The importance of citing sources

The importance of citing sources

One persistent challenge I faced while teaching public speaking was convincing students of the need to cite their sources and how to do it properly. My syllabus contained strong point deductions for giving a speech with no sources and the deductions increased with each speech. This gave them at least one compelling reason to remember to use sources. Other than that, I mentioned the importance of sources early and often — starting with the second day of class and a discussion of ethos. Many textbooks put the discussion of ethos toward the end, but it is more effective to cover early in class to provide the “whys” of much of the advice to come in the first unit.

During the persuasive speaking unit, I used a running example of a speech about legalizing drugs and how it would be put together. I created and presented this example of an effective source citation.

The importance of citing sources

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About teachingpublicspeaking

I believe public speaking can go from most dreaded class to favorite class. I'm a former public speaking college instructor who spent years seeking out activities, assignments and examples to make the class interactive as well as educational -- they are collected here. I welcome suggestions for additions.

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