How to Cite a Seminar

When conducting research for a paper, essay, or report, the research may include seminars or speeches. It is important to cite these sources as you would more traditional sources, such as books, magazines, and articles. Citations may be in-text citations, footnotes, and listings on a reference page or works cited page. The most common styles of citation are MLA, APA, and Chicago.


APA, or American Psychological Association, does not have specific guidelines for seminars but instead considers this type of source a personal communication. Personal communications are not included in the reference page of an APA formatted paper, but are cited within the text parenthetically. The name of the person speaking at the seminar, the phrase "personal communication" and the date are included.

For example: M. Jones also stated that all prior research was inconclusive (personal communication, January 2, 2012).


MLA, or Modern Language Association, provides guidelines for citing speeches, lectures, and other oral presentations. Citing a seminar falls within this category.

An in-text citation in MLA format simply includes the name of the speaker: Maxwell Jones stated that the prior research was inconclusive. The full citation, as listed in the works cited page, includes name of speaker, title of the speech in quotation marks, name of organization, location, and date.

For example: Jones, Maxwell. "Immigration Reform." State University. Fresno, CA. 2 January 2012.

Chicago Style

The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition, provides guidelines for citing lectures, papers presented at meetings, and other presentations. An in-text citation includes the surname of the speaker and year.

For example: The prior research was inconclusive (Jones 2012).

The full citation on the reference page includes the name of the speaker, the title in quotations, sponsorship or name of organization, location and date.

For example: Jones, Maxwell. “Immigration Reform.” Presentation at State University, Fresno, CA, January 2, 2012.


Another way to cite a seminar within a paper or report is to include a footnote. Footnotes give source information at the end of the page rather that in the text. The basic footnote format for seminars includes the name of the speaker, title of speech in quotation marks, title of seminar, place, and date.

For example: Maxwell Jones, "Immigration Reform," State University Immigration Conference (Fresno, CA), January 2, 2012.

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