How to cite a PowerPoint in MLA
To cite a PowerPoint or other slide-based presentation in MLA style, the format depends on how you viewed the presentation.
If the slides are available to view online, the format is similar to that for a website: provide the author and title of the presentation, the name of the site in italics, the date it was posted, and the URL.
Use a slide number to indicate the location of the relevant information in in-text citations.
|Format||Author last name, First name. “Presentation Title.” Website Name, Day Month Year, URL.|
|Works Cited entry||Vanderbauwhede, Wim. “A Few Thoughts on Work-Life Balance.” SlideShare, 24 Jan. 2020, https://www.slideshare.net/WimVanderbauwhede/a-few-thoughts-on-work-lifebalance.|
|In-text citation||(Vanderbauwhede, slide 4)|
Citing a PowerPoint you viewed in person
If you viewed the PowerPoint in person and it isn’t available online, cite it using details of the context in which you viewed it: the name of the course, the date the lecture was given, and the name and location of your university.
You can also add the optional label “PowerPoint presentation” for clarity.
|Format||Author last name, First name. “Presentation Title.” Course Name, Day Month Year, University Name, City. PowerPoint presentation.|
|Works Cited entry||Smith, Jane. “Introduction to MLA Style.” Academic Citation 101, 15 Nov. 2018, Yale University, New Haven. PowerPoint presentation.|
|In-text citation||(Smith, slide 7)|
Note that citing an online version is the best option if possible, since it allows your reader to consult the presentation directly.
Citing content reproduced in a PowerPoint
If you want to cite content reproduced in a PowerPoint (like an image or quotation from someone other than the person who created the slides), it’s best to cite the original source if possible. Try looking for source information in the slides, or asking the lecturer.
However, if necessary, you can treat it as a source contained within a source. Cite details of the original source first, and then include details of the presentation as a container, including the slide where the relevant quote or image appears at the end.
For example, the following format shows how to cite an artwork from a presentation.
|Format||Author last name, First name. Artwork Title. Year of Artwork. Presentation Name, taught by Presenter first name Last name, Day Month Year, University Name, City. Slide number.|
|Works Cited entry||Picasso, Pablo. Guernica. 1937. Introduction to Art History, taught by James Wilson, 24 Sep. 2019, Duke University, Durham. Slide 7.|
Frequently asked questions about MLA citations
- How do I cite lecture materials I viewed in person in MLA?
When you want to cite a PowerPoint or lecture notes from a lecture you viewed in person in MLA, check whether they can also be accessed online; if so, this is the best version to cite, as it allows the reader to access the source.
If the material is not available online, use the details of where and when the presentation took place.
- Can I cite a source quoted in another source in MLA?
If this isn’t possible, cite the secondary source and use “qtd. in” (quoted in) in your in-text citation. For example: (qtd. in Smith 233)
If a source is reproduced in full within another source (e.g. an image within a PowerPoint or a poem in an article), give details of the original source first, then include details of the secondary source as a container. For example: