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.

how to make a power point presentation for thesis

How to make a PowerPoint presentation for thesis?

Creating a Power Point presentation for a term paper or a thesis can be a very rewarding process. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you succeed in this exercise:


  1. Information gathering: First of all, you need to have a clear understanding of your thesis. Gather all the necessary information, pictures, diagrams, quotations, etc. that you want to include in your presentation.
  2. Presentation plan: Make a plan on how you want to structure your presentation. Decide how many slides you want to use, what to put on each slide, in what order to present the information, etc.
  3. Open Power Point: Start Microsoft Power Point on your computer. You can choose from various presentation templates available or you can start with a blank presentation.
  4. Creating slides: Start creating slides according to the plan you have established. Use the 'Insert' menu to add text, images, diagrams, etc. Remember to keep each slide simple and straightforward - it should not be too full of information.
  5. Using styles and formatting: You can use various styles and formatting features in Power Point to make your slides more attractive. For example, you can use coloured backgrounds, custom fonts, animations, etc.
  6. Adding transitions: Transitions are the effects that appear when you move from one slide to another. You can add transitions using the 'Transitions' menu in Power Point.
  7. Adding notes to the presenter: If you plan to speak during the presentation, it may be useful to add notes to the presenter. These are notes that only you can see during the presentation and can help you remember what to say.


When you have finished preparing your Power Point presentation, leave some time to review your presentation and practise your speech. 

Do not forget to save your Power Point presentation. You can save it on your USB stick for the day or save it in the cloud, e.g. via Google Drive.

end of power point presentation

How to conclude a Power Point?

Concluding a Power Point presentation effectively is very important, because the last thing your audience sees and hears will have a lasting impact. Here are some tips on how to do this:

  1. Summary or recap: Briefly repeat the main points you discussed during the presentation. This helps to reinforce the information in the minds of your audience.
  2. Powerful conclusion: End with a powerful statement or idea that your audience can take away with them. This could be a final thought, a relevant quote, or a call to action, depending on the theme of your presentation.
  3. Acknowledgements: Thank your audience for dedicating their time to your presentation. This shows respect and gratitude for their time.
  4. Q&A session: If it is appropriate and time allows, you can conclude your PowerPoint presentation with a Q&A session. This gives your audience the opportunity to clarify any doubts or discuss certain points further.
  5. Contact information: If you feel it is necessary, you can include your contact information or other references for further information or discussion.
  6. Final slide: Some presenters prefer to end with an empty final slide or a simple image, so that the audience's attention can return to the presenter for any final comments or discussions.

Sources in the presentation


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 the "Plagiarism Checklist", 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.


Where to find images for a Power Point presentation?

You can find images for your presentation on the Internet, e.g. on search engines: 

There are also several platforms that specialise in images for presentations. Here are some websites that you might find useful:

  • Unsplash: Unsplash offers a large collection of high-quality images that are free to use without restrictions. You can search for images by category or by keyword
  • Pixabay: Pixabay is another website that offers free high quality images. It also offers videos and music.
  • Pexels: Pexels is similar to Unsplash and Pixabay in terms of quality and variety of free images.
  • iStock: iStock is a website that offers both free and paid images.
  • Flickr: Flickr is a website that hosts millions of photos. Make sure to check the copyright of the images before using them.



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

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