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Oral Footnotes

Speakers use oral footnotes in a speech to establish the credibility of the information presented. The audience should be assured that the information comes from a reliable source which can be looked up later by an interested listener.


  • In a September 2009 speech to Congress, President Obama stated, "It has now been nearly a century since Theodore Roosevelt first called for health care reform. And ever since, nearly every President and Congress, whether Democrat or Republican, has attempted to meet this challenge in some way."
  • According to a November 2009 Gallup Poll, 38% of Americans rate healthcare coverage as excellent or good.

In the examples above, "In a September 2009 speech to Congress, President Obama stated" and "According to a November 2009 Gallup Poll" are the oral footnotes. They give the listener a brief idea of the source of the information and introduce the quote and statistic given above. When composing an oral footnote include at least:

  • the person or organization who produced the information.

You may also want to include (and your professor may require):

  • the date of the information, e.g. 2009 in the examples above.
  • the credentials of the person being quoted, e.g. President of the United States.
  • the name of the publication or program in which the information appeared, e.g. The Wall Street Journal or The CBS Evening News. 

Oral footnotes refer the listener to the full citation on Works Cited page:

Works Cited

Jones, Jeffrey M. "Greater Optimism about U.S. Health System Coverage, Costs."  Gallup. 19 Nov. 2009. 

                Web. 13 July 2010.

Obama, Barack. "Remarks by the President to a Joint Session of Congress on Health Care." U.S. Capitol,

                Washington, DC.  9 Sept. 2009. Web. 13 July 2010.

Source:  King, Beth.  "In Speech Citations."  Plagiarism Tutorial.  Valencia West Campus Library.  Web. 2011.


MLA Citation: In-Text Citation and Works Cited


    Papers using MLA citation must include 1) a works cited list and 2)  in-text citations.

    In-Text Citations

    When you quote, paraphrase, or reference another authors ideas you must use In-Text Citations that include the author's name and a page number.  In-Text Citations alert your reader that you are citing or paraphrasing another authors ideas.  The authors you cite in your in-text citations are also listed at the end in your works cited list.  Here are two ways to create in-text citations using MLA style:

    Include the author’s (or editor’s) name directly in the text of the sentence.

    According to Roenneberg, “the Swedish botanist Carl von Linne constructed a flowerbed in his garden that served as a clock” (247).

    Omit the author’s name in the sentence, but cite the name plus the page number in parentheses at the end of the sentence


    “The Swedish botanist Carl von Linne constructed a flowerbed in his garden that served as a clock, using the specific times of day when different plants opened and closed their flowers” (Roenneberg 247)


    For longer quotes, instead of using quotation marks you will indent five spaces to indicate  that you are quoting an outside source:


    For detailed information about creating in-text citations for different kinds of sources, see Hacker's Resource and Documentation or your LIBR 10 Handbook.

    Works Cited List

    Your Works Cited List includes all the works you have cited in your paper -- your sources.



      MLA Research Paper: Example



      From Penn State University Library & Learning Services (2012)


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