How to Cite “I Have a Dream”

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One of the most iconic and prolific speeches ever delivered in US history is Dr. Martin Luther King’s I Have a Dream speech. On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, in August of 1963, Dr. King spoke in front of a quarter of a million people during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. In a speech that lasted a total of 17 minutes, Dr. King shared his vision and desire for equal civil rights for African Americans.

Millions of websites display a full transcript of Dr. King’s speech and YouTube views also rack up into the millions. With Martin Luther King Jr. Day upon us, it’s possible your teacher or professor asked you to use Dr. King’s famous speech in your work. If you’re unsure how to cite Dr. King’s speech, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Included on this page are instructions to cite Martin Luther King Jr.’s I Have a Dream speech in MLA format, APA format, and Chicago format.

To cite a transcript of Dr. King’s I Have a Dream speech found online, you’ll need the following pieces of information:

  • Speaker’s name or the name of the individual who posted the speech online
  • Title of the speech
  • Title of the website the speech is found on
  • Publisher of the website
  • Date the transcript was published
  • Date the speech was delivered
  • URL of the website the speech is found on
  • Event the speech was delivered at
  • Location of the event

Remember, citations are created to help the reader find the exact source used. While there are numerous transcripts of Dr. King’s speech available online, your goal is to help the reader easily understand and locate the same exact source you used for your project. Why? This speech could appear differently on various sites.

Structure to cite a transcript of I Have a Dream found online in MLA 8:

Speaker’s Last name, First name. “Title of Speech.” Title of Website the speech is found on, Publisher of the Website (only include if it’s different than the name of the website), date the transcript was published, URL (remove http:// or https://).

You’ll notice elements of an MLA website citation, but with additional information on the speaker.

Here’s an example of how to cite a transcript of I Have a Dream found online in MLA 8:

King, Martin Luther. “I Have a Dream by Martin Luther King, Jr; August 28, 1963.” The Avalon Project, Yale Law School, avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/mlk01.asp.

 

Structure to cite a transcript of I Have a Dream found online in APA:

Individual who posted the speech’s Last name, First initial. Middle initial. (Year the transcript was published online). Title of webpage [Speech transcript]. URL

Here’s an example of how to cite a transcript of I Have a Dream found online in APA citation format:

Yale Law School. (2008). I have a dream by Martin Luther King, Jr; August 28, 1963 [Speech transcript]. http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/mlk01.asp

 

Structure to cite a transcript of I Have a Dream found online in Chicago:

Speaker’s Last name, First name Middle initial. “Title of speech.” Speech presented at Title of Event, Location, Date presented. URL.

Here’s an example of how to cite a transcript of I Have a Dream found online in Chicago format:

King, Martin L. “I Have a Dream.” Speech presented at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Washington, D.C., August 1968. http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/mlk01.asp.

 


Trying to cite Dr. King’s speech from a YouTube or Vimeo video? Maybe you need a parenthetical citation definition? Or maybe you are trying to learn the basics. For all of the above, try our citation tools at easybib.com.

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About the Author

Michele Kirschenbaum

Michele Kirschenbaum is the in-house librarian at EasyBib. You can find her here on Twitter.