Commons. https://writingcommons.org/section/research/. Retrieved 22 February 2022.

Ochman, B. L. (2007, June 29). The top 10 news stories broken by bloggers. TechNewsWorld. [Web log post]. Retrieved July 14, 2011, from http://www.mpdailyfix.com/technewsworld-the-top-10-news-stories-broken-by-bloggers.

Project Management Institute. (2004). A guide to the project management body of knowledge: PMBOK® guide (3rd ed.). Newton Square, PA: Author, p. 19.

Weiner, M. (2006). Unleashing the power of PR: A contrarian’s guide to marketing and communication. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass and the International Association of Business Communicators.

Workplace Bullying Institute. (2009). Bullying: Getting away with it WBI Labor Day Study—September, 2009. Retrieved July 14, 2011, from http://www.workplacebullying.org/res/WBI2009-B-Survey.html.

Wood, J. T. (2002). A critical response to John Gray’s Mars and Venus portrayals of men and women. Southern Communication Journal, 67, 201–210.

Wrench, J. S., Thomas-Maddox, C., Richmond, V. P., & McCroskey, J. C. (2008). Quantitative methods for communication researchers: A hands on approach. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

style scholars in the various social science fields (e.g., psychology, human communication, business) are more likely to use

the style scholars in the various humanities fields (e.g., English, philosophy, rhetoric) are more likely to use

a practice that disorients your audience by not giving them everything they need to understand how the source is relevant to your own claims

to take a source’s basic idea and condense it using your own words

when you cite the actual words from a source with no changes

It’s About Them: Public Speaking in the 21st Century Copyright © 2022 by LOUIS: The Louisiana Library Network is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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Citing your sources just means telling where you got particular ideas or bits of information that did not originate in your own head.  Sometimes this is called giving credit, attributing, or referencing.

When you cite sources in an oral presentation, there are 3 basic parts:

1. Orally cite sources of what you say

2. Adapt a citation format to cite the sources of what is written on your visuals

3. Have a full reference list handy for answering questions

Ineffective: “Margaret Brownwell writes in her book Dieting Sensibly that fad diets telling you ‘eat all you want’ are dangerous and misguided.” (Although the speaker cites and author and book title, who is Margaret Brownwell?  No information is presented to establish her authority on the topic.)

Better: “Margaret Brownwell, professor of nutrition at the Univeristy of New Mexico, writes in her book, Dieting Sensibly, that …” (The author’s credentials are clearly described.)

Magazine, Journal, or Newspaper Article

Ineffective: “An article titled ‘Biofuels Boom’ from the ProQuest database notes that midwestern energy companies are building new factories to convert corn to ethanol.” (Although ProQuest is the database tool used to retrieve the information, the name of the newspaper or journal and publication date should be cited as the source.)

Better: “An article titled ‘Biofuels Boom’ in a September 2010 issue of Journal of Environment and Development” notes that midwestern energy companies…”(Name and date of the source provides credibility and currency of the information as well as giving the audience better information to track down the source.)

Ineffective: “According to generationrescue.org, possible recovery from autism includes dietary interventions.” (No indication of the credibility or sponsoring organization or author of the website is given)

Better: “According to pediatrician Jerry Kartzinel, consultant for generationrescue.org, an organization that provides information about autism treatment options, possibly recovery from autism includes dietary interventions.” (author and purpose of the website is clearly stated.)

Note: some of the above examples are quoted from: Metcalfe, Sheldon. Building a Speech. 7th ed. Boston: Wadsworth, 2010. Google Books. Web. 17 Mar. 2012.

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38 Citing Sources Effectively

Learning Objectives

  • Use oral citations to build credibility.
  • Use written citations to avoid plagiarism.

Why Cite Sources?

It’s important to cite sources you used in your research for several reasons:

  • To show your reader you’ve done proper research by listing sources you used to get your information
  • To be a responsible scholar by giving credit to other researchers and acknowledging their ideas
  • To avoid plagiarism by quoting words and ideas used by other authors
  • To allow your reader to track down the sources you used by citing them accurately in your paper by way of footnotes, a bibliography, or reference list

Oral Citations: Using Your Research in a Speech

When mentioning your research in your speech, you should always give an oral citation. Depending on the type of speech and the type of audience, this would be done differently. Citations are about credibility–ethos.  When you use high-quality sources, it instills trust in the minds of your audience. They trust the information that you are giving, and they trust you as a person.

While there are many things you can cite about your source – the author, credentials, organizational affiliation, date, article title, publication, and issue number – it is just too much information, and the audience will lose track of what is important. The trick is to find the information that will provide the most credibility to your audience.

Instead of speaking every single part of the citation, find the part that is the most familiar to the audience (like a prominent name or publication) and speak the parts of the reference that enhances your credibility.

  • If the information is from a known magazine or journal, you should mention that.
  • If the article comes from a respected author that the audience knows, you should mention them.
  • If the person you are citing has a title that is relevant, you should mention that.
  • If the research is time-sensitive, you should mention the year of publication.

The key here is to be intentional about which part of the citation you speak by using the information that will provide the most ethos.

While there is no one perfect way to cite your sources, there are a few things you want to stay away from to ensure you work your source in smoothly and effectively.

Do Not Say This

  • “According to google.”  Google is not a source; it is a search engine. The equivalent would be to say, according to the university library. The library is where you find the information, not the information itself.
  • “According to homedepot.com.”   You would never say, “According to 210 South Main Street, Fayetteville, Arkansas because that is an address. When you say “.com” you are citing an address. Don’t cite a person’s address or a webpage’s address as your source. You can say, “according to the home depot website.”
  • “And my source is…”  When saying your source, use the name of the specialist or the name of the article and journal. No need to tell us it is your source; we will figure that out.
  • “Quote/Unquote .” Say the author and the quote, no need to say the word “quote.”
  • “Thank you and now here are my sources.”  You do not need to show your audience your references on your slide show. To make sure your audience doesn’t accidentally see your reference page, put two blank slides at the end of your presentation and then add your references. Putting them with your slides keeps them available for anyone who wants a copy of your slides.

Example phrases to smoothly work in oral citations: James Madison University

Written Citations

The reference page is where you list all the sources that you used in your speech. This means the books, articles, and internet information that you use as well as any interviews, images, videos, and charts. Depending on your class, you will use a style guide  such as those published by the Modern Language Association (MLA), American Psychological Association (APA), or The Chicago Manual of Style (CMS). These style guides help you determine the format of your citations, both within the speech and in the bibliography. Your professor will likely assign a particular style guide for you to use. However, if you are not told to use a particular style, choose the one most appropriate to your area of study. MLA style is typically used by people in the humanities, APA is typically used by social scientists, and CMS can be used in either type of writing, but is most popular with historians. [1]  These style guides will help you record the places where you found support for your argument so that you can avoid plagiarism.

Your college library will have information on each style guide. Start there for detailed information on citations for each of your sources.

Reference Page

The reference page is where you list all the sources that you used in your speech. This means the books, articles, and internet information that you use as well as any interviews, images, videos, and charts.

  • “References” should be at the top.
  • Alphabetize references.
  • Use a hanging indent
  • Every line is double-spaced. (This sample is not correct because of the way this program formats. Every line should be double space with no single-spaced items).

Reference Page Sample APA

References​

Hobbylobby.com (2021) Wheeled Glass Nippers.

Meade, Z. (2021, May 8). Personal Interview.

