How to cite a speech in APA Style

How you cite a speech in APA Style depends on the format in which you heard it.

For an audio recording of a speech found online, list the speaker, the date when the speech took place, the title in italics, “Speech audio recording” in square brackets, the website, and the URL. You can use a timestamp to specify a location in the in-text citation.

Format Speaker last name, Initials. (Year, Month Day). Speech title [Speech audio recording]. Website Name. URL
Reference entry Kennedy, J. F. (1961, January 20). Presidential inaugural address [Speech audio recording]. American Rhetoric. https://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/jfkinaugural.htm
In-text citation (Kennedy, 1961, 01:45)

The formats for citing a paper presentation from a conference and for citing speeches that don’t fit any of these categories are shown below. The formats for citing a TED Talk or a speech uploaded to YouTube are explained elsewhere.

Citing a paper presentation

To cite a paper presentation from an academic conference, use the following format. List the date as the range of dates across which the conference took place.

Format Author name, Initials. (Year, Month DayDay). Paper title [Paper presentation]. Conference Name, City, State, Country. URL
Reference entry Jang, S. (2019, August 8–11). Deconstructing the opposition of natural/arbitrary in Coleridge’s theory of language [Paper presentation]. NASSR 2019: Romantic Elements, Chicago, IL, United States.
In-text citation (Jang, 2019)

However, if you’re citing a published conference paper from a journal or book, use the format of that source type.

Citing speeches as personal communications

Speeches that cannot be accessed by the reader in some sort of recording or transcript and were not part of a conference are cited as personal communications.

This is the format used in APA Style for sources the reader won’t be able to access themselves. Because they are not retrievable, personal communications don’t appear in the reference list; they’re just cited in the text.

Personal communication citation
The topic of genetic modification was covered in the speech (H. So, personal communication, February 19, 2019).

Check out other APA examples

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Jack Caulfield

Jack is a Brit based in Amsterdam, with an MA in comparative literature. He writes and edits for Scribbr, and reads a lot of books in his spare time.

1 comment

Jack Caulfield
Jack Caulfield (Scribbr-team)
December 10, 2020 at 12:26 PM

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