How to Cite Quotations in PowerPoint Presentations

by Erica Varlese

Citing references correctly is crucial to properly acknowledge intellectual ownership of ideas and research; additionally, proper citations are equally important to avoid plagiarizing the work of other academics. PowerPoint, a multimedia based computer program, is becoming more and more common for use in academic and nonacademic settings in which the presenter must cite her research resources. Despite its nontraditional format, the standard rules for citations and formation generally apply to PowerPoint presentations.

In-text Citations

Step 1

Click on "Insert" on the top menu.

Step 2

Click on "Text Box" in the drop-down menu.

Step 3

Click on the slide to insert the text box in the place you want the text located on the slide.

Step 4

Insert text. This may include a direct quote from any resources that you are citing, or an idea that you are referencing from one of your resources.

Step 5

Insert your citation in the new text box. The format will depend on what type of source you are citing, though in general you will need the author's name, the year of publication, and the title. For example, for a journal article, you will include: Author's name. (Year of publication). Title of the article. Journal name, the volume of the journal and the pages. For a book, the format changes slightly. For example: Author's name. (Year of publication). Title. Location the book was published in: the name of the publisher. Similarly, a citation for a website should be formatted as such: Author. (Date and year of publication). Title of the website page. Title of publisher/website. Retrieved from (include website's link here).

Step 6

Decrease the font size for the citation so that it is smaller than the main text.

Place the citation at the bottom of the slide.

Using a References Page

Step 1

Follow Steps 1 through 4 in Section 1.

Step 2

Place a basic in-text citation at the end of the referenced material. The format for this type of citation is, in parentheses: Author's last name, year of publication, page on which the citation is located. For example, "It is said that words alone have specific uses, not sentences (Barthes, 1977, 5)."

Step 3

Create a "References" page at the end of your presentation. A single slide should be devoted to the "References" section.

Step 4

Insert a text box for your references by following Steps 1 through 3 from Section 1. It should say "References" at the top of the text box, with the citations underneath.

Cite each reference in alphabetical order. Citations for journals, books and websites should follow the formats described in Section 1.


  • If you are creating a presentation for your class and are unsure which of the formats to use, ask you professor. Additionally, the formats used above are in APA style. Some classes or companies may prefer that you use a different style guide, such as MLA. Check with your professor or supervisor before finalizing your presentation.


About the Author

Erica Varlese began her communications career in 2005. She served as the assistant news editor and arts and leisure editor at "The Acorn," her campus newspaper, and has been published in "BUST Magazine," "Education and Outreach in Evolution" and "Monkey Puzzle Press Magazine." Varlese has a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology and French from Drew University.

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