How to Make a Bibliography for a Powerpoint Show

By Buffy Naillon

Pay close attention to the accuracy of your PowerPoint bibliography.
i book stack image by Aleksey Kondratyuk from

PowerPoint shows provide visual aids for oral presentations and offer flexibility in font sizes and slide variation. Not only can you place the most important elements of a written report into a PowerPoint presentation, but also you can paste your report’s bibliography pages as well.

Step 1

Write the report from which you’ll make your PowerPoint show. This makes the creation of your bibliography easier. What you include in your report depends on your assignment. Typically in cases like this, you can make the process simpler by writing out the full report first and then making notes later. These notes become the basis for your PowerPoint show.

Step 2

Create the bibliography for your report and save it in a word-processing program. The format for the bibliography depends on what your instructor assigned and the nature of the class, for example, a literature bibliography in MLA format where social science bibliographies are normally written in APA style. You make creating a bibliography for your PowerPoint show easier if you start your bibliography page at the outset of your research. Each time you add a new source to your report, take the time to add the citation to your bibliography.

Step 3

Make notes from your report once you complete it. With oral presentations, including every word from your report isn’t optimal. Include only the highlights. You want to make visuals of the highlights so the audience has an easier time following along.

Step 4

Revise your notes so they flow smoothly and will fit onto your PowerPoint slides. Double-check your bibliography as well, looking for inconsistencies or mistakes.

Step 5

Open PowerPoint and select a template for your presentation. Keep in mind the audience for whom you’ll be speaking. A simple design usually works better and allows the audience to read your notes, including the bibliography, without trouble. Additionally, if your instructor requires you to print out copies, you should stay away from slides with dark backgrounds. These burn through ink.

Step 6

Design your PowerPoint show, importing graphics and your notes. Since you wrote these in a word-processing program, you only need to copy and paste them onto your slides. Be sure the font size is large enough for people to read.

Step 7

Copy and paste the bibliography into your PowerPoint presentation. As with the rest of the presentation, you may have to break this up into smaller chunks. If you have to do this, make sure you indicate that your bibliography continues from one slide to the next by using words like “Bibliography, continued” on each subsequent slide following the first one.

Step 8

Double-check the accuracy of your presentation, paying particular attention to the bibliography. Make it your goal to present an accurate bibliography from which a person could conduct her own additional research if she chooses.