Learning to develop and deliver effective oral citations is an important speechmaking skill that helps to enhance the credibility of the speaker, the persuasiveness of the source, and reduce unintentional plagiarism. A content analysis of oral citation guidelines in the most widely-used public speaking textbooks reveals that they take different approaches to the topic of oral citations. The texts differ on the bibliographic elements that should be included in an oral citation, when an oral citation is necessary, and how oral citations should be introduced. In some cases, examples of citations in student speeches and chapter text do not follow the authors' guidelines.

The findings prompt a call for common standards and greater uniformity within the discipline in order to produce effective and ethical speakers. Recommendations for textbooks as well as public speaking instructors are discussed.