Samoggia, A., & Riedel, B. (2019). Consumers’ perceptions of coffee health benefits and motives for coffee consumption and purchasing.  Nutrients,  11 (3), 653. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu11030653

Starbucks. (n.d) Host your own coffee tasting. Retrieved May 8, 2020,  https://athome.starbucks.com/host-your-own-coffee-tasting/

Taylor, S. R., & Demmig-Adams, B. (2007). To sip or not to sip: The potential health risks and benefits of coffee drinking.  Nutrition and Food Science,  37 (6), 406-418. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/00346650710838063

In-text citations

In-text citations will indicate on our outline where you got specific speech content. The citations are similar to what you use while writing a research paper. You will use APA or MLA to indicate your source when including researched information. The information you will include will be different based on your style guide. Consult your college library for information about what in-text citations should include.

APA Examples

Below are differences between oral, in-text, and reference page citations.

This is what you would say in your speech.

According to an article on consumer perception of coffee published in  Nutrients Journal,  those who were surveyed said young males are more likely to be inclined to believe there are health benefits from drinking coffee. In a market where there is increased interest in healthy food, there is room to improve the perception of coffee and the scientifically-based health benefits.

(Nutrients Journal carries the credibility of a journal. Mentioning the authors would be optional. Since most people don’t know who they are, it doesn’t help with the credibility.) 

This is what it would look like on your outline.

According to an article on consumer perception of coffee published in  Nutrients Journal  those who were surveyed said young males are more likely to be inclined to believe there are health benefits from drinking coffee (Samoggia & Riedel, 2019).

This is what you would put on the reference page.

This is what you would say in your speech. 

An article published in the  Nutrition and Food Science Journa l titled, “To sip or not to sip: The potential risks and benefits of coffee drinking” coffee drinking can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease.

(The title of the article is interesting, and the mention of a Journal gives credibility. Once again, I wouldn’t mention the authors since most people don’t know them.)

This is what it would look like on your outline. 

An article published in the  Nutrition and Food Science Journal  titled, “To sip or not to sip: The potential risks and benefits of coffee drinking” coffee drinking can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease. (Taylor & Demming-Adams, 2007).

As I was working on this eulogy for today, I talked to a couple of family members and asked them what they most remember about grandpa. Cousin Zena said she remembers him for always wearing bibbed overalls, an International Harvester hat, and for having shoes the size of cars. Most of all, she remembers his laugh.

(In this case, the audience only needs to know the names and relationships. No need for formal titles or last names if the people are familiar)

This is what it would look like on your manuscript. 

This is what you would put on the reference page. 

Let’s be honest, in a real eulogy, you would not turn in a reference page. If you are in a college class, it will be required of you to establish the practice of citing your sources. 

According to the Hobby Lobby website, wheeled glass nippers will cost you $16. These will be essential for cutting glass for your mosaic.

According to the Hobby Lobby website, wheeled glass nippers will cost you $16. These will be essential for cutting glass for your mosaic (2021). 

According to the article, How to Host Your Own Coffee Tasting on the Starbucks website,  when formally coffee tasting, you should slurp your coffee to allow the coffee to spray across your tongue and palate.

According to the article, How to Host Your Own Coffee Tasting on the Starbucks website, when formally coffee tasting, you should slurp your coffee to allow the coffee to spray across your tongue and palate (Starbucks, 2020).

Key Takeaways

  • Oral citations can build your credibility as a speaker.
  • Written citations allow you to credit work and avoid plagiarism.

AskUs NCSU Libraries. (2014). Peer Review in 3 Minutes. [Video]. YouTube.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOCQZ7QnoN0&t=9s  Standard Youtube License.

https://libguides.mit.edu/citing#:~:text=Why%20citing%20is%20important&text=To%20show%20your%20reader%20you,ideas%20used%20by%20other%20authors

Houston Community College Libraries. (2021).  Evaluating sources: C.R.A.P. Test.  https://library.hccs.edu/evaluatingsources/test

Huntress, C. (2017). My favorite quote of all time is a misattribution.  https://medium.com/the-mission/my-favourite-quote-of-all-time-is-a-misattribution-66356f22843d

Portland State University Library (2012).  The C.R.A.P. Test in action.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhwB4zQD4XA&t=139s

Purdue University. English 106/108: Scholarly Sources and Peer Review.  https://guides.lib.purdue.edu/eng106/scholarly-sources-and-peer-review

Samoggia, A., & Riedel, B. (2019). Consumers’ perceptions of coffee health benefits and motives for coffee consumption and purchasing.  Nutrients,  11 (3), 653.  doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu11030653

Sheets, R. (2021, May 18). Personal Interview. (Director of the Business Communication Lab, Walton College of Business. University of Arkansas).

Spencer, J. [https://twitter.com/spencerideas]. (July 3, 2018). Research should be fun. It should feel like geeking out. Twitter. Retrieved May 19, 2021, from  https://twitter.com/spencerideas/status/1014178267820118018/photo/1

Taylor, S. R. & Demmig-Adams, B. (2007). To sip or not to sip: The potential health risks and benefits of coffee drinking.  Nutrition and Food Science,  37 (6), 406-418.  doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/00346650710838063

University of Arkansas Library Research Guide. CRAAP Test for evaluating.  https://uark.libguides.com/BENG4933/Evaluation

*CRAAP test developed by Meriam Library, California State University, Chico

  • Style focuses on the components of your speech that make up the form of your expression rather than your content.
  • Social science disciplines, such as psychology, human communication, and business, typically use APA style, while humanities disciplines, such as English, philosophy, and rhetoric, typically use MLA style.
  • The APA sixth edition and the MLA seventh edition are the most current style guides and the tables presented in this chapter provide specific examples of common citations for each of these styles.
  • Citing sources within your speech is a three-step process: set up the citation, provide the cited information, and interpret the information within the context of your speech.
  • A direct quotation is any time you utilize another individual’s words in a format that resembles the way they were originally said or written. On the other hand, a paraphrase is when you take someone’s ideas and restate them using your own words to convey the intended meaning.
  • Ethically using sources means avoiding plagiarism, not engaging in academic fraud, making sure not to mislead your audience, providing credentials for your sources so the audience can make judgments about the material, and using primary research in ways that protect the identity of participants.
  • Plagiarism is a huge problem and creeps its way into student writing and oral presentations. As ethical communicators, we must always give credit for the information we convey in our writing and our speeches.
  • List what you think are the benefits of APA style and the benefits of MLA style. Why do you think some people prefer APA style over MLA style or vice versa?
  • Find a direct quotation within a magazine article. Paraphrase that direct quotation. Then attempt to paraphrase the entire article as well. How would you cite each of these orally within the body of your speech?
  • Which of Menager-Beeley and Paulos (2009) twelve strategies for avoiding plagiarism do you think you need the most help with right now? Why? What can you do to overcome and avoid that pitfall?

American Psychological Association. (2010).  Publication manual of the American Psychological Association  (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author. See also American Psychological Association. (2010).  Concise rules of APA Style: The official pocket style guide from the American Psychological Association  (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

Howard, R. M., & Taggart, A. R. (2010).  Research matters . New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, p. 131.

Menager-Beeley, R., & Paulos, L. (2009).  Understanding plagiarism: A student guide to writing your own work . Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, pp. 5–8.

Modern Language Association. (2009).  MLA handbook for writers of research papers  (7th ed.). New York, NY: Modern Language Association.

