1. Business
  2. Careers
  3. Education

How to Cite PowerPoint Presentations in APA & MLA Formats

Scroll to top
Read Time: 10 min

Whether you're a student or teacher, you rely on sources to do your research. You probably already know that it's important to also cite your sources. But you might not know how to cite certain types of sources, for example, PowerPoint presentations.

There are more types of resources available to students than ever before and the proper way to cite those resources isn't always clear. For example, with SlideShare (link to our tutorial) you've got access to hundreds of PowerPoint presentations. 

how to cite a powerpoint presentationhow to cite a powerpoint presentationhow to cite a powerpoint presentation
If you're working on a research paper, you may need to cite an online presentation. (Image source: Envato Elements)

If you're wondering "how do you cite a PowerPoint" when you use one of those presentations in a paper, this tutorial is for you. In this tutorial, you'll learn how to cite a PowerPoint in APA format. We'll also cover citing a PowerPoint in MLA format. Once you've discovered how to properly cite presentations, we'll share some additional presentation resources in case you've got to create your own presentation.

How to Cite a PowerPoint Presentation Properly 

When you're writing an academic paper, you typically need to cite your sources at the end in a bibliography. You may also need to cite a source in the body of your paper. Let's take a closer look at how two of the most common style guides handle citing PowerPoint presentations.

NoteIf you're using the PowerPoint presentation for an academic assignment, be sure to check your own school's style guidelines to determine which format they require. You may also find that your school has additional requirements for citations.

How to Cite a Presentation in APA Format

APA format provides guidelines for consistently writing in a clear format. It includes standards for citing references in PowerPoint presentations as well as standards for citing images in PowerPoint, citing tables or figures, and citing many other types of information.  Although it was originally created for written documents, the citation guidelines have been expanded to take into consideration websites and other digital publications.

If your lesson requires you to use APA format to cite your sources and you're using a PowerPoint presentation as a source, you'll be expected to treat the PowerPoint presentation very much like you would another source with a few differences. Start with the author's last name and first initial. Add the middle initial if given. This is followed by the year the presentation was published and the title of the presentation.

The two differences between citing a PowerPoint presentation in APA format and another work is that you'll put the phrase "PowerPoint slides" in brackets after the title of the presentations followed by the phrase "Retrieved from" and the URL where you found the presentation.

Here's an example of a properly formatted PowerPoint citation for a bibliography in APA format (based on a fictitious source):

Perez, J. (February 2018). How to Design Graphics That Sell With Examples [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved August 1, 2018, from

For a citation in the body of the paper use the author's last name and the date the speech was published:

(Perez, 2018)

If you've got other types of sources you need to cite in APA Style or if you've got questions about APA style, you can find answers on the APA Style site.

How to Cite a Presentation in MLA Format

Another popular format required by many educational institutions is the MLA format. This style guide is from the Modern Language Association, which is a scholarly association that supports the study of languages and literature. MLA format is commonly used for assignments in the Humanities or Liberal Arts academic areas.

If you're required to use MLA format to cite your sources and one of those sources is a PowerPoint presentation, the format is very similar to the APA format for citing a PowerPoint source with a few important differences. Start with the author's last name, first name and middle name (if given). That's followed by the title of the presentation and the year it was published. If you've got the tile of the website where the presentation is published, list that. Next comes the URL where you found the PowerPoint presentation. If you're referencing a specific slide in the presentation list that slide number.

Here's an example of a properly formatted PowerPoint citation in MLA format (based on a fictitious source):

Perez, Juan. "How to Design Graphics That Sell With Examples." AnyTown Consulting Website,Jan. 2018, Slide 10.

If you're citing a slideshow you attended in person as a source, provide the date and location of the presentation. If the presentation is part of a course, include the name of the course as well:

Perez, Juan. "How to Design Graphics That Sell With Examples." Web Design 101: Introduction to Web Design, April 10, 2018, Anytown Community College. Slide 10.

If you've got other types of sources you need to cite in APA Style or if you've got questions about MLA style, you can find answers on the MLA Style site. You can learn more about the Modern Language Association their site.

Helpful Presentation Templates for Students and Educators

Whether you're a student, college professor, or primary school teacher (or other type of educational professional)your job probably involves giving a lot of presentations. If you're looking for a presentation PowerPoint template you should consider getting a premium template. Premium templates can save you a lot of time because they come prebuilt with professional design elements already in place. All you need to do is paste your own images and information into the handy placeholders. And, they're really easy to use.

Of course, you could create your own PowerPoint slide designs from scratch. But that can be time-consuming—especially if you're not a professional graphic designer. You're much better off using a premade template to get a head start on the way your presentation looks. That way, you can spend the bulk of your project time on research and writing.

If you're a professor, teacher, or even a student who creates a lot of PowerPoint presentations, you'll want to consider investing in an Envato Elements subscription. For one low monthly price you'll get unlimited access to our entire library of easy-to-use PowerPoint templates, WordPress themes, video tutorials, and more. It's an investment you'll use again and again.

Even if you just have an occasional need for a PowerPoint presentation template, you can still access a library of professionally designed templates through GraphicRiver for a one-time fee.

