Although speeches are often less formal than written academic papers, it is important to cite your sources. Even if you are paraphrasing a source, you MUST cite it! And just as you would cite your source in the text of your paper, you must also cite your source in the text of your speech.
Most instructors specify what bibliographic/writing format they require for assignments in their classes. If you don’t know this, go back and read the syllabus or instructions carefully—it's probably stated there. The most common formats you are likely to work with in college are APA and MLA. They are different—and, yes, it matters!
If writing and researching isn’t your strength, we have tools to help you! Getting stronger in this area will make you successful in nearly every college class you take—so take the time to learn since YOU will reap the rewards for many semesters to come. Here are some tools for you:
-Make sure to mention the author, date, and name of the source in the text of your speech. You can do this in an informal way by saying something like: "Geraldine Quinzio, in her 2009 book called Of Sugar and Snow: A History of Ice Cream Making, suggests that the precursor to ice cream was the sherbet from the Middle East."
-To keep track of your sources, copy and paste citations as you research or take pictures using your phone. Use the resources on this page for extra help.
-Save some time to proof-read and correct your work. Read your speech out loud—you might catch mistakes easier that way.
-Trade papers/projects with a friend to proofread. We often fail to see our own mistakes!
-If you’re dyslexic, try going through your paper backwards, one word or sentence at a time.
MSJC Library Online Orientation - How to choose a topic, start your research, evaluate and synthesize information, and cite your sources.
Seven Steps to Library Research - A guide for topic development, library research, and creating citations.
Advanced Research Guide - Advanced research tips for searching databases, evaluating information, and citing.
Writing & Citing - Guide for grammar, writing, and citing help.
Citation Help Handouts - Quick guides for citing in MLA, APA, or Chicago Style formats.