How to Cite a PowerPoint in APA Style | Format & Examples
To reference a PowerPoint presentation in APA Style, include the name of the author (whoever presented the PowerPoint), the date it was presented, the title (italicized), “PowerPoint slides” in square brackets, the name of the department and university, and the URL where the PowerPoint can be found.
|APA format||Author name, Initials. (Year, Month Day). PowerPoint title [PowerPoint slides]. Department Name, University Name. URL|
|APA reference entry||Simonton, D. K. (2013). The mad-genius controversy [PowerPoint slides]. College of Education, University of Iowa. https://simonton.faculty.ucdavis.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/243/2015/08/IowaDeltaMadGenius.pdf|
|APA in-text citation||(Simonton, 2013)|
If the PowerPoint is not accessible to your readers, cite it as a personal communication instead. Note that to cite a video of a presentation (e.g. a TED Talk) or a quotation from a speech, different formats are used.
Citing a PowerPoint your readers can access
PowerPoint presentations should only be included in the reference list if your reader can access them for themselves.
PowerPoints on password-protected platforms
A login is often required to access a file on your university’s LMS (e.g. Blackboard, Canvas). In these cases, the URL included should be the login page rather than the specific location of the PowerPoint.
|APA reference entry||Johnson, F. (2018, September 20). Introduction to classics [PowerPoint slides]. Faculty of Classics, Oxford University. https://login.canvas.ox.ac.uk/|
|APA in-text citation||(Johnson, 2018)|
PowerPoints on public sites
With slides that are available on a public site, rather than from your university, replace the department and university name with the name of the website.
|APA reference entry||Familian, S. (2017, February 17). Visual design with data [PowerPoint slides]. SlideShare. https://www.slideshare.net/sfamilian/visual-design-with-data-feb-2017/10-WHATS_GOOD_DATA_DESIGNROLLEDUP10NINJA_TIPPivot|
|APA in-text citation||(Familian, 2017)|
The same format can be used for other kinds of slides or lecture notes. Just replace “PowerPoint slides” with an appropriate description.
|APA reference entry||Scribbr. (2020). APA 7th edition: The most notable changes [Google Slides]. Google Drive. https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/19wGvksFKwvVEkxyyqpNqPp6sQzga96d3tt85xvqUqhU/view|
|APA in-text citation||(Scribbr, 2020)|
Citing a PowerPoint your readers can’t access
If your readers won’t be able to access the PowerPoint you want to cite, it should instead be cited as a personal communication.
This often depends on who will be reading your paper. For example:
- If you’re writing a paper for class, and you want to cite a PowerPoint that’s available on your university’s Blackboard site, you can use the standard format, because your teacher can access the slides.
- If you want to cite the same PowerPoint in a paper you’re submitting to a journal, you’ll have to cite it as a personal communication, because the journal’s readers can’t access it.
Personal communications are not included in the reference list; just mention them in parentheses in the text.
Citing information quoted in a PowerPoint
If a lecturer included an interesting quote or statistic in their slides that you want to cite, it’s best to find the original source rather than citing the PowerPoint itself.
This allows both you and the reader to see the information in context. Only cite second-hand information from a PowerPoint if you’re unable to access the original source.
The source of the information will generally be listed in the PowerPoint itself or on a handout. With this, you can locate the original source online or at your university’s library. If the source isn’t stated in the presentation, try asking the lecturer for more information.
Frequently asked questions about APA Style citations
- How do I cite a source with no page numbers in APA Style?
When you quote or paraphrase a specific passage from a source, you need to indicate the location of the passage in your APA in-text citation. If there are no page numbers (e.g. when citing a website) but the text is long, you can instead use section headings, paragraph numbers, or a combination of the two:
(Caulfield, 2019, Linking section, para. 1).
Section headings can be shortened if necessary. Kindle location numbers should not be used in ebook citations, as they are unreliable.
If you are referring to the source as a whole, it’s not necessary to include a page number or other marker.