Research Guide: Citations

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 convince 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, 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, 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.

Learn how to cite resources when giving an oral presentation.

Example of a Verbal Citation

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

Source: "Example of a Verbal Citation" by HolmanLibraryGRCC, Standard YouTube license

What to Include in a Verbal Citation

Source: "Student to Student: Verbal Citation" Valencia Speech, Standard YouTube license