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How to Cite Sources for Informative Speech

Why and How to Cite Sources

The concept of informative speech presupposes gathering, analyzing, and presenting data on a certain topic, which is actually the main purpose of such writing or speaking. In order to be persuasive, it is critical to tell the audience where the information originates from, simply stated, refer to the sources. However, a reference as such is not sufficient since citing involves several steps and is to follow certain rules, so that the speech is credible.

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The primary step is, naturally, to set up a citation, which lies in introducing the topic for further presentation or discussion in one or two sentences. The resulting statement normally does not provide any links to authors or writings but identifies the scope of the speech (Stand up, Speak out). Therefore, it should be brief and specific, although able to attract the attention of the audience.

The following step is citing itself, which means giving a citation in order to prove or illustrate the statement. One of the ways to do that is a direct quotation, or simply picking a particular formulation from a source without changing it. Another approach is paraphrasing that involves presenting the key idea in different words (Stand up, Speak out). Both of citing techniques require mentioning the author, as it is essential to specify the belonging of a certain idea to avoid plagiarism as well as improve the persuasiveness of the speech.

Finally, the citation needs explaining, in other words, integrating into the context, so that it looks relevant. The connection between the topic and the citation has to be apparent. Furthermore, the speech should be able to drive the audience to the conclusions that they are expected to make rather than encourage them to speculate on the quotation or paraphrase (Stand up, Speak out). In general, the information from the source should serve to organize, illustrate, and further the entire speech.

Source Credibility

When citing from a certain work, it is essential to provide a brief list of its qualifications. This allows for both zero plagiarism and maximal credibility through showing the trustworthiness of the source to the audience. Qualifying a source means describing the expertise of its author or authors within the speech. A common mistake is regarding a particular fact as “common knowledge” and, consequently, not specifying its origin (Stand up, Speak out). Meanwhile, any data that support the viewpoint under discussion need thorough citing.

So that a source is possible to qualify appropriately, it has to be credible. Notably, the person or organization that composed it needs to have a reputation of an expert in the field. In this case, it is relevant to specify the title, for instance, “The American Psychiatric Association, the oldest professional organization that unites the specialists from both the USA and abroad, found that…” For an individual, credentials, organizational memberships, and prizes, if any, should accompany the name, to which principle trustworthy online sources do stick. Such qualifiers normally look as follows: “Dr. Luca Cetara, the senior researcher at Eurac Research, has investigated…”

To summarize, informative speech has to involve appropriate citations from credible sources in order to be trustworthy, hence persuasive, as well as avoid ethical issues, notably, plagiarizing. The citation should be whether quoted directly or paraphrased, then connected to the topic. In addition, in order to illustrate the reputability of the sources, it is necessary to add qualifiers, in other words, describe the authors’ competence.

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Work Cited

Stand up, Speak out. University of Minnesota, 2016.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, September 19). How to Cite Sources for Informative Speech.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "How to Cite Sources for Informative Speech." September 19, 2022.


StudyCorgi. (2022) 'How to Cite Sources for Informative Speech'. 19 September.

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