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Speech Assignment Research Guide

A guide to finding sources for your speech.


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…”


  • 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: “, 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…”

The above information is from