Workplace Bullying Institute. (2009). Bullying: Getting away with it WBI Labor Day Study—September, 2009. Retrieved July 14, 2011, from  http://www.workplacebullying.org/res/WBI2009-B-Survey.html

Public Speaking Copyright © by Dr. Layne Goodman; Amber Green, M.A.; and Various is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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Learning Objectives

  • Understand what style is.
  • Know which academic disciplines you are more likely to use, American Psychological Association (APA) versus Modern Language Association (MLA) style.
  • Cite sources using the seventh edition of the American Psychological Association’s Style Manual.
  • Cite sources using the seventh edition of the Modern Language Association’s Style Manual.
  • Explain the steps for citing sources within a speech.
  • Differentiate between direct quotations and paraphrases of information within a speech.
  • Understand how to use sources ethically in a speech.
  • Explain twelve strategies for avoiding plagiarism.

Citing Sources

A bibliography

Quinn Dombrowski – Bilbiography – CC BY-SA 2.0.

By this point you’re probably exhausted after looking at countless sources, but there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done. Most public speaking teachers will require you to turn in either a bibliography or a reference page with your speeches. In this section, we’re going to explore how to properly cite your sources for a Modern Language Association (MLA) list of works cited or an American Psychological Association (APA) reference list. We’re also going to discuss plagiarism and how to avoid it.

Why Citing Is Important

Citing is important because it enables readers to see where you found information cited within a speech, article, or book. Furthermore, not citing information properly is considered plagiarism, so ethically we want to make sure that we give credit to the authors we use in a speech. While there are numerous citation styles to choose from, the two most common style choices for public speaking are APA and MLA.

APA versus MLA Source Citations

Style refers to those components or features of a literary composition or oral presentation that have to do with the form of expression rather than the content expressed (e.g., language, punctuation, parenthetical citations, and endnotes). The APA and the MLA have created the two most commonly used style guides in academia today. Generally speaking, scholars in the various social science fields (e.g., psychology, human communication, business) are more likely to use APA style , and scholars in the various humanities fields (e.g., English, philosophy, rhetoric) are more likely to use MLA style . The two styles are quite different from each other, so learning them does take time.

APA Citations

The first common reference style your teacher may ask for is APA. As of October 2019, the American Psychological Association published the seventh edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (www.apastyle.org) (American Psychological Association, 2019). The seventh edition provides considerable guidance on working with and citing Internet sources. Table \(\PageIndex{1}\) “APA Sixth Edition Citations” provides a list of common citation examples that you may need for your speech.

Table \(\PageIndex{1}\) APA Sixth Edition Citations

MLA Citations

The second common reference style your teacher may ask for is MLA. In March 2009, the Modern Language Association published the seventh edition of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (Modern Language Association, 2009) (www.mla.org/style). The seventh edition provides considerable guidance for citing online sources and new media such as graphic narratives. Table \(\PageIndex{2}\) “MLA Seventh Edition Citations” provides a list of common citations you may need for your speech.

Table \(\PageIndex{2}\) MLA Seventh Edition Citations

The Purdue Online Writing Lab  (owl.purdue.edu/owl/purdue_owl.html) is a great resource to learn more about citing various sources in both APA and MLA style.

Citing Sources in a Speech

Once you have decided what sources best help you explain important terms and ideas in your speech or help you build your arguments, it’s time to place them into your speech. In this section, we’re going to quickly talk about using your research effectively within your speeches. Citing sources within a speech is a three-step process: set up the citation, give the citation, and explain the citation.

First, you want to set up your audience for the citation. The setup is one or two sentences that are general statements that lead to the specific information you are going to discuss from your source. Here’s an example: “Workplace bullying is becoming an increasing problem for US organizations.” Notice that this statement doesn’t provide a specific citation yet, but the statement introduces the basic topic.

Second, you want to deliver the source; whether it is a direct quotation or a paraphrase of information from a source doesn’t matter at this point. A direct quotation is when you cite the actual words from a source with no changes. To paraphrase is to take a source’s basic idea and condense it using your own words. Here’s an example of both:

You’ll notice that in both of these cases, we started by citing the author of the study—in this case, the Workplace Bullying Institute. We then provided the title of the study. You could also provide the name of the article, book, podcast, movie, or other source. In the direct quotation example, we took information right from the report. In the second example, we summarized the same information (Workplace Bullying Institute, 2009).

Let’s look at another example of direct quotations and paraphrases, this time using a person, rather than an institution, as the author.

Notice that the same basic pattern for citing sources was followed in both cases.

The final step in correct source citation within a speech is the explanation. One of the biggest mistakes of novice public speakers (and research writers) is that they include a source citation and then do nothing with the citation at all. Instead, take the time to explain the quotation or paraphrase to put into the context of your speech. Do not let your audience draw their own conclusions about the quotation or paraphrase. Instead, help them make the connections you want them to make. Here are two examples using the examples above:

Notice how in both of our explanations we took the source’s information and then added to the information to direct it for our specific purpose. In the case of the bullying citation, we then propose that businesses should either adopt workplace bullying guidelines or face legal intervention. In the case of the “aha!” example, we turn the quotation into a section on helping people find their thesis or topic. In both cases, we were able to use the information to further our speech.

Using Sources Ethically

The last section of this chapter is about using sources in an ethical manner. Whether you are using primary or secondary research, there are five basic ethical issues you need to consider.

Avoid Plagiarism

First, and foremost, if the idea isn’t yours, you need to cite where the information came from during your speech. Having the citation listed on a bibliography or reference page is only half of the correct citation. You must provide correct citations for all your sources within the speech as well. In a very helpful book called Avoiding Plagiarism: A Student Guide to Writing Your Own Work , Menager-Beeley and Paulos provide a list of twelve strategies for avoiding plagiarism (Menager-Beeley & Paulos, 2009):

