Last Updated: 20 May, 2020     Views: 197

Most referencing style guides are designed for written works, so it is difficult to find advice on how to cite your sources in an oral presentation.

For written work, citations come in two formats, "parenthetical" and "narrative". In parenthetical citations, the entire citation is included in the parentheses (brackets) in an author-date system, or represented by the number in a numbered system. In narrative citations, you actually mention the author (and sometimes details about the work itself) as part of your sentence.

In oral presentations, all of your citations will need to be narrative. You need to construct your sentences to include a mention of the author and also the work. Unlike normal in-text citations, you often include the author's complete name the first time you do this (if you cannot find their first names, initials will do), and some detail about why they are credible, if they are not well known.

Make sure you lead with the citation, rather than putting it after the information, so people know that they are about to hear something that came from a reputable source.

"As Jane Austen stated in the opening lines of Pride and Prejudice, 'It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.'"

"Giovanna Badia from Schulich Library of Physical Sciences noted, in her article Forty Ways to Survive IL Instruction Overload; or, How to Avoid Teacher Burnout, that the repetitive nature of teaching Information Literacy classes can lead to burnout."

When making another reference to the same work, you can simply refer to the author by surname:

"Badia also noted that teaching classes to uninterested audiences can take a toll on the instructor's motivation levels."

Note, you do not have to repeat the author's name if it is clear from other cues in your speech that you are still talking about the same work.

If you are referring to a work written by multiple authors, always mention both authors if there are only two. If there are more than two, mention the first author and refer to the others as "and associates" or "and colleagues" or "and co-writers". You can refer to them as "et al." in subsequent mentions if you wish.

"Samuel Abramovich and his colleagues noted in the article, Are Badges Useful in Education?, that some students are actively demotivated by badges."

The example above also used a shortened title - the full title of the article was Are Badges Useful in Education? It Depends Upon the Type of Badge and Expertise of Learner. If the full title of the work is too long or unwieldy to use in your speech, you may shorten it to the first part of the title as long as it makes sense and contains enough information to help your listeners find the work later.

When making reference to works by several authors in regards to one statement, it is sufficient to simply refer to them by name:

"Several writers, such as Rowena Cullen, Everett Rogers, and Merril Silverstein and associates have pointed out that socioeconomic status is only one factor influencing the digital divide."

If you have a piece of information that was covered by multiple works, only refer to the most relevant works in your speech. More than three references is unnecessary and excessive.

If you are giving a direct quote, then you need to make it clear in your speech that you are quoting directly. Use phrases like "and I quote...", or "as Rogers put it...". See the Jane Austen example above.

Using dates in oral citations:

If you are referring to a newspaper article or magazine, you should give the date.

"In her article How can I teach my child resilience when I'm too nervous to let her go? in the December 11th edition of the Guardian newspaper in 2019, Eleanor Gordon-Smith noted..."

If you are referring to research which is not recent (for example, a health sciences article older than five years), you should also mention the publication year:

"A.G. Nejad's 2007 article, Belief in Transforming Another Person into a Wolf, put forward the suggestion that lycanthropy might involve delusions about the transformations of other people, not just oneself."

You can also add any other details you think might be relevant and appropriate for the speech and the audience.

Check with your lecturer!

Some disciplines (for example, law) have specific conventions for the kind of oral presentation you are delivering. Check with your lecturer to see if there are conventions you should be following.