Let's take a look at some of the best PowerPoint presentation templates for educators and students from Envato Elements and GraphicRiver:

1. Creativa Education PowerPoint

Creativa Education PowerPointCreativa Education PowerPointCreativa Education PowerPoint

The Creativa Education PowerPoint template works well for any educational purpose. This attractive theme includes templates for 30 unique slides. Plus, there are three premade color themes. Both widescreen and standard format templates are included. If you're a university student, you may want to take a closer look at this one.

2. Fresh Creative Chalkboard Presentation 

Fresh Creative ChalkboardFresh Creative ChalkboardFresh Creative Chalkboard

This fun PowerPoint template is perfect for teachers and other educators. Simulate a chalkboard with either the classic green or a stylish gray background. Great for the classroom or even a learning-themed presentation. The template includes the Scratch kit font. There's also a PSD file with a smart object layer.

3. Education& Science Infographic PowerPoint

Education Science PowerPoint templateEducation Science PowerPoint templateEducation Science PowerPoint template

Here's the perfect theme with great editable infographics! This colorful science-themed template is full of education-friendly features:

  • Colorful
  • 20 slides
  • Easy-to-edit
  • Documentation
  • And more!

If you're a science teacher, be sure to explore this kid-friendly PowerPoint template.

4. Campuz- University PowerPoint Template

Campuz University templateCampuz University templateCampuz University template

Whether you're a teacher, a professor, or a student—you'll love the Campuz - University PowerPoint Template. It's chock full of useful features. For example, it 25 map slides that would be just perfect for a geography or history lesson. It also includes 24/7 support.

5. Puzzle- Education PowerPoint Template

Puzzle Education PowerPoint templatePuzzle Education PowerPoint templatePuzzle Education PowerPoint template

Make learning fun with this puzzle-themed template. And who doesn't love a good puzzle? This great template includes 30 unique slides (including an infographic). Plus, there are three different premade color themes. And there are templates for both wide screen and standard formats. Just replace the image placeholders with your own pictures and add your own text.

6. Education PowerPoint Presentation Template

Education PowerPoint Presentation TemplateEducation PowerPoint Presentation TemplateEducation PowerPoint Presentation Template

This popular education template provides plenty of options. And it comes with free support. Here's just some of what it includes:

  • 54 unique slides
  • 90 color themes
  • 3 aspect rations
  • Light and dark backgrounds
  •  And more!

Don't overlook this one!

7. Solar System Education Presentation

Solar System Education PresentationSolar System Education PresentationSolar System Education Presentation

Whether you're a student with a science presentation or an someone who teaches science you'll love this unique presentation template on the solar system. And it comes with 34 custom slides. It's based on free fonts. This would be especially good for teachers of the primary grades.

8. Education Template

Education TemplateEducation TemplateEducation Template

The Education template works well for both educational and business presentations. With over 2700 vector icons and 5 pre-made color schemes, this is a very flexible template. It includes map infographics. All the graphics are editable.

9. Armeni: PowerPoint Presentation

Armeni PowerPoint PresentationArmeni PowerPoint PresentationArmeni PowerPoint Presentation

Here's a great business PowerPoint presentation template that can be used for professional presentations as well as educational presentations. This attractive minimalist design will help your slideshow to capture your audience's attention. Choose from 54 different unique slides. It's built with the PowerPoint slide master tool so your presentation stays consistent.

10. Kids Presentation Template

Kids Presentation TemplateKids Presentation TemplateKids Presentation Template

The Kids Presentation Template features bright, cheerful designs and primary colors. This would be great for a primary school teacher or even a principal! There are more than 30 unique slides. Choose between 17 color schemes. And it works with three different aspect rations (16:9, 4:3, and A4). Plus it's easy to customize by adding your own images and text.

Learn Even More About Using PowerPoint

In this tutorial, you learned how to cite PowerPoint presentations using two popular style guides: APA format and MLA format. Whether you're a teacher or a student, citing your references properly is important for academic projects.

If you want to learn all about how to use PowerPoint, study one of our PowerPoint learning guidesHere are some of our most popular PowerPoint tutorials to get you started:

If you'd like to explore more great premium PowerPoint templates to get a head start on your next presentation slideshow, this article features some great templates for inspiration:

For more details on how to use a PowerPoint presentation, study this tutorial:

Get This New eBook on Making Great Presentations (Free Download)

We have just the right complement to an educational PowerPoint template, that'll help you learn the complete process of how to write, design, and deliver great presentations.

Download The Complete Guide to Making Great Presentations now for FREE with a subscription to the Tuts+ Business Newsletter. Get your ideas formed into a powerful presentation that will move your audience.

The complete guide to making great presentationsThe complete guide to making great presentationsThe complete guide to making great presentations

Use the Proper Style to Cite Presentations for Your Next Academic Project

Citing sources in PowerPoint for academic projects can be tricky. You just learned the right way to cite a PowerPoint in APA format or MLA format. We've also explored the benefits of using templates as a head start when you create your own presentation. Plus, you've seen some of our best education-themed templates from Envato Elements and GraphicRiver.

Good luck on your next academic project!

Did you find this post useful?
Want a weekly email summary?
Subscribe below and we’ll send you a weekly email summary of all new Business tutorials. Never miss out on learning about the next big thing.
One subscription. Unlimited Downloads.
Get unlimited downloads