Cecilia and her group are scheduled to give a presentation in a few days. She loves this kind of assignment since it allows her to bring out her creative side with appealing visuals. She knows that all written assignments must cite sources. But what about her slideshow?




Slideshows, an increasingly prevalent part of coursework

A visual presentation can be helpful when delivering an oral presentation on a subject. It is essential to learn how to make it your own and make it visually appealing. The presentation is enhanced by including impactful images, graphics or videos. Give preference to keywords over long sentences. Additionally, your voice, intonation and gestures play an important part in what message is conveyed and in your audience's understanding.

Most of the time, the slideshow alone is sufficient, and other times the teacher may request a summary.

Referencing your sources in the digital age

The Internet makes it much easier to find information. To avoid being accused of plagiarism, sources should be cited.

According to "Effective Citing and Referencing", published in August 2014 on behalf of the International Baccalaureate Organisation, "Proper citation is a key element in academic scholarship and intellectual exchange. When we cite we:

  • Show respect for the work of others;
  • Help a reader to distinguish our work from the work of others who have contributed to our work;
  • Give the reader the opportunity to check the validity of our use of other people’s work;
  • Give the reader the opportunity to follow up our references, out of interest;
  • Show and receive proper credit for our research process;
  • Demonstrate that we are able to use reliable sources and critically assess them to support our work;
  • Establish the credibility and authority of our knowledge and ideas;
  • Demonstrate that we are able to draw our own conclusions;
  • Share the blame (if we get it wrong)."

How do you cite sources in a slideshow?

As a general rule, the author must be cited (Last and First Name), the date of publication and where the information was found (website, book, newspaper...). You can also mention your sources very briefly if the full reference appears in the mediagraphy.


Text in a slideshow

If it is a text citation, you can include the citation in various ways:

  • According to Mr. X, "..."
  • As Ms. Y said, "..."
  • Per Mr. Z, "..."
  • As Ms. A has stated, "..."
  • "..." from Mr. X   "...", Ms. Y

The text must always be surrounded by quotation marks. You can also indicate quotation marks with your fingers to emphasise the quotation and highlight your research work. You can also cite by putting an asterisk after the quotation, then indicating the source at the bottom of the page.


Paraphrasing - a favourite of students

As you know, paraphrasing consists of taking someone else's idea. It does not need quotation marks, but you must indicate the source – with a quick introductory phrase, as shown above, or with an asterisk.

quotes powerpoint presentation

Should an image, painting, video or sound clip be cited in a slideshow?

First, these 4 elements require a title that gives a short definition of what you want to show. Secondly, the author must always be mentioned. For a picture, a painting, a video and a soundtrack, the quotation is done below the visual.

What is a mediagraphy?

A mediagraphy includes all the references for the sources used in your documentary research. It is also called a bibliography or webography (when there are only websites as sources).

According to "How to cite your sources in a presentation", co-written by Marc Julien and Alexandra Lavallée, on page 2: "You must provide references for your citations, paraphrases, images, graphics, paintings, videos and sound clips if you are not their creator." Before or after your conclusion, a slide in your slideshow should be dedicated to the complete list of sources. This will allow your interlocutors to look into your subject further if they wish.

In a slideshow, like in any research-based work, it is essential to cite your sources. First of all because this is part of respecting copyright. Second, because the punishment for plagiarism is too heavy for it not to be taken seriously. Above all, it ensures your work's quality and credibility and proves that you have done extensive research on the subject. Members of your audience or on a panel can thus go back to the sources and verify the veracity of what has been presented.


Cecilia, you know what you have to do. It's up to you to highlight your sources with pretty visuals. 😉


To help you cite your sources in your presentations, download the Citations Guide for Students:

Download the Student Citation Guide