Citing PowerPoint presentations in APA style is essential for academic integrity and proper referencing. Whether it’s a lecture slide from a university course or a publicly available presentation, understanding how to correctly cite these sources is key. Learn the essentials of citing PowerPoint presentations in APA format, an important skill for academic writing. This guide provides a step-by-step approach with practical examples to make accurate and effective citation of PowerPoint slides.

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APA Citation Format for PowerPoint Presentations

When citing PowerPoint presentations in APA style, you absolutely need to include specific details in a structured format. Below are examples demonstrating how to correctly cite PowerPoint presentations in various scenarios.

Basic APA Format for PowerPoints

Here’s how to structure a reference list entry for PowerPoint slides:

Citation TypeExample
Reference Entry for University PowerPointJohnson, F. (2018, September 20). Introduction to classics [PowerPoint slides]. Faculty of Classics, Oxford University.
Reference Entry for Public Site PowerPointFamilian, S. (2017, February 17). Visual design with data [PowerPoint slides]. SlideShare.
Reference Entry for Google SlidesScribbr. (2020). APA 7th edition: The most notable changes [Google Slides]. Google Drive.

In-Text Citations for PowerPoint Slides

In-text citations are an important aspect of referencing PowerPoint slides in APA format. They help make sure that the source of the information is properly credited within the body of your text. When you refer to ideas or data from a PowerPoint slide, you must include an in-text citation to avoid plagiarism. Here’s how to effectively include these citations in your text.

The basic format for an APA in-text citation includes the last name of the author (or presenter) and the year of the presentation. This should be enclosed in parentheses. If you directly quote a slide, include the slide number in your in-text citation after the year, separated by a comma.

For example, if you’re summarizing a point from a slide, your citation might look like this: (Author’s Last Name, Year). If you’re quoting directly, the format will be: (Author’s Last Name, Year, slide number).

ScenarioCitation TypeDetailed Example
Summarizing InformationGeneral In-Text CitationLet’s say you’re summarizing information from Frank Johnson’s PowerPoint titled “Introduction to Classics.” An appropriate in-text citation would be: (Johnson, 2018).
Direct QuotationIn-Text Citation with Slide NumberIf you are directly quoting slide 15 from the same presentation, the citation would be: (Johnson, 2018, slide 15).
Multiple AuthorsIn-Text Citation for Multiple AuthorsFor a PowerPoint by Sarah Familian and another author, you might cite it as: (Familian & Coauthor, 2017). If there are three or more authors, cite the first author followed by ‘et al.’: (Familian et al., 2017).
No DateIn-Text Citation Without a DateIf the PowerPoint does not have a date, use ‘n.d.’ to signify ‘no date’: (Author’s Last Name, n.d.). For example: (Smith, n.d.).
Personal CommunicationIn-Text Citation for Inaccessible PowerPointIf the PowerPoint is not accessible and you need to cite it as personal communication: In a lecture about field revolutions, Smith remarked that “…” (personal communication, January 14, 2019).

Special Scenarios in APA Citation

Different scenarios may require slightly varied formats for citing PowerPoint presentations. Below are examples for citing publicly accessible PowerPoints, inaccessible PowerPoints, and quoting information from slides.

Citing Publicly Accessible PowerPoints

When citing publicly available PowerPoint presentations, replace the university and department with the website name.

Citation TypeExample
Reference Entry for SlideShare PowerPointFamilian, S. (2017, February 17). Visual design with data [PowerPoint slides]. SlideShare.

Citing Inaccessible PowerPoints

For PowerPoints not accessible to the audience, cite them as personal communication in the text, without a reference list entry.

Citation TypeExample
In-Text Citation for Personal CommunicationIn a class lecture, Smith stated that the field is undergoing a “revolution” (personal communication, January 14, 2019).

Quoting from PowerPoint Slides

If quoting directly from a slide, try to find and cite the original source. If unavailable, cite the PowerPoint slide as shown.

Citation TypeExample
In-Text Citation for Quoted PowerPoint(Johnson, 2018)

This guide provides comprehensive examples for various scenarios encountered when citing PowerPoint presentations in APA format. It aims to provide clarity and precision in academic writing, adhering to proper citation standards.


Why is it important to reference PowerPoint slides and lecture notes properly?

Proper referencing is crucial because it allows readers to trace the sources of information back to their origins, ensuring transparency, credibility, and avoiding issues related to plagiarism.

How should I cite PowerPoint slides available online?

When citing PowerPoint slides available online, you should include the author’s name, the publication date, the title of the presentation in square brackets, the platform (e.g., SlideShare), and the URL.

What should I do if the PowerPoint slides come from a resource my audience doesn’t have access to?

In such cases, you should cite the slides as a personal communication, as your audience won’t be able to access the original source. Ensure to clarify this in your citation.

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