  • Do your own work, and use your own words. One of the goals of a public speaking class is to develop skills that you’ll use in the world outside academia. When you are in the workplace and the “real world,” you’ll be expected to think for yourself, so you might as well start learning this skill now.
  • Allow yourself enough time to research the assignment. One of the most commonly cited excuses students give for plagiarism is that they didn’t have enough time to do the research. In this chapter, we’ve stressed the necessity of giving yourself plenty of time. The more complete your research strategy is from the very beginning, the more successful your research endeavors will be in the long run. Remember, not having adequate time to prepare is no excuse for plagiarism.
  • Keep careful track of your sources. A common mistake that people can make is that they forget where information came from when they start creating the speech itself. Chances are you’re going to look at dozens of sources when preparing your speech, and it is very easy to suddenly find yourself believing that a piece of information is “common knowledge” and not citing that information within a speech. When you keep track of your sources, you’re less likely to inadvertently lose sources and not cite them correctly.
  • Take careful notes. However you decide to keep track of the information you collect (old-fashioned pen and notebook or a computer software program), the more careful your note-taking is, the less likely you’ll find yourself inadvertently not citing information or citing the information incorrectly. It doesn’t matter what method you choose for taking research notes, but whatever you do, you need to be systematic to avoid plagiarizing.
  • Assemble your thoughts, and make it clear who is speaking. When creating your speech, you need to make sure that you clearly differentiate your voice in the speech from the voice of specific authors of the sources you quote. The easiest way to do this is to set up a direct quotation or a paraphrase, as we’ve described in the preceding sections. Remember, audience members cannot see where the quotation marks are located within your speech text, so you need to clearly articulate with words and vocal tone when you are using someone else’s ideas within your speech.
  • If you use an idea, a quotation, paraphrase, or summary, then credit the source. We can’t reiterate it enough: if it is not your idea, you need to tell your audience where the information came from. Giving credit is especially important when your speech includes a statistic, an original theory, or a fact that is not common knowledge.
  • Learn how to cite sources correctly both in the body of your paper and in your List of Works Cited ( Reference Page ) . Most public speaking teachers will require that you turn in either a bibliography or reference page on the day you deliver a speech. Many students make the mistake of thinking that the bibliography or reference page is all they need to cite information, and then they don’t cite any of the material within the speech itself. A bibliography or reference page enables a reader or listener to find those sources after the fact, but you must also correctly cite those sources within the speech itself; otherwise, you are plagiarizing.
  • Quote accurately and sparingly. A public speech should be based on factual information and references, but it shouldn’t be a string of direct quotations strung together. Experts recommend that no more than 10 percent of a paper or speech be direct quotations (Menager-Beeley & Paulos, 2009). When selecting direct quotations, always ask yourself if the material could be paraphrased in a manner that would make it clearer for your audience. If the author wrote a sentence in a way that is just perfect, and you don’t want to tamper with it, then by all means directly quote the sentence. But if you’re just quoting because it’s easier than putting the ideas into your own words, this is not a legitimate reason for including direct quotations.
  • Paraphrase carefully. Modifying an author’s words in this way is not simply a matter of replacing some of the words with synonyms. Instead, as Howard and Taggart explain in Research Matters , “paraphrasing force[s] you to understand your sources and to capture their meaning accurately in original words and sentences” (Howard & Taggart, 2010). Incorrect paraphrasing is one of the most common forms of inadvertent plagiarism by students. First and foremost, paraphrasing is putting the author’s argument, intent, or ideas into your own words.
  • Do not patchwrite ( patchspeak ) . Menager-Beeley and Paulos define patchwriting as consisting “of mixing several references together and arranging paraphrases and quotations to constitute much of the paper. In essence, the student has assembled others’ work with a bit of embroidery here and there but with little original thinking or expression” (Menager-Beeley & Paulos, 2009). Just as students can patchwrite, they can also engage in patchspeaking. In patchspeaking, students rely completely on taking quotations and paraphrases and weaving them together in a manner that is devoid of the student’s original thinking.
  • Summarize, don’t auto-summarize. Some students have learned that most word processing features have an auto-summary function. The auto-summary function will take a ten-page document and summarize the information into a short paragraph. When someone uses the auto-summary function, the words that remain in the summary are still those of the original author, so this is not an ethical form of paraphrasing.
  • Do not rework another student’s paper ( speech ) or buy paper mill papers ( speech mill speeches ) . In today’s Internet environment, there are a number of storehouses of student speeches on the Internet. Some of these speeches are freely available, while other websites charge money for getting access to one of their canned speeches. Whether you use a speech that is freely available or pay money for a speech, you are engaging in plagiarism. This is also true if the main substance of your speech was copied from a web page. Any time you try to present someone else’s ideas as your own during a speech, you are plagiarizing.

Avoid Academic Fraud

While there are numerous websites where you can download free speeches for your class, this is tantamount to fraud. If you didn’t do the research and write your own speech, then you are fraudulently trying to pass off someone else’s work as your own. In addition to being unethical, many institutions have student codes that forbid such activity. Penalties for academic fraud can be as severe as suspension or expulsion from your institution.

Don’t Mislead Your Audience

If you know a source is clearly biased, and you don’t spell this out for your audience, then you are purposefully trying to mislead or manipulate your audience. Instead, if the information may be biased, tell your audience that the information may be biased and allow your audience to decide whether to accept or disregard the information.

Give Author Credentials

You should always provide the author’s credentials. In a world where anyone can say anything and have it published on the Internet or even publish it in a book, we have to be skeptical of the information we see and hear. For this reason, it’s very important to provide your audience with background about the credentials of the authors you cite.

Use Primary Research Ethically

Lastly, if you are using primary research within your speech, you need to use it ethically as well. For example, if you tell your survey participants that the research is anonymous or confidential, then you need to make sure that you maintain their anonymity or confidentiality when you present those results. Furthermore, you also need to be respectful if someone says something is “off the record” during an interview. We must always maintain the privacy and confidentiality of participants during primary research, unless we have their express permission to reveal their names or other identifying information.

Key Takeaways

  • Style focuses on the components of your speech that make up the form of your expression rather than your content.
  • Social science disciplines, such as psychology, human communication, and business, typically use APA style, while humanities disciplines, such as English, philosophy, and rhetoric, typically use MLA style.
  • The APA sixth edition and the MLA seventh edition are the most current style guides and the tables presented in this chapter provide specific examples of common citations for each of these styles.
  • Citing sources within your speech is a three-step process: set up the citation, provide the cited information, and interpret the information within the context of your speech.
  • A direct quotation is any time you utilize another individual’s words in a format that resembles the way they were originally said or written. On the other hand, a paraphrase is when you take someone’s ideas and restate them using your own words to convey the intended meaning.
  • Ethically using sources means avoiding plagiarism, not engaging in academic fraud, making sure not to mislead your audience, providing credentials for your sources so the audience can make judgments about the material, and using primary research in ways that protect the identity of participants.
  • Plagiarism is a huge problem and creeps its way into student writing and oral presentations. As ethical communicators, we must always give credit for the information we convey in our writing and our speeches.
  • List what you think are the benefits of APA style and the benefits of MLA style. Why do you think some people prefer APA style over MLA style or vice versa?
  • Find a direct quotation within a magazine article. Paraphrase that direct quotation. Then attempt to paraphrase the entire article as well. How would you cite each of these orally within the body of your speech?
  • Which of Menager-Beeley and Paulos (2009) twelve strategies for avoiding plagiarism do you think you need the most help with right now? Why? What can you do to overcome and avoid that pitfall?

American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author. See also American Psychological Association. (2010). Concise rules of APA Style: The official pocket style guide from the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

Howard, R. M., & Taggart, A. R. (2010). Research matters . New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, p. 131.

Menager-Beeley, R., & Paulos, L. (2009). Understanding plagiarism: A student guide to writing your own work . Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, pp. 5–8.

Modern Language Association. (2009). MLA handbook for writers of research papers (7th ed.). New York, NY: Modern Language Association.

Workplace Bullying Institute. (2009). Bullying: Getting away with it WBI Labor Day Study—September, 2009. Retrieved July 14, 2011, from http://www.workplacebullying.org/res/WBI2009-B-Survey.html

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5. Cite Your Sources in MLA Format

Here are a few examples to help you cite your sources in MLA format:

How to Cite Part of a Book or Ebook (Print or Electronic)

Format:   Author(s). "Title of Part."  Title of Book , edited by Editor, edition, vol. #, Publisher, Year, page number(s).  Database Name (if electronic) , URL.

Example: Parsloe, Sarah M. "How Fishy is it? Risk Communication and Perceptions of Genetically Engineered Salmon." Food Safety: a Reference Handbook , by Nina E. Redman and Michele Morrone, 3rd ed., ABC-CLIO, 2017, pp. 121-126. EBSCOhost , search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=ip,sso&db=nlebk&AN=1457340&site=ehost-live&scope=site.

How to Cite a Journal Article from a Database

Format:   Author(s). "Title of Article." Title of Journal , vol. #, no. #, Date of Publication, page number(s). Database Name (if electronic). ​

Example: Melugin, Jessica."Net Neutrality is Bad for Consumers." Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection , 2018. Opposing Viewpoints in Context,  link.gale.com/apps/doc/IQBUHE201042021/OVIC?u=spartechcl&sid=bookmark-OVIC&xid=ba4e19e4 .

