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How to Cite a Conference Presentation in APA Style


When you use APA style to cite live conference presentations, you’ll need the basic information, including the author’s name, the presentation title, and the name, date and location of the conference itself. If you’ve watched the presentation online or retrieved the abstract from a database, you’ll need additional information about the Internet location of that material.

If You Attended the Conference

List all sources at the end of your essay in alphabetical order by the authors’ surnames, on a page headed "References." Give the author’s last name and first initials; the year and month of the presentation; the title; the name and type of conference and its location.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Writer’s Handbook provides this example:

Lindberg, S. M., & Hyde, J. S. (2007, March). Mother-child interactions during mathematics homework: Socialization of gender differentiation? Poster presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research on Adolescence, Chicago, IL.

Cite this presentation in your text by placing the authors’ surnames and date in parentheses:

(Lindberg and Hyde, 2007).

If You Got the Information Online

When the source is not the presentation itself but an online abstract from a conference, cite that database directly, notes the Wisconsin handbook, which provides this example:

Seibel, R., & Saffran, J. (2006, June). Tune or text: The effect of text on melody recognition. Paper presented at the annual meeting of XVth Biennial International Conference on Infant Studies, Kyoto, Japan. Abstract retrieved from http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p94581_index.html

If you watched the presentation as an online video, give the author, date and title as usual, and then provide the URL for the video site, according to the Purdue Online Writing Lab:

Bakker, R.T. (2014). 2013 St Clair County Community College STEM Conference Keynote Presentation. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lSAD_LyeFs

In both cases, the in-text citation is the same, requiring only the authors’ surnames and the year:

(Seibel and Saffran, 2006) or (Bakker, 2014).

About the Author

Jennifer Spirko has been writing professionally for more than 20 years, starting at "The Knoxville Journal." She has written for "MetroPulse," "Maryville-Alcoa Daily Times" and "Some" monthly. She has taught writing at North Carolina State University and the University of Tennessee. Spirko holds a Master of Arts from the Shakespeare Institute, Stratford-on-Avon, England.

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