Oral Citation Guide

Once you refer to someone else’s ideas, thoughts, or words, it’s crucial to give credit. This is because using oral citation builds credibility and provides a source of your information. It also means that the provided information is reputable and can be fact-checked.

What Is an Oral Citation?

Oral citation is the provision of new information to the audience using word of mouth. The information may include study results, statistics, quotations, expert opinion or testimony, and specific opinions in speech.

There are no specific rules on how it should be written, but the most common and straightforward approach is using “According to….” You can place it at the beginning, middle, or end of a sentence.


  • Beginning of the sentence: “According to 2020 report on universal health, Covid-19 is a universal menace.”
  • Middle of the sentence: “Covid-19, according to 2020 report on universal health, is a universal menace”
  • At the end of the sentence: “Covid-19 is a universal menace, According to 2020 report on universal” health.

Unlike written citations, where APA and MLA speech citations are a must, oral citation does not require strict standards.

What Should Be Included in an Oral Citation?

Oral citation is less complicated than written counterparts. You should always keep in mind that your citation should answer the questions what/who and when?

On what/who: it identifies the title or the author. This is the element of the source, the most significant authority that provides secondary credibility. It answers the questions does the author has credentials and what type of a publication it is.

When citation in a speech answers the questions “when,” it looks at the following:

  • The date the magazine, book, journal, or newspaper was published,
  • The date that person was interviewed
  • When did you have access to that website
  • When was that website’s last update

There are no firm rules on what must be included in this citation, but speakers often include the following information.


It’s important to mention the author’s name and credentials during a citation to establish the author as a credible source of information. Unless the author’s full name is recognizable, always use the author’s last name.


“In the 3rd May 2020 issue of the Daily Monitor, the journalist and renown author Jackson Jackton wrote…….”


Despite titles not being so crucial in a citation, it’s vital to give the title of the magazine, book website, or journal. You must also provide information on the type of publication, and if the publication is not widely recognized, it’s essential to offer a comment on its credibility.


“In the 2021 issue of the Journal of Medical Practitioners, a peer-reviewed publication of the Association of American Doctors, author Jackson Jackton describes covid-19 as….”

Publication and Date

It’s critical to cite where you got the information from.

If you are using information from a magazine, book, journal, or newspaper, mention its published date. When using information from a website without a publication date, always use the last updated date or the day you accessed the website.


“A web page with the title” the genesis of COVID-19 dated 2020, provided by the Association of American Doctors reveals that covid-19 began in Wuhan Market….”

You can use oral citations in a speech, an interview while citing a website, a book in quoting and paraphrasing, among others. Here are verbal citation examples.

Citing a Book

When citing information from a book, it is critical to provide the book’s title, publication year, and the author’s credentials. The publisher, page, and city of publication are not so critical.


  • “In his book, Finding Gobi, Dion Leonard, an international bestseller, describes Gobi the dog as the most resilient dog ever.”
  • In her book, The Dangers of a One-Sided Story, Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie talks of the risks of a single story.

Citing a Speech

When using oral citations in a speech, it’s essential to include the author’s full name and initials when the full names are not available. It’s important to place the citation at the beginning of the information to prepare people that they are about to hear information coming from a reputable source.


  • As Dion Leonard stated in his book Finding Gobi, “Gobi was a little dog with a huge heart.”

When referring to the same author in another reference, you can use the author’s surname. If you are referring to work written by two authors, then use the names of the two authors.

For three or more authors, you should indicate the first author’s name and mention the others as “ co-writers,” ” and associates,” or as “and colleagues.”

Citing an Interview

When citing information from an interview, always indicate the person’s name, then state their credentials and the interview date. Do not forget to say if it was a personal interview.


  • “From a personal interview on July 31st that I conducted with Meredith Jones, the head of The Dog Care Unit at the Pet Hospital Gobi was in perfect health.”

Citing a website

While citing a longstanding or organizational website, always include the title.


  • “American Cancer Society has information that includes….”

While citing a magazine or news website, always include the title and date.


  • “According to CNN.com….”

Quoting and Paraphrasing

You quote from a source when you give the information word for word. When citing orally, you must identify the source and the audience you are quoting.


  • In an article in the November 2012 issue of the Journal of Medical Sciences, Dr. Ian Marshall, the head of the renal unit at the wellness hospital, says, and quote “Our rental unit is equipped with ultramodern HD machines….”

When paraphrasing a source, you speak someone else’s idea but in your own words. In a citation, you must refer to the source before talking about the idea.


  • According to “characteristic of effective communication,” the last update in December 2020 by Lumen Learning, the seven Cs in communication are concise, clear, correct, concrete, complete, coherent, and courteous.

Oral Citation: Points to Remember

  • Always use speech citations even where you are not sure it’s needed.
  • Include the publication or the source as well as the date of the information.
  • Use “according to” or other similar phrases
  • Citations are included either before, during, or after you offer the information

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