How to Cite an Article from Issues & Controversies

​ ​ Format: "Title of Article." Database Name , Publisher, Date of Publication, URL.

​ Example:   "Childhood Obesity." Issues & Controversies , Infobase, 6 Mar. 2023, icof.infobase.com/articles/QXJ0aWNsZVRleHQ6MTY1MDU=.

How to Cite a Graph from Statista

Format:  Creator(s). "Title of Graph." Title of Source in Italics,  Publisher, Date. Database Name,  URL.

Example: "Estimated Volume of Food Waste Generated in the United States from 2016 to 2019 (in Millions Tons)." 2019 Wasted Food Report , Environmental Protection Agency, Apr. 2023. Statista , https://www.statista.com/statistics/1386235/amount-of-food-waste-generated-in-the-united-states/.

How to Cite a Website

Format:  Author(s). “Title of Article.” Title of Website in Italics , Website Publisher (if different than title), Date of publication, URL.

*Note:   Exclude publisher if title of website and publisher are the same. *Note: If website does not have a date, add an access date at the end after the URL: Accessed 7 May 2016. *Note: Do not include the http:// or https:// in the URL.

Example: Fowler, Betheny, and Robert Cox. "School Meals Will be Free at Multiple Spartanburg Co. Districts." 7 News WSPA.COM , Nexstar Media Group, 27 July 2023, www.wspa.com/news/school/students-in-spartanburg-school-district-1-to-receive-free-meals/.

Additional MLA Examples

Citing Images in a Presentation

MLA gives two different ways to cite an images in a presentation or paper depending on how you are using the image in your presentation. The difference depends on whether the image is just for illustration or decoration (a stand along image), or if you're going to refer to this image in your presentation (the image itself is part of the content of your presentation.

Option 1: Image is for Illustration or Decoration (not going to talk directly about the image during your presentation).

In this case, list the entire citation information in the caption of the image. Do not list it on your Works Cited page at the end.

Option 2: Image is Part of the Presentation (going to talk about the image specifically during your presentation)

​In this case, you'll still include a caption for the image, but the caption will only include an in-text citation, and the entire citation information will go on the Works Cited page like you with a regular source.

See the two different ways you could use the image below in a presentation, and how the citing would differ.

​Option 1: If the image below is on a slide about massage therapists, but you don't directly talk about the image, then you'd include the full citation information in the caption for the image. See below.

chair massage

Fig. 1: Cuttingham, Alyssa. Massage Chair. Massage & Bodywork , vol. 28, no. 3, Dec. 2016, p. 14. Vocational and Career Collection .

Option 2: If you're displaying this image of the massage chair in order to talk about the correct positioning and demonstrate how someone should sit in the chair, meaning that you'll talk about this image and what it shows, then you would include the citation information in your Works Cited, and the caption would just include an in-text citation.

how to cite sources during a speech

Fig. 1: Correct Positioning in a Massage Chair (Cuttingham 14).

Works Cited

Cuttingham, Alyssa.  Massage Chair. Massage & Bodywork , vol. 28, no. 3, Dec. 2016, p. 14. Vocational and Career Collection .

In-Text Citations

This in-text citation information will get you started, but see our full In-text Citation Guide for more information and additional examples .

  • Basic Format

No Page Numbers

  • 3 or More Authors

Basic Format: 1 Author and Page Numbers

Place the author’s last name and page number in parenthesis. If the in-text citation is at the end of a sentence, place the period outside the parenthesis.

Example 1:  (Hennessy 81).

Example 2:  (Hennessy 81-82).

If a source has no page numbers, omit the page number. Keep in mind, most electronic sources do not include pages.

Example 1: ("Everyday Victims")

Example 2: (Jones)

If the source has no author, your in-text citation will use the title of the source that starts your works cited entry. The title may appear in the sentence itself or, abbreviated, before the page number in parenthesis.

Example 1:  (“Noon” 508).

Example 2 :  ( Faulkner’s Novels  25).

Example 3 :  (“Climate Model Simulations").

If the entry on the Works Cited page begins with the names of two authors, include both last names in the in-text citation, connected by and.

Example:  (Dorris and Erdrich 23).

If the source has three or more authors, include the first author’s last name followed by et al.

Example:  (Burdick et al. 42).

MLA Works Cited Guide

MLA Works Cited Guide

Shortened MLA Practice Template

Shortened MLA Practice Template

MLA Formatting Rules

MLA Formatting Rules

In-text Citations

In-text Citations

Sample Paper in MLA Format

Sample Paper in MLA Format

MLA Practice Template (long version)

MLA Practice Template (long version)

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  • 3. Start Your Research
  • 4. Find Sources
  • 6. Evaluate Your Sources
  • 7. Prepare Your Presentation

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  • Knowledge Base
  • Citing sources

How to Cite Sources | Citation Generator & Quick Guide

Citing your sources is essential in  academic writing . Whenever you quote or paraphrase a source (such as a book, article, or webpage), you have to include a  citation crediting the original author.

Failing to properly cite your sources counts as plagiarism , since you’re presenting someone else’s ideas as if they were your own.

The most commonly used citation styles are APA and MLA. The free Scribbr Citation Generator is the quickest way to cite sources in these styles. Simply enter the URL, DOI, or title, and we’ll generate an accurate, correctly formatted citation.

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Instantly correct all language mistakes in your text.

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Table of contents

When do you need to cite sources, which citation style should you use, in-text citations, reference lists and bibliographies.

Scribbr Citation Generator

Other useful citation tools

Citation examples and full guides, frequently asked questions about citing sources.

Citations are required in all types of academic texts. They are needed for several reasons:

  • To avoid plagiarism by indicating when you’re taking information from another source
  • To give proper credit to the author of that source
  • To allow the reader to consult your sources for themselves

A citation is needed whenever you integrate a source into your writing. This usually means quoting or paraphrasing:

  • To quote a source , copy a short piece of text word for word and put it inside quotation marks .
  • To paraphrase a source , put the text into your own words. It’s important that the paraphrase is not too close to the original wording. You can use the paraphrasing tool if you don’t want to do this manually.

Citations are needed whether you quote or paraphrase, and whatever type of source you use. As well as citing scholarly sources like books and journal articles, don’t forget to include citations for any other sources you use for ideas, examples, or evidence. That includes websites, YouTube videos , and lectures .

Scribbr Citation Checker New

The AI-powered Citation Checker helps you avoid common mistakes such as:

  • Missing commas and periods
  • Incorrect usage of “et al.”
  • Ampersands (&) in narrative citations
  • Missing reference entries

how to cite sources during a speech

Usually, your institution (or the journal you’re submitting to) will require you to follow a specific citation style, so check your guidelines or ask your instructor.

In some cases, you may have to choose a citation style for yourself. Make sure to pick one style and use it consistently:

  • APA Style is widely used in the social sciences and beyond.
  • MLA style is common in the humanities.
  • Chicago notes and bibliography , common in the humanities
  • Chicago author-date , used in the (social) sciences
  • There are many other citation styles for different disciplines.

If in doubt, check with your instructor or read other papers from your field of study to see what style they follow.

In most styles, your citations consist of:

  • Brief in-text citations at the relevant points in the text
  • A reference list or bibliography containing full information on all the sources you’ve cited

In-text citations most commonly take the form of parenthetical citations featuring the last name of the source’s author and its year of publication (aka author-date citations).

An alternative to this type of in-text citation is the system used in numerical citation styles , where a number is inserted into the text, corresponding to an entry in a numbered reference list.

