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Within oral presentations
To convince your audience that you are a credible speaker.
To prove that your information comes from reliable sources.
To give credit to others for thier ideas, words, and data to avoid plagiarism.
To leave a path for your audience to allow them to locate your same sources.
Ineffective: “Margaret Brownwell writes in her book Dieting Sensibly that fad diets telling you ‘eat all you want’ are dangerous and misguided.” (Although the speaker cites and author and book title, who is Margaret Brownwell? No information is presented to establish her authority on the topic.)
Better: “Margaret Brownwell, professor of nutrition at the Univeristy of New Mexico , writes in her book, Dieting Sensibly, that …” (The author’s credentials are clearly described.)
MAGAZINE, JOURNAL OR NEWSPAPER ARTICLE
Ineffective: “An article titled ‘Biofuels Boom’ from the ProQuest database notes that midwestern energy companies are building new factories to convert corn to ethanol.” (Although ProQuest is the database tool used to retrieve the information, the name of the newspaper or journal and publication date should be cited as the source.)
Better: “An article titled ‘Biofuels Boom’ in a September 2010 issue of Journal of Environment and Development” notes that midwestern energy companies…” (Name and date of the source provides credibility and currency of the information as well as giving the audience better information to track down the source.)
Ineffective: “According to generationrescue.org, possible recovery from autism includes dietary interventions.” (No indication of the credibility or sponsoring organization or author of the website is given)
Better: “According to pediatrician Jerry Kartzinel, consultant for generationrescue.org, an organization that provides information about autism treatment options, possibly recovery from autism includes dietary interventions.” (author and purpose of the website is clearly stated.)
Note: some of the above examples are quoted from:
Metcalfe, Sheldon. Building a Speech. 7th ed. Boston: Wadsworth, 2010. Google Books. Web. 17 Mar. 2012.