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How to cite PowerPoint presentations in your research paper

Citing your sources correctly is an important part of Academic writing. That being said, it is important that students know how to cite PowerPoint presentations from the get-go. In fact, despite all the negativity that you might have heard from your peers, citing a PowerPoint presentation is fairly easy, and you can execute it in many different ways.

how to cite powerpoint presentations

How to cite PowerPoint presentations in content

Before citing, you first need to know the citation style that you will be working with. Is it MLA, or APA? In Academia, these tend to be the most widely used citation styles. And you’ve got to understand that each style has its own unique set of rules for formatting with regard to PowerPoint presentations. In this blog, we’ll be analyzing these three citation styles, and how you can correctly format them for live PowerPoint presentations, and how to accurately cite in research paper.

Using MLA Style

We’re going to kick things into high gear by learning how to cite a PowerPoint presentation in MLA.

• Marking your references with endnotes or footnotes-MLA utilizes either endnotes or footnotes to represent bibliographic information concerning sources that are being referenced in a project or paper. So when you choose the footnote option, you’ll need to highlight the actual point in your content where you’ll be referring to the PowerPoint presentation. You can do this by having a number in superscript, then proceed to writing the full citation at the bottom part of the page. Alternatively, when selecting endnotes, you will write the whole citations following an alphabetical order in the Works Cited list towards the end of your paper.
• Listing the name of the author or the presenter of the PowerPoint-If you’re going to present your PowerPoint content say at a lecture, or even a conference, you should start by first citing your name, or the name of the presenter. This should be done by writing the individual’s last name first, comma, then write their first name. Alternatively, if you are citing the content of a digital PowerPoint presentation file, the name of the author should follow the aforementioned structure-‘Last name, First name’ e.g. ‘Smith, John.’
• If the Powepoint presentation was documented live, you need to cite the lecture- If the PowerPoint presentation in question was part of a lecture or conference, you should mention information about the event as well. You can start by listing the name of the conference, which city it was held in, the date of the event, and the nature of the event. So for example: Smith, John. “Digital Marketing and Social Media.” Today’s Digital Sphere. Davidson Auditorium. Yorkshire. April 12, 2018. Keynote address.
• Mention the type of digital medium you are using and the date that it was created- When you are citing a PowerPoint file that you got from your computer, you should start by first citing the date of its creation, then write all the content pertaining to the event information, especially if it was a live presentation. Such information should follow the author’s name, and lastly the title of the file. Alternatively, instead of specifying the kind of lecture you viewed, you can write the kind of digital medium that was used.
Furthermore, when you write the date, you should abbreviate the month by writing the first three letters, then followed by a period.
Here’s a good example: Smith, John. “Digital Marketing and Social Media.” April 12, 2018. PowerPoint presentation.

Using APA Citation Style

This is how to cite PowerPoint presentations in APA.

1. The author’s surname and the publication year with regard to in-text citations
When you would like to directly quote or paraphrase a section of the PowerPoint presentation, you should place it as part of the text in brackets. Furthermore, you should cite the presenter or author by writing their last name first, followed by a coma, then proceeding with the year of publication of the presentation in question. You should place the brackets right after the beginning punctuation sign which follows the reference.
• Note: the APA citations rarely utilizes endnotes or footnotes
2. Proceed to create a reference list in alphabetical order- You should list the sources form the in-text citations that you created as a list to be at the back of your paper. Make sure to not repeat similar sources if they have been cited more than once in the content. You should create the ‘Reference List’ and place the content in alphabetical order with regard to the author’s surname.
3. Write the presenter’s or author’s last name together with their first initial- You should write the surname first in the content, then proceeding with a comma. Thereafter, write the first initial of their name, then follow through with a period.
Example “Smith, J.”
4. Write the year that it was published- You should write the year of publication of the PowerPoint citation in APA in round brackets, then place a period after the second bracket. However, if you’re not sure about the year, don’t add it to the presentation.
Example: “Smith, J. (2018).”
5. The title should be written in italics and the presentation type should be presented in square brackets- You should write the title of the presentation in italics, followed by the presentation format within square brackets. This should then be closed off with a period.
For example, if you got the presentation online, the format is ‘PowerPoint slides.’
If you happened to see the presentation in person, the format is ‘lecture.’
“Smith, J. (2018). Digital Marketing and Social Media [PowerPoint slides]
6. Mention the URL if you got the presentation online- You should mention the URL using retrieved from followed by a space.
Retrieved from”

And there you have it! If you would like more help with regard to PowerPoint presentations and citations for your research paper, get in touch with our affordable pricing services here at, and we will immediately assist you.

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