Power Point presentation formatting: how to format a reference slide

Jun 08, 2013
Power Point is all the rage in academic settings and business. For many who have not been in an academic setting for years, or if ever, it seems like just another program, but it is anything but. There are those who wonder how, and what we all did before the introduction of Power Point. It is the program that is defining academic presentations and the way that it is organized in a sensical way. For many college courses, the information that is required must be presented to not only the professor, but in any classroom unveiling, in a Power Point display.
Power Point is a way of using a computer program to organize and unveil your information to either a group, or just to the professor. It is a program which allows you to breakdown information into categories which are more easily understood. Giving you the guidelines for what is needed to present your case, and a highly organized way to display it, it remains the most requested program for use. When using Power Point presentations, however, it is just as important to acknowledge the source of your information. There are ways in which it is appropriate to give credit to the sources you use, that will avoid any problems of using other people's work illegally, or without giving them the proper credit.

What is Power Point?

Power Point is a program that you use on a computer. It is a software program that gives you several templates for use in both academic and business circles. By giving you the templates, it guides you through the pertinent content you need to make your academic information relevant, and to prove to any audience that you have the command of the subject and the proof to substantiate any claims made within it. It is a way to present key points to your audience. Condensing an academic work, it gives just the information which is most important in a concise manner. Businesses use Power Point to pinpoint information about what their services can provide and a pro con list of the strengths of their corporation, product or service.
It is the preferred method of information dissemination in both academic environment and business environments. Unlike any other program, it can be used on almost any computer system and is the most user friendly platform you can find for use across International boundaries and all levels of computer proficiencies.

What is the difference between how you cite information in a paper, or PowerPoint?

When you use information in your paper, you must cite the information in a works cited, or works reference page. In a Power Point presentation there is space to add a page at the end of the presentation. Where a Power Point presentation differs is that each individual slide is presented to an audience, therefore, in order to give the proper credit to the author of the information that is contained within the individual slide, you must reference each page that uses any outside information separately. It is not appropriate to wait until the end to acknowledge the source, you must do it when it is used on the individual slides. You can do this by adding a text box to the bottom of the page, or using an endnote which indicates that the reference is found at the end of the presentation.

How to reference on a power point presentation

What technique you use for referencing will depend on the specification of the professor or the industry. Once you have a list of references for your pages:
  1. Choose whether you want to use endnotes or footnotes to cite visibly on your pages. Endnotes will appear at the end of the text, while footnotes will be added to the end of the page. It will not matter which one you choose, it is personal preference, but whichever you do choose, it is important to be consistent throughout the presentation
  2. If you are using a footnote, insert a text box by clicking InsertSymbol, or a number, make sure that when adding, the number or symbol used matches the reference in the box
  3. When using Endnotes, create an "Notes" page that links the citation information to the text throughout the slides
  4. At the end of your presentation, add a works cited page, the same that you would in any research paper you created. Use the page to list all of the references used in order

Important things to remember

  • When using references in a Power Point presentation it is appropriate to make the text box font smaller than the rest of the text on the slide, but do not make it so small that it can not be read by the audience
  • Adding the references at the end of the presentation is not enough, you have to reference the information as it is used throughout the slide presentation
  • You can use website links for references if that is where the originating information came from


A Power Point presentation is really just a condensed version of any research paper. As such, it needs to have the same works cited, or referenced pages within the content. Because each slide may contain information that needs to be credited, or acknowledged, you must present the source individually on each slide. Whenever you use the information from another source, or an idea from another individual, you must reference it. Just like in any paper you write, if you don't cite the information appropriately, or lay credence to the originating source, you are committing plagiarism which is no different than stealing.
If you don't cite the references appropriately in your Power Point slide, you can run into problems with not only your audience, but in academic circles, with the people who are supplying you with a grade. Using the proper citation practices is important for your overall grade, and being in compliance with the professor and the university. Whether you choose to use endnotes or footnotes, it is important to be consistent throughout your slide presentation.
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By Kevin Demlon. Kevin writes helpful articles to share his knowledge with students in need. He enjoys writing articles on new subjects and does his best to create each post showing writing tips in a clear way.

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