There are also note citation styles , where you place your citations in either footnotes or endnotes . Since they’re not embedded in the text itself, these citations can provide more detail and sometimes aren’t accompanied by a full reference list or bibliography.

A reference list (aka “Bibliography” or “Works Cited,” depending on the style) is where you provide full information on each of the sources you’ve cited in the text. It appears at the end of your paper, usually with a hanging indent applied to each entry.

The information included in reference entries is broadly similar, whatever citation style you’re using. For each source, you’ll typically include the:

  • Author name
  • Publication date
  • Container (e.g., the book an essay was published in, the journal an article appeared in)
  • Location (e.g., a URL or DOI , or sometimes a physical location)

The exact information included varies depending on the source type and the citation style. The order in which the information appears, and how you format it (e.g., capitalization, use of italics) also varies.

Most commonly, the entries in your reference list are alphabetized by author name. This allows the reader to easily find the relevant entry based on the author name in your in-text citation.

APA-reference-list

In numerical citation styles, the entries in your reference list are numbered, usually based on the order in which you cite them. The reader finds the right entry based on the number that appears in the text.

Vancouver reference list example

Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.

Because each style has many small differences regarding things like italicization, capitalization , and punctuation , it can be difficult to get every detail right. Using a citation generator can save you a lot of time and effort.

Scribbr offers citation generators for both APA and MLA style. Both are quick, easy to use, and 100% free, with no ads and no registration required.

Just input a URL or DOI or add the source details manually, and the generator will automatically produce an in-text citation and reference entry in the correct format. You can save your reference list as you go and download it when you’re done, and even add annotations for an annotated bibliography .

Once you’ve prepared your citations, you might still be unsure if they’re correct and if you’ve used them appropriately in your text. This is where Scribbr’s other citation tools and services may come in handy:

Plagiarism Checker

Citation Checker

Citation Editing

Plagiarism means passing off someone else’s words or ideas as your own. It’s a serious offense in academia. Universities use plagiarism checking software to scan your paper and identify any similarities to other texts.

When you’re dealing with a lot of sources, it’s easy to make mistakes that could constitute accidental plagiarism. For example, you might forget to add a citation after a quote, or paraphrase a source in a way that’s too close to the original text.

Using a plagiarism checker yourself before you submit your work can help you spot these mistakes before they get you in trouble. Based on the results, you can add any missing citations and rephrase your text where necessary.

Try out the Scribbr Plagiarism Checker for free, or check out our detailed comparison of the best plagiarism checkers available online.

Scribbr Plagiarism Checker

Scribbr’s Citation Checker is a unique AI-powered tool that automatically detects stylistic errors and inconsistencies in your in-text citations. It also suggests a correction for every mistake.

Currently available for APA Style, this is the fastest and easiest way to make sure you’ve formatted your citations correctly. You can try out the tool for free below.

If you need extra help with your reference list, we also offer a more in-depth Citation Editing Service.

Our experts cross-check your in-text citations and reference entries, make sure you’ve included the correct information for each source, and improve the formatting of your reference page.

If you want to handle your citations yourself, Scribbr’s free Knowledge Base provides clear, accurate guidance on every aspect of citation. You can see citation examples for a variety of common source types below:

And you can check out our comprehensive guides to the most popular citation styles:

At college level, you must properly cite your sources in all essays , research papers , and other academic texts (except exams and in-class exercises).

Add a citation whenever you quote , paraphrase , or summarize information or ideas from a source. You should also give full source details in a bibliography or reference list at the end of your text.

The exact format of your citations depends on which citation style you are instructed to use. The most common styles are APA , MLA , and Chicago .

The abbreviation “ et al. ” (Latin for “and others”) is used to shorten citations of sources with multiple authors.

“Et al.” is used in APA in-text citations of sources with 3+ authors, e.g. (Smith et al., 2019). It is not used in APA reference entries .

Use “et al.” for 3+ authors in MLA in-text citations and Works Cited entries.

Use “et al.” for 4+ authors in a Chicago in-text citation , and for 10+ authors in a Chicago bibliography entry.

The Scribbr Citation Generator is developed using the open-source Citation Style Language (CSL) project and Frank Bennett’s citeproc-js . It’s the same technology used by dozens of other popular citation tools, including Mendeley and Zotero.

You can find all the citation styles and locales used in the Scribbr Citation Generator in our publicly accessible repository on Github .

APA format is widely used by professionals, researchers, and students in the social and behavioral sciences, including fields like education, psychology, and business.

Be sure to check the guidelines of your university or the journal you want to be published in to double-check which style you should be using.

MLA Style  is the second most used citation style (after APA ). It is mainly used by students and researchers in humanities fields such as literature, languages, and philosophy.

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Citing a Speech

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Presidents’ Day is celebrated on the third Monday of February each year in the United States—and it offers the perfect opportunity to honor the life and achievements of past American presidents, especially historical standouts like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln.

The holiday was initially held on February 22nd to honor the life and achievements of George Washington (it coincided with his birthday). So, what better way to commemorate the holiday than by learning to cite one of Washington’s most famous presidential speeches: his farewell address.

Below, we’ve laid out instructions on how to cite any presidential speech in three citation styles: MLA, APA and Chicago. For each style, we’ve cited Washington’s farewell address as an example.

In order to properly cite a presidential speech, you need to know the following pieces of information:

  • Speaker’s first and last name
  • Speech’s title
  • Date the speech was delivered
  • Editor’s name (if applicable)

If you found the speech in a book, you should also take note of the following:

  • Book’s title
  • First and last name of the book’s author
  • Book’s publisher
  • Book’s year of publication
  • City and state the publisher is located in
  • Page number(s) of the speech

If you found the speech on the internet, instead pay attention to:

  • Title of the article
  • Title of the webpage (if it differs from the article name)
  • Where the speech was given
  • Publisher of the website
  • Date the article was posted
  • URL of the website where the speech resides

Citing Washington’s Farewell Address in MLA Style

How it would look if found in a book :

Speaker’s Last Name, First Name. “Title of Speech.” Date Speech Delivered. Title of Book, edited or translated by First Name Last Name (if applicable) , Publisher, Year of Publication.

MLA citation example (We used the book shown here ) :

Washington, George. “George Washington’s Farewell Address.” 17 Sept. 1796. George Washington’s Farewell Address: Little Books of Wisdom , edited by John Brooks, Applewood Books, 1999.

Online Transcript

How it would look if found in an online transcript :

Speaker’s Last Name, First Name. “Title of Speech.” Date Speech Was Delivered. Title of Website, Publisher’s Name, Date of Publication, URL (no http:// or https://). Transcript (include if video/audio formats also available).

MLA example :

Washington, George. “George Washington’s Farewell Address.” 17 Sept. 1796. The Avalon Project , Lillian Goldman Law Library, 2008, avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/washing.asp. 

Citing Washington’s Farewell Address in APA Style

Title of speech. (Publication Year of Book). In Editor’s Initial. Last Name (Ed.), Book title . City, State: Publisher.

APA citation example :

George Washington’s farewell address. (1999). In J. Brooks (Ed.), George Washington’s farewell addres s: Little books of wisdom . Bedford, MA: Applewood Books.

Author’s Last name, First Initial. Middle Initial. (Year of Publication for Webpage). Title of the article or individual page [Format]. Retrieved from URL (no http:// or https://).

APA example :

Washington, G. (2008). Washington’s farewell address 1796   [Transcript]. Retrieved from avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/washing.asp.

Citing Washington’s Farewell Address in Chicago Style

Speaker’s Last Name, First Name. “Title of Speech.” Year Speech Was Delivered. In Book Title, edited by Editor’s First Name Last Name. City, State: Publisher, Year Published.

