APA Guidelines for a PowerPoint Presentation

APA stands for the American Psychological Association’s style guide for writing research papers, articles and reports in the social sciences. Basic APA guidelines are used in PowerPoint presentations, posters and charts.

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Cite a source of any written statement to prove your credibility as a writer. Citations allow other readers and researchers to find the source for personal use. Citations prevent plagiarism. This is important in PowerPoint presentations where only the main points of the research are highlighted.


APA lists two forms of citations called in-text citations and references, which appear at the end of the research paper.

In-text Citation

In-text citations refer to crediting a quote, paraphrase or a literary idea to a source. If you read about Freud’s developmental theory and refer to it in your PowerPoint presentation, cite the source for the idea. Paraphrase the idea and then cite the source with the date in brackets--[Blanchard, 2002].

Citing Quotes

If you are quoting someone in your presentation, provide a citation for the quote. For instance, “Masculinity means toughness" [Hofstede, 1980:4]. Write the quote, then after the closing quotation marks, write the source’s name, followed by the date of publication and the page number of the quote in brackets.


References are your sources of information. They can be a book, a journal article, a conference paper or an electronic source.