Speechwriting & Source Citation

Originality #

All speeches presented at WISDAA contests must be the original work of the student presenting, except for Middle Level Non-Original Oratory, where students deliberately perform another’s work (performance of literature guidelines apply). The same speech/topic may never be used again by the same contestant in different years of WISDAA participation, across both middle level and high school grades, and irrespective of category.

Just as is the case with writing an essay, preparing a speech involves gathering information and a functional understanding of a topic, followed by persistent research. This information should be organized in a logical manner, with evidence from credible sources to support the ideas speakers share. This is particularly important in such categories as Informative Speech, Moments in History Speech, Persuasive/Oratory Speech, and Public Address Speech.

Research/Source Citations #

Students must give clear, oral citations during their speech — of outside sources consulted, and adjudicators should hold students accountable for drawing information from credible sources. Here’s some guidelines to consider for source evaluation and citation:

Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) #

Contestants are prohibited from quoting or paraphrasing text directly from generative AI sources. Generative AI should not be cited as a source. The exception is that a student delivering a speech about the topic of AI may quote AI to illustrate their points about AI, and cite that source, accordingly. Overall, while generative AI may be used to guide students to articles – including for Extemporaneous Speech – ideas, and sources, the original source of any quoted or paraphrased evidence must be available if requested.

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Updated on 02/05/2024
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