Chicago citation example :

Washington, George. “George Washington’s Farewell Address.” 1796. In George Washington’s Farewell Address: Little Books of Wisdom , edited by John Brooks. Bedford, Massachusetts: Applewood Books, 1999.

Speaker’s Last Name, Speaker’s First Name. “Title of Speech.” Speech, Location Delivered, Date Delivered. “Title of Webpage,” Title of Site . Date Accessed. URL.

Chicago example :

Washington, George. “Washington’s Farewell Address.” Speech, Washington, D.C., 1796. “The Avalon Project: Documents in Law ,History and Diplomacy,” Avalon Project. Accessed November 6, 2018. http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/washing.asp.

Need to cite more than what’s outlined above? Cite This For Me has several citing resources including a Harvard referencing generator , a guide on how to do an in-text citation ,  an annotated bibliography example you can learn from, and other bibliographic tools.

To cite a speech from a printed book in the MLA style, use the following format.

Speaker’s Last Name, First Name. “Speech Title.” Date Speech Delivered (if available). Title of Book , edited or translated by First and Last Name (if applicable), Publisher, Year.

Prakash, Navya. “An Appeal Against Logic.” The Tyranny of Reason , Thoughtful Books, 2021.

To cite a speech from an online transcript in the MLA style, use the following format.

Speaker’s Last Name, First Name. “Speech Title.” Date Speech Delivered (if available). Title of Website , Publisher Name, Date, URL (without the http(s)://). Transcript. (Include if speech is also in video or audio format)

Prakash, Navya. “An Appeal Against Logic.” The Tyranny of Reason Project , The Laws of Reason Library, 2021, www.thereasonlibrary.edu/tyrannyofreason/an-appeal-against-logic_htm. Transcript.

Enago Academy

Digital Citations: A comprehensive guide to citing of websites in APA, MLA, and CMOS style

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In today’s digital age, the internet serves as an invaluable resource for researchers across all disciplines. As the digital knowledge repository continues to expand, citing websites has become an integral aspect of academic writing. However, scholars, from undergraduates to seasoned researchers, often find themselves grappled with the intricacies of citing online sources. In this article, we will explore the importance of digital citations and delve into the nuances of citing websites in different citation styles.

Table of Contents

Why Cite Websites?

In recent years, the reliance of online resources has surged in parallel to the exponential growth of the internet. From scholarly articles and reports to blog posts and social media threads, researchers frequently rely on web sources to support their arguments and findings. As a result, the increasing amount of data online in various websites has become an integral part of academic writing across disciplines. From scholarly articles to dissertations , researchers frequently refer online sources to stay updated on the latest research.

Benefits of citing a website

Moreover, citing websites enhances a researcher’s visibility by linking their work to a broader digital landscape, potentially increasing its impact and facilitating collaboration. Although citing websites is essential for effectively communicating one’s research in today’s digital landscape, finding the right website is essential to find reliable information.

Identifying the Right Websites

Identifying reliable and credible websites is paramount when gathering information for academic purposes. To ensure the quality and accuracy of your sources, consider the following tips:

1. Evaluate the Domain

Websites ending in .gov, .edu, or .org are often more credible for academic research data

2. Assess the Authorship

Look for the credentials and information about the author or organization responsible for the content

3. Verify the Content Accuracy

Evaluate the timeline and accuracy by cross-referring other reliable sources of information

4. Check for Citations

Reliable websites often cite their sources, providing a trail of evidence to support their claims

Taking time to thoroughly gauge website quality on the above criteria goes a long way in boosting scholarly impact and confidence in the evidence you bring to support arguments upon which you cite them. Additionally, the reliability of your sources directly correlates with the academic strength of your work.

Components of Website Citations

In academic writing, website citations typically include the following components:

Components of a website citation

Citing a Website in APA, MLA and CMOS Style

Citing a website in the required style can boost the academic tone. There are several styles of citing a website. Citing websites correctly is essential to adhere to the citation guidelines mentioned by your institution.

Here’s how to cite a website in APA (American Psychological Association), MLA (Modern Language Association), and Chicago styles to ensure that your research papers and articles are accurately documented and credible for your readers.

1. APA Style

Includes: Author’s last name, initials. (full date of publication – Year Month Day). title of the webpage (in italics). website name (in plain text). URL of the website

In-text citation: Author, Year

Example: Nair, Anagha. (2024, February 22). Plain Language Summary — Communicating your research to bridge the academic-lay gap. Enago Academy. https://www.enago.com/academy/plain-language-summary/

(It is important to note that the name of the blog posts is italicized while citing blogs and articles.)

2. MLA Style

Includes: Author last name, first name. “title of the webpage.” website name (in italics), accessed date (Day Month Year), URL of the website

In-text citation:  Name of the website

Example of citing a webpage: Nair, Anagha. “Plain Language Summary — Communicating your research to bridge the academic-lay gap.” Enago Academy , 22 February 2024, https://www.enago.com/academy/plain-language-summary/

3. Chicago Style

Includes: Author last name, first name. “title of the webpage.” website name (in italics), accessed date (Month Day, Year). URL of the website

In-text citation: (Author Year)

Example: Nair, Anagha. Plain Language Summary — Communicating your research to bridge the academic-lay gap. Enago Academy , February 22, 2024. https://www.enago.com/academy/plain-language-summary/

When a page has no author specified, you can mention the name of the organization that created it instead. However, this can be avoided if matches to the name of the website.  Furthermore, if the date of publication is not available, “n.d.” can be used in its place. You can also include an access date (depending upon the citation style)

Understanding different citation styles when citing websites is important as it shows you understand academic conventions and demonstrates your ability to pay attention to important formatting details. Instead of citing manually, one can use citation generator tools to generate citation. Furthermore, using tools such as Enago Plagiarism Checker can help in improving your written work by detecting plagiarism, improving grammar and generate citation.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to cite a website properly in your research papers and articles.

Guide on citing websites

It is important to note that some styles, like APA, may require you to include the date you accessed the webpage, especially for dynamic or frequently updated content. Furthermore, it was advisable to include DOI (Digital Object Identifier) or a stable permalink in your citation, if provided by the website, for better accessibility.

Difference Between Citing a Website and Research Papers

While citing websites shares similarities with citing research papers from journals, there are some notable differences. Websites often lack formal publication information such as volume and issue numbers, making it essential to include additional details like the URL and access date in certain citation styles. Moreover, websites may vary widely in terms of reliability and credibility, necessitating a more critical evaluation of sources.

Citing websites can improve the impact and credibility of your work. Are you a researcher struggling to cast an impact with your research? Consider Enago’s Research Impact Services to allow a team of industry experts assist your publishing journey!

Mastering the art of citing websites is essential for researchers at all stages of their academic journey. By citing sources accurately, identifying credible websites, and adhering to established citation styles, researchers can enhance the credibility and impact of their work in the digital age.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here’s how to cite a website in MLA style: Author last name, first name. “title of the webpage.” website name (in italics), accessed date (Day Month Year), URL of the website

When citing a website in text, you typically include the author's last name (if available) or the name of the organization responsible for the website, along with the year of publication (or last update), and sometimes the page or paragraph number if you're quoting directly. The specific format can vary depending on the citation style you are using (such as APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.).

