How to Cite PowerPoint Presentations Using APA Style

APA Style is a set of rules for publishing scientific papers at the highest level of clarity and accessibility. You can cite a PowerPoint presentation in another document using APA Style, or you can use APA citations within an actual PowerPoint presentation. Citing a PowerPoint presentation in another document is easy. However, the APA Manual (6th Edition) has nothing to say about placing APA citations in PowerPoint presentations. Read on and see how to do both.

1. How to cite a PowerPoint presentation in another document

Published PowerPoint presentations are typically available on the Internet. When citing such presentations, be sure to include the term “PowerPoint slides” in brackets. Follow the below example using the author, date, title, etc. and the “Retrieved from” URL notation:

Jones, A. B. (2014). How to include APA citations in a PowerPoint presentation [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from http://jones.uvm.edu/ppt/40hrenv/index.html.

2. How to include APA citations in the slides of a PowerPoint presentation

To avoid plagiarism, presenters need to treat a PowerPoint presentation like any research paper or article. Universities, for example, insist that any academic PowerPoint presentation have appropriate citations for any outside sources. Those sources include:

  • Direct quotations
  • Paraphrased words and ideas
  • Tables and data
  • Images
  • Video and audio files

Treat the PowerPoint presentation as a research paper

Educators and editors strongly recommend adopting APA research paper guidelines to PowerPoint presentations. Specifically, a PowerPoint presentation:

  • Must have a title page.
  • Needs a body with thorough APA citations
  • Has a consolidated References page
  • Has special fully cited slides for tables with figures and statistical data, which can be either integrated in the slide deck or presented at the end.

Prepare the References slide first

The References slide is the final slide of your PowerPoint presentation. It is, however, the slide that needs your immediate attention. This slide is a complete list of every APA citation that appears elsewhere in the presentation. Do the following:

  • Title the slide “References List” or “References.”
  • List the references alphabetically by author (if no author, integrate the title within the author listing).
  • To save space, do not double space or indent your references slide.

Make your first slide similar to the title page of an APA research paper

Your first PowerPoint slide should include the same information as the cover sheet of an APA research paper. Include the title of the presentation, your name, organization, and an author’s note describing the purpose of the presentation.

Include in-text citations for the middle slides

APA citations in the body refer only to the author (or an item in quotations without an author) followed by a comma, the date of publication and a page number, if applicable. These will be throughout the presentation, and when needed, hyperlink all your citations as well as images to their sources. Remember to attribute all quotes and paraphrases to their sources. (Note: Clip Art illustrations do not require citations.)

Follow these special guidelines

1. Number and annotate figures and web images

Include a figure number, a figure description/note and a parenthetical citation of the source from your references slide.

2. Integrate your tables, but include full attributions

Include a complete citation of the table source on individual table slides. This is in addition to listing the source on your references slide. As an exception to conventional advice on matching APA research paper conventions, tables can be incorporated as slides throughout the presentation, rather than grouped at the end.

See these sources for illustrations and samples

The Thomas F. Holgate Library at Bennett College, Greensboro, NC has posted an excellent slide presentation, APA Style PowerPoint Presentations. Also, Purdue University’s incomparable Online Writing Lab has a complete reference list guide for electronic sources (web publications).

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