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COMM 100 Oral Communications Class Guide


Now that you've found the sources you need for your At the Table Conversations or your Persuasive Speaking Assignment, you're going to want to find a way to incorporate them into your speech. Incorporating them effectively into your speech can often make or break your assignment. This guide is here to help you take your sources to the next level!

How do you use them effectively in your paper, speech, or project?

The following are just a few of the most common ways to incorporate a source:

  • Sources of Examples

Does the source provide a perfect detail, statistic, or situation that will support your argument, or springboard your ideas into deeper meaning? Oftentimes you may choose to direct quote these sources for a powerful effect.

Experts believe that zombies and humans can co-exist under the right conditions. CDC director John Smith states as much in a 2010 memo: "Zombies are an essential part of the earth's ecosystem. We just need to be sure we can out run them" (p.54). With cardio is becoming such an important part of our daily lives, interval training is an excellent way to fit cardio training into your busy day and get the most bang for your buck.

  • Supporting Evidence/Analysis

Finding other academics or experts that share your argument, or provide details that support your conclusions, is an important way to build the credibility of your argument. Oftentimes you will find yourself building upon what the source has said and extending their argument with your own ideas.

Garfield the Cat's laziness mirrors our societal ennui and anxiety. Jane Doe explores similar themes in her book Angst and Anxiety in the Funny Papers: Societal Dysfunction in American Comics, 1979-present. She equates Garfield's continued reliance on John to provide him lasagna to our culture's reliance on social media and television for social interaction.

  • Illustrations of Counter Arguments

Sources that counter your argument give you the opportunity to explore your topic more completely, and may show additional avenues of analysis. These sources show your audience that you have considered position from multiple angles.

Mrs. Robinson (1995) believes that cookies are the best way to welcome people into a home. Her evidence suggests that their sweet smells elicit a positive neurological response from the visitor. For the gluten-intolerant, however, cookies are less than adequate, and a different welcome is necessary for them to feel at ease.


When you are quoting a source in your speech, it can sometimes feel awkward to introduce it, but it will actually help you support your argument, as your audience will know that you have done your research. For example, if you're arguing that the use of a mask is a way to prevent coronavirus, mentioning something with "According the Center for Disease Control and Prevention" preceding it will really help to strengthen your argument.

Use Your Sources Responsibly!

A successful academic project requires a balance between your own ideas and the supporting ideas of reliable sources. It's important to clearly indicate to your reader where your ideas begin and the supporting evidence ends. The best way to do this is with proper citations and paraphrasing/quoting.

In-text citations and bibliographies prove to your audience that you researched your topic adequately, and allows them the opportunity to review any source that sparked their interest.

You'll want to use APA citation style for your assignments. If you have any questions about the APA citation style, visit this guide. It will help you with the citations for the required materials for your Zoom Conversation Assignment and Persuasive Speaking Assignment: newspaper articles (NYTimes), radio broadcasts (NPR), and web sources. 

If you need additional assistance with your citations, ask a librarian or reach out to the BC Writing Center located in the Forrer Learning Commons.