How to Cite a PowerPoint Presentation in APA, MLA or Chicago

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Published August 12, 2020. Updated October 4, 2021.

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Let’s be honest: Sometimes the best information for a paper comes straight from a professor’s PowerPoint presentation. But did you know that source needs to be cited?

Whether you’re making use of your instructor’s lecture materials or pulling information from a Powerpoint found online, you need to make sure to cite your sources if you use information from it in a project or paper.

By now, you’re probably familiar with how to cite websites, books or journal articles, but not as knowledgeable about how to cite a Powerpoint presentation. In actuality, citing PowerPoint presentations aren’t all that different from citing written materials, so don’t let yourself be phased! It’s not too hard and compiling an MLA works cited or APA reference page doesn’t take too long—each one should take just a few minutes to create.

To help you with the process, we’ve put together a handy guide demonstrating how to cite a PowerPoint presentation in three commonly used citation styles: MLA, APA and Chicago.

Let’s start by looking for basic information you’ll need for the citation.

Information you may need to cite a PowerPoint Presentation:

  • Author or authors of the presentation
  • Presentation title
  • Date of publication/presentation
  • Place of publication/where the presentation was given
  • URL (if used to locate the presentation)

Cite a PowerPoint Presentation in MLA format:

MLA format citation structure:

Author Last Name, First Name. Presentation Title. Month Year, URL. PowerPoint Presentation.

Example citation:

Park, Lisa. Effective Working Teams. Jan. 2011, https://www.company.meetings/teams. PowerPoint Presentation.

In-text citation structure:

(Last Name)

Example in-text citation:

(Park)

Cite a PowerPoint Presentation in APA format:  

APA reference structure:

Author or Presenter Last Name, Middle Initial. First Initial. (Date of publication). Title of presentation [PowerPoint presentation]. Conference Name, Location. URL

Example reference:

Park, L. (2011, March 24-28). Effective working teams [PowerPoint presentation]. Regional Dairy Workers National Conference, New York, NY, United States. https://www.company.meetings/teams

Cite a PowerPoint Presentation in Chicago Style:

Chicago citation structure:

Author Last Name, First Name. “Presentation Title.” Lecture, Location of Lecture, Month Day, Year.

Example citation:

Park, Lisa. “Effective Working Teams.” Lecture, The Plaza Hotel, New York, NY, January 11, 2011.


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Updated April 26, 2021.

 

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How do I cite a PowerPoint presentation?

To cite PowerPoint presentation slides, include the author name, year/date of presentation, the title, the source description, the website and/or university name, and the URL where the source can be found.

APA

Reference list Author Surname, X. Y. (Year, Month Day). Title of the presentation [PowerPoint slides]. Publisher. URL
Note: When you have more than one author, separate them with a comma and add an ampersand before the last author with a comma.
Example Aarons, J. (2012, May 4). Electricity and magnetism [PowerPoint slides]. SlideShare. https://www.worthschools.net/userfiles/308/Classes/1781/3-5%20Physics%20Elec%20%20Mag.pptx
In-text Citation – Parenthetical (Author Surname, year)

(Aarons, 2012)

In-text Citation – Narrative Author Surname (year)

Aarons (2012)

Note: If you are referring to specific content from the slide, mention the slide number in the citation, for example, (Author Surname, year, slide 2).

If the PowerPoint presentation is not accessible to the reader, cite the slides as personal communication.

MLA

Reference list Author Surname, First Name “Title of the Presentation.” Website, Day Month Year, URL. Medium.
Example Aarons, James. “Electricity and Magnetism.” SlideShare, 4 May 2012, https://www.worthschools.net/userfiles/308/Classes/1781/3-5%20Physics%20Elec%20%20Mag.pptx. Slideshow.
In-text Citation – Parenthetical …(Author Surname)

…Aarons

In-text Citation – In Prose Author Surname…

Aarons…

Note: If you are referring to specific content from the slide, mention the slide number in the citation, for example, (Author Surname, slide 2).
How do you in-text cite a PowerPoint?

If you want to cite a PowerPoint in MLA or APA style, you need to have basic information including the name of the author(s), title of the presentation, date and place of publication, and URL. For in-text citations, you need to include only the author name(s) in MLA style and author name(s) and year in APA style. 

APA in-text citations

Template:

(Author Surname, publication year)

Example:

(Dhanalakshmi, 2004)

MLA in-text citations

Template:

(Author Surname)

Example:

(Dhanalakshmi)