How To Use APA Format in Powerpoint

Much like how citations in term papers are organized based on formal rules, citations in PowerPoint presentations follow the APA format. Whether the references are based on printed text or online sources, the APA format is essential for researchers to track the origins of the facts mentioned in the presentation.

Here are the steps for using the APA format in PowerPoint.

  • Mention an author’s name and the date of publication after you use his research in your slide. (Maxwell, 1999), for example, means you have used text from Maxwell’s book which was published in 1999. Don’t forget to contain the citation and parenthesis and end it with a period.
  • Use quotation marks for text directly lifted from an author’s work. Book end the entire quote with the marks then cite the author’s name, date of publication and the page number. Use signal phrases like “He stated” and “According to”. You may also use the author’s name in-sentence. Always cite the source when the text you use is not common knowledge. For short quotes (less than forty words), simply put quotation marks at both ends of the text then cite the source. For long quotes (forty words or more), place the entire text in block form, indented five spaces and double-spaced. You do not need to use quotation marks. Cite the source at the end, following the final punctuation of the text.
  • Add a final slide that organizes all your references. Type the words References on the top of the slide and center-align it. Sort your references in alphabetical order then use the APA guideline for each medium you used. Books, for example, follow this format: author, A. A. (Year of Publication). Title of work. Subtitle, if any. Location. Publisher. There are also formatting guides for newspapers, magazines, websites, brochures and other forms of publications.
  • Consider looking for examples online. While examining specific format rules that apply to your presentation will make up the bulk of your research, a good way to understand the general APA rules is by studying a sample presentation with the proper citations. Try looking for online examples provided by APA guides that are closest to your own topic.
  • Always use the latest APA guidelines. New media is always evolving and APA is forming new guidelines for every new development. Refer to the latest print publication of APA guidelines or visit the relevant website whenever you need help in citing a reference. Finally, if in doubt as to which format to use, don’t hesitate researching for the relevant APA format. Not only will you eliminate the need to go back through all your presentations to repair all the wrong formatting, it will also help you quickly process future presentation formatting. Avoid using second-hand sources for APA formatting and avoid mixing in alternative formatting within a single presentation.

Note that citing sources will also protect the presenter with accusations of plagiarism.  Beware of paraphrasing, as the original intent of the author in question may be misconstrued in his words.


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