In research involving contemporary speeches, it’s important to quote them properly in Chicago style. Today, you’ll learn how to cite a speech in Chicago. In this style, citation varies based on whether you personally attended it or accessed a transcript or recording.
For a transcribed or recorded text, following the citation format of the corresponding source type, such as a website or book, is essential.
For a speech you viewed in person, provide details regarding the event location and date.
So let's take a look at the key details and Chicago requirements for referencing speeches.
How to cite a recorded or transcribed speech
When citing a video recording or transcript, it’s important to use the suitable format for the source type where you accessed it. Begin the citation with the speaker’s name and ensure commas, periods, and quotation marks are used correctly.
Transcript in a book
You should use the general book citation format to cite paragraphs from a book.
Start with the speaker’s name instead of the book authors’ names, and include the title, page range, and chapter (if applicable). Providing the book’s publication information is also necessary.
Black, Jane. “The New Year Speech.” In Best Speeches, edited by Ronald Grey, 115-118. Newtown: Doe Publishers, 2022.
1. Jane Black, “The New Year Speech,” in Best Speeches ed. Ronald Grey (Newtown: Doe Publishers, 2022), 115-118.
Black, “The Speech,” 115-118.
Citing a speech transcript found on a website
For this type of quote, it’s important to prioritize the speaker’s name over the website owners. While following the general guidelines of the Chicago style (which differ from those you follow to cite a speech in APA), emphasize the speaker.
Obama, Barack. "A More Perfect Union." Transcript of speech delivered at the National Constitution Center, Philadelphia, 18 March 2008. https://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/barackobama/barackobamaamoreperfectunion.htm.
Barack Obama, "A More Perfect Union," transcript of speech delivered at the National Constitution Center, Philadelphia, 18 March, 2008, https://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/barackobama/barackobamaamoreperfectunion.htm.
Obama, “A More Perfect Union”.
Citing from a video on a website
Video presentations often provide condensed and valuable information for essays. Here is a sample of citing video content found on a website.
Smith, Emily. "The Science of Climate Change." Lecture, Environmental Studies Seminar, University of California, filmed March 12, 2022. Video of lecture, 1:25:37. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYZ12345.
1. Emily Smith, "The Science of Climate Change," Lecture, Environmental Studies Seminar, University of California, filmed March 12, 2022, video of lecture, 1:25:37, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYZ12345.
Smith, “Climate Change,” 1:23:35.
Citing a lecture you attended
You may need to reference a lecture, conference presentation, or public talk you attended. The format is relatively straightforward since no published materials are involved in this case. You should indicate the following information:
- name of the speaker;
- "Lecture" label;
- details about the institution hosting the conference (its name, location);
Johnson, Lisa. “Globalization and Its Impact on Modern Society.” Lecture, Global Studies Seminar, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, March 5 2022.
1. Liza Johnson, “Globalization and Its Impact on Modern Society” (lecture, Global Studies Seminar, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, March 5, 2022).
Citing speeches in Chicago author-date style
When asked how to cite a speech in Chicago style, many students are often interested in creating in-text quotes and reference entry using an author-date format. For that, it’s necessary to follow the pattern:
Obama, Barack. 2008. "A More Perfect Union." Transcript of speech delivered at the National Constitution Center, Philadelphia, 18 March 2008. https://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/barackobama/barackobamaamoreperfectunion.htm.
In-text citation in an author-date format:
The difference is that you need to add the year right after the author's name.
Citing a speech: Chicago format for best academic papers
Accurately citing your sources is an essential aspect of any academic writing task. In this article, we’ve covered the essentials of citing speeches in Chicago style. We discussed the general rules and delved into specific formatting variations for different scenarios. To make your writing process easier and faster, we recommend using our Chicago style citation generator to create correct citations in one mouse click. Take advantage of our effective tool elaborated by EduBirdie specialists and complete outstanding academic papers in Chicago style!
What to do if the date is not indicated?
In cases where the lecture or conference you referenced does not have a listed date, you should use “n.d.” in your citation. This abbreviation means “no date.”
What are the formatting requirements if there’s no author mentioned?
When no author is indicated for the lecture or speech you quote, you can start your reference with the title. As for other details, follow the typical requirements when citing speeches or lectures.