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How to Cite a PowerPoint in APA Style

PowerPoint presentations are frequently used as sources in academic and professional contexts. Citing PowerPoints in APA style requires specific elements: author’s name, presentation date, slide title, [PowerPoint slides], and source URL (if available). These details apply to both in-text citations and reference list entries. Proper citation ensures credit to creators and allows readers to locate the source.

Elements of a PowerPoint Citation in APA 

Author’s Name: Getting it Right 

The author’s name is the starting point for any citation. In APA style, the author’s last name is followed by their initials. For a PowerPoint presentation, the author is typically the person who created or delivered the presentation. For example:

Smith, J. 

Date of Presentation: Finding the Correct Date 

The date of the presentation is just as important as the author’s name. It gives context to the currency and relevance of the information presented. For instance:

(2023, April 15). 

Title of the PowerPoint

The title of the PowerPoint should be italicized and use sentence-case capitalization. This means only the first word and any proper nouns are capitalized. For example:

The impact of climate change on Arctic wildlife.

Description of the Format: Indicating it’s a PowerPoint 

To indicate that the source is a PowerPoint presentation, you need to include a description in square brackets right after the title. For example:

[PowerPoint slides]. 

URL or Location: Providing Access Information 

If the PowerPoint is accessible online, include the URL. If it was part of a class or conference and is not available online, provide the name of the institution or event. For example:

Retrieved from https://www.example.com/presentation 

Citing a PowerPoint from an Online Source 

Identifying Online PowerPoints 

When citing a PowerPoint from an online source, ensure that the presentation is publicly accessible and verify the accuracy of the URL. This helps readers locate the original source easily. 

How to Format the URL 

The URL should be complete and lead directly to the PowerPoint. If the URL is long, you can use a URL shortener, but ensure it remains reliable. For example:

Retrieved from https://short.url/presentation 

Examples of Online PowerPoint Citations 

Here’s how a complete citation might look:

Smith, J. (2023, April 15). The impact of climate change on Arctic wildlife [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from https://www.example.com/presentation

Citing a PowerPoint from a Class Lecture 

Differences from Online Sources 

Citing a PowerPoint from a class lecture involves some different elements since these presentations are often not accessible to the general public. The citation needs to reflect this restricted access. 

Tips for Getting Accurate Information 

Ensure you have the correct name of the presenter, the exact date of the presentation, and the institution where it was delivered. For example:

Jones, L. (2023, March 10). The future of renewable energy [PowerPoint slides]. Lecture presented at the University of Green Energy, Solar City, CA.

Sample Citations for Class Lecture PowerPoints 

Jones, L. (2023, March 10). The future of renewable energy [PowerPoint slides]. Lecture presented at the University of Green Energy, Solar City, CA.

In-Text Citations for PowerPoint Presentations 

Basic Format for In-Text Citations 

In-text citations for PowerPoint presentations follow the author-date format. For example:

(Smith, 2023). 

Special Cases: Multiple Authors, No Date 

If the PowerPoint has multiple authors, cite them as follows:

(Smith & Jones, 2023).

If no date is available, use “n.d.” to indicate no date:

(Smith, n.d.). 

Practical Examples of In-Text Citations 

Here’s how you might cite a slide in the body of your text:

According to Smith (2023), the impact of climate change on Arctic wildlife is significant. 

Real-World Examples and Corrections 

Incorrect:

Smith, J. (2023). Impact of climate change [PowerPoint]. 

Correct:

Smith, J. (2023, April 15). The impact of climate change on Arctic wildlife [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from https://www.example.com/presentation

FAQs 

How do I cite a PowerPoint presentation in APA style? 

To cite a PowerPoint presentation in APA style, include the author’s name, date of presentation, title of the presentation in italics, a description of the format in square brackets, and the URL or location of the presentation. For example: Smith, J. (2023, April 15). The impact of climate change on Arctic wildlife [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from https://www.example.com/presentation. 

What if the PowerPoint presentation doesn’t have a date? 

If the PowerPoint presentation doesn’t have a date, use “n.d.” (no date) in the citation. For example: Smith, J. (n.d.). The impact of climate change on Arctic wildlife [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from https://www.example.com/presentation. 

How do I cite a PowerPoint from a class lecture in APA style? 

To cite a PowerPoint from a class lecture, include the presenter’s name, date of the presentation, title of the presentation in italics, a description of the format in square brackets, and the name of the institution or event. For example: Jones, L. (2023, March 10). The future of renewable energy [PowerPoint slides]. Lecture presented at the University of Green Energy, Solar City, CA. 

Can I use shortened URLs for citing PowerPoints in APA style? 

Yes, you can use shortened URLs as long as they are reliable and direct readers to the correct presentation. Ensure the shortened URL is still accessible and accurate.

Conclusion 

APA citations for PowerPoints include the author’s name, presentation date, slide title, [PowerPoint slides], and source URL (if online). Use the author’s last name and year for in-text citations. Create a full entry in your reference list. For presentations you’ve attended, include the event name and location. Always consult the current APA manual for the most up-to-date rules. Accurate PowerPoint citations support your arguments and maintain academic integrity.

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