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CO 1003/1013: Resources for Speeches

Resources for speech assignments in CO 1003: Fundamentals of Public Speaking, and CO 1013: Introduction to Communication

The Mississippi State University Honor Code

"As a Mississippi State University student, I will conduct myself with honor and integrity at all times. I will not lie, cheat, or steal, nor will I accept the actions of those who do."

The MSU Honor Code is a critical component in the scholarly community at Mississippi State, and is necessary to build an honest and ethical learning environment.

The Student Honor Code Office provides assistance pertaining to academic integrity cases and resources for students who want to do honest work.

Citation Assistance and Avoiding Plagiarism

The most common citation styles are APA, MLA and Chicago. MSU has print and online citation guides to help you cite sources in your papers and build your bibliographies, or use our Chat service for citation assistance.

How Can I Avoid Plagiarism Using Citations?

The MSU Student Honor Code Operational Procedures defines "Plagiarism" as "The appropriation of another person's ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit... 1) Intentionally, knowingly, or carelessly presenting the work of another as one's own (i.e., without proper credit); 2) Failing to credit sources used in a work product in an attempt to pass off the work as one's own; 3) Attempting to receive credit for work performed by another, including papers obtained in whole or in part from individuals or other sources; 4) The internet, data bases and other electronic resources must be cited if they are utilized in any way as resource material in an academic exercise." (

Plagiarism often occurs when a student fails to cite a source or fails to cite it correctly. A good rule of thumb is to cite:

  1. Direct quotes;
  2. Paraphrased passages;
  3. and Anything not considered common knowledge, including borrowed facts. Examples:
    • Common knowledge: "The sky is blue." This does not need a citation.
    • Borrowed fact: "Why is the sky blue?"
      • "A clear cloudless day-time sky is blue because molecules in the air scatter blue light from the sun more than they scatter red light" (Gibbs).
      • Reference: Gibbs, Phillip. "Why Is the Sky Blue?" The Original Usenet Physics FAQ. University of California Riverside. May 1997, 

Citing in Speeches and Oral Presentations

Credit for the steps below go to the University of Southern Mississippi's Speaking Center for their guide to "Citing Sources in a Speech." For the full guide:

Academic Honesty:
The key to a successful presentation is having support material for your points—in other words, knowing your stuff. It is essential to let your audience know exactly where you got your information. You do not have to include entire references in your oral presentations, but you must refer to your sources while speaking.

  • Give your audience enough information about your sources such that they can track down the information on their own.
  • Generally you need source titles, authors, and dates. Check with your instructor’s requirements that you do not need more information for the grading rubric.
  • Not page numbers, volume numbers, web addresses, etc.

How to Incorrectly and Correctly Cite Common Sources:

Direct Quotations: These should be acknowledged in your speech or presentation either as “And I quote…” or “As [source] recommends…”

Book: include title and author

  • Incorrect: “According to Burke, the principle of persuasion…”
  • Correct: “According to Kenneth Burke, author of Grammar of Motives….”

Periodical (magazine): include title and date

  • Incorrect: “Atlantic magazine wrote…”
  • Correct: “A July 15, 2017 article in the Atlantic suggested…”
  • Correct: “An editorial in The New York Times, May 31, 2017, argued…”

Academic Journal: include journal title, date, and author

  • Incorrect: “Gewin writes…”
  • Correct: “Virginia Gewin writes in the July 2017 issue of Science…”

Web site (organization site or other longstanding site): include title

  • Incorrect: “I found this information on the internet” or “At, it states that…”
  • Correct: “The Bureau of Labor Statistics web site includes information…”

Website (news/magazine): include title and date

  • Incorrect: “ states….” Or “ writes…” (without date)
  • Correct: “In an interview with NPR on January 18, 2017, former President George H.W. Bush stated…”

Interviews, lecture notes, or personal communication: include name and credentials of source

  • Incorrect: “Robert McChesney said…”
  • Correct: “Robert McChesney, Professor of Communication at the University of Illinois, had this to say about rural internet access...”
    • or “According to junior Economics major, Siddhartha Raja…”

(Southern Miss Speaking Center, 2020)

University of Southern Mississippi. "Citing Sources in a Speech." Southern Miss Speaking Center, 2020,


Citation Tools in the Online Catalog and Library Databases

Many of the online resources on the library website will provide computer-generated citations in different styles for you to use in a works cited page or bibliography. WARNING: be sure to double-check these citations for errors and correct as needed before turning your paper in!

In the MSU Online Catalog:

  • Look for the "Cite This" button to the right of any catalog record; a separate window will open.

In EBSCOhost databases:

  • Look for the gold paper icon on the right of the article record (it says "Cite" when you mouse over it).