Here’s how you can cite a website in APA style: Author’s last name, initials. (full date of publication - Year Month Day). title of the webpage (in italics). website name (in plain text). URL of the website

Here’s how you can cite a website in Chicago style: Author last name, first name. “title of the webpage.” website name (in italics), accessed date (Month Day, Year). URL of the website

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  2. How to Cite a Lecture in APA, MLA and Chicago Styles

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  3. 4 Ways to Cite a Speech

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  4. How to do oral citations in speeches

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  5. Orally Citing a Source in a Speech

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  6. How to Cite a Speech/ Lecture in Chicago: Guide & Examples

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COMMENTS

  1. Citing Sources: Citing Orally in Speeches

    Use brief pauses instead. Provide enough information about each source so that your audience could, with a little effort, find them. This should include the author (s) name, a brief explanation of their credentials, the title of the work, and publication date. "In the 1979 edition of The Elements of Style, renowned grammarians and composition ...

  2. Citing Sources in an Oral Presentation

    Citing your sources just means telling where you got particular ideas or bits of information that did not originate in your own head. Sometimes this is called giving credit, attributing, or referencing. When you cite sources in an oral presentation, there are 3 basic parts. Orally cite sources of what you say.

  3. Citing Sources in a Speech

    Identifying the qualifications for a source, or explaining that their ideas have been used by many other credible sources, will enhance the strength of your speech. For example, if you are giving a speech about the benefits of sleep, citing a renowned sleep expert will strengthen your argument. If you can then explain that this person's work ...

  4. 7.3 Citing Sources

    Learn how to cite sources using the sixth and seventh editions of APA and MLA style manuals, and how to avoid plagiarism. Find out the steps for citing sources within a speech, the difference between direct and paraphrase quotations, and the strategies for ethical citation.

  5. PDF Citing Sources in a Speech 7-31-17

    from one source (as long as it is clear to the audience). x When in doubt, cite: If you are unsure whether or not to cite something, go ahead and cite it. You are never in danger of plagiarism from citing too much. This also applies to information in citations, if you are unsure of whether or not to include in-formation, include it.

  6. Verbal Citations in Speeches

    (Full verbal citation) Full vs. abbreviated verbal citations. Full verbal citations include all the information about the source thereby allowing the source to be easily found. ex. According to Harvard University professors, Dr. Smith and Dr. Jones research on this topic published in the Summer 2015 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine....

  7. APA Verbal/Speech Citations Example

    Examples: When citing books: Ineffective: " Margaret Brownwell writes in her book Dieting Sensibly that fad diets telling you 'eat all you want' are dangerous and misguided." (Although the speaker cites and author and book title, who is Margaret Brownwell? No information is presented to establish her authority on the topic.) Better ...

  8. How to Cite a Speech in APA Style

    To cite a paper presentation from an academic conference, use the following format. List the date as the range of dates across which the conference took place. APA format. Author name, Initials. ( Year, Month Day - Day ). Paper title [Paper presentation]. Conference Name, City, State, Country. URL.

  9. Organizing & Citing Sources

    Interview. When giving a speech or oral presentation, it can be difficult to cite your sources. A good speech should be well-researched, and many times you will be using facts, statistics, quotes, or opinions from others throughout. If you do not cite your sources orally, this can be considered plagiarism and is unethical.

  10. Citing Sources in Speeches

    are using during a speech. Orally providing details of your sources shows your work and builds your credibility. General Guidelines • It's better to over-cite than under-cite. When in doubt, cite it! • Give the listener sufficient information to determine the source is appropriate. To help listeners, provide source information before giving

  11. How to Cite a Lecture or Speech in MLA Format

    The anatomy of an MLA-style speech or lecture citation. In MLA format, just like in other academic styles like APA and the Chicago Manual of Style, there are two ways to cite a source: in text and in the works cited (or bibliography) page. In-text citation. In MLA format, an in-text citation for a speech or lecture is fairly simple.

  12. Citing Your Sources in a Presentation

    When preparing your presentation, remember that all sources used must be cited in both the Works Cited page and in-text. For a speech you will need to verbally give credit to your sources. Verbally citing a source can be as simple as stating, "Dr. Bob, a Professor at Clemson University, stated in a 2019 Forbes article, ..."Other examples could be, "The World Health Organization published the ...

  13. 8.4 Citing Sources

    The final step in correct source citation within a speech is the explanation. One of the biggest mistakes of novice public speakers (and research writers) is that they include a source citation and then do nothing with the citation at all. ... you need to cite where the information came from during your speech. Having the citation listed on a ...

  14. 6.3: Citing Sources

    Citing sources within your speech is a three-step process: set up the citation, provide the cited information, and interpret the information within the context of your speech. A direct quotation is any time you utilize another individual's words in a format that resembles the way they were originally said or written.

  15. 6.4 Citing Sources

    While there are numerous citation styles to choose from, the two most common style choices for public speaking are APA (American Psychological Association) and MLA (Modern Language Association). Scholars in the social sciences (e.g., psychology, human communication, business) tend to use APA style, while scholars in the humanities (e.g ...

  16. Citing Sources in a Speech

    When you cite sources in an oral presentation, there are 3 basic parts: 1. Orally cite sources of what you say. 2. Adapt a citation format to cite the sources of what is written on your visuals. 3. Have a full reference list handy for answering questions. In an oral presentation, your audience can't flip back and forth between in-text ...

  17. Citing Sources Effectively

    Citing sources within your speech is a three-step process: set up the citation, provide the cited information, and interpret the information within the context of your speech. A direct quotation is any time you utilize another individual's words in a format that resembles the way they were originally said or written. On the other hand, a ...

  18. How to Cite a Speech in APA

    APA. Citing a speech in APA most commonly follows the rules for citing a lecture. Select " Lecture " in our free citation generator below. If a lecture doesn't quite reflect your source, use the drop-down to select another one.

  19. 7.3: Citing Sources

    The seventh edition provides considerable guidance for citing online sources and new media such as graphic narratives. Table 7.3. 2 "MLA Seventh Edition Citations" provides a list of common citations you may need for your speech. Table 7.3. 2 MLA Seventh Edition Citations. Research Article in a Journal—One Author.

  20. 5. Cite Your Sources

    Option 2: Image is Part of the Presentation (going to talk about the image specifically during your presentation) In this case, you'll still include a caption for the image, but the caption will only include an in-text citation, and the entire citation information will go on the Works Cited page like you with a regular source.

  21. Citing a Speech in Chicago Style

    Citing a recorded or transcribed speech. To cite a transcript or video recording of a speech, follow the format appropriate to the source type where you found it, always starting with the speaker's name. Pay attention to the punctuation (e.g., commas, quotation marks, and periods) in your citation.

  22. How to Cite Sources

    To quote a source, copy a short piece of text word for word and put it inside quotation marks. To paraphrase a source, put the text into your own words. It's important that the paraphrase is not too close to the original wording. You can use the paraphrasing tool if you don't want to do this manually.

  23. Citing a Speech

    In order to properly cite a presidential speech, you need to know the following pieces of information: Speaker's first and last name. Speech's title. Date the speech was delivered. Editor's name (if applicable) If you found the speech in a book, you should also take note of the following: Book's title. First and last name of the book ...

  24. How to Cite a Website in MLA, APA, & Chicago Styles

    How to cite a website in text? When citing a website in text, you typically include the author's last name (if available) or the name of the organization responsible for the website, along with the year of publication (or last update), and sometimes the page or paragraph number if you're quoting directly.

  25. Illinois judge removes Trump from ballot because of ...

    The Illinois challenge was filed by a group of voters in coordination with Free Speech For People, a legal advocacy group that previously tried, but failed, to remove Trump from the ballot in ...