When giving a speech, citing the sources of your information is essential to building credibility with your audience. This is true not only for any books or articles that you use in your research, but also for any sources that you draw from the Internet. When you present a piece of information that you found online, include an "oral footnote" to let your audience know precisely what you are referencing.
News and Other Journalism Websites
If you are citing a story or article from a news website or online magazine, your oral footnote should include that website's name, the name of the article's author and the date the article was published online. If you cannot find a date of publication, state the date that you accessed the website. Be sure to mention that the information was found on the website of the magazine or newspaper you are citing.
"Aquatic robots are also being explored as a military tool, as shown in an article by Polly Mosendz published on Newsweek's website on December 13th, 2014."
When you cite a piece of information from a non-news organization's website, you should include the name of that organization and the latest date that the information you accessed was revised. If you cannot find the revision date, mention the date on which you accessed information. Again, mention that you are referencing the organization's website.
Here's an example:
"The Center for Disease Control's online emergency resources, updated January 16, 2014, advise immediately seeking cover in case of an earthquake."
If you are not sure of how to cite a website in your speech, use the organization style of reference.
When citing Internet sources in your speech, there are a few easy mistakes that you can avoid. First, never be vague. Mention sources by name. If you are looking to show a larger trend in online sources, use a few examples that illustrate that trend in your speech.
Secondly, you should avoid including the full Web address of your sources in your speech. Most Web addresses are long and will disrupt the flow of your speech and confuse or tire your audience. However, be sure to keep notes of these Web addresses on hand in case you are asked to access the information again. There is one exception to this rule, however.
When to Use Dot-Coms
As stated above, you should generally avoid referring to a website by its URL in a speech. However, you can and should make exceptions to this rule when you are citing a website that is commonly known by its web address, such as Amazon.com or MoveOn.org. In these cases, including the Web address in your speech will help your audience recognize the source.
Refer to one of these dot-coms this way:
"The product was available on Amazon.com as early as January 4, 2008."
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