How to Cite Poetry: MLA and APA Formatting Citations
This helps strengthen your argument and provides a wider context for the topic you are discussing. In addition, writing is also important for developing critical thinking skills. By writing, one can question existing ideas and make logical arguments. It also allows one to evaluate information and conclude what is true or false. Thus, they can learn how to think critically about certain topics. The ability to write well is also very important for success in academia. Writing a good essay will help a person get high marks on his academic assignments. In addition, this ability will also help them when applying for jobs in the future. With this ability, they can easily translate their ideas into effective and persuasive writing.
When to Use Poetry Quotes
Poetry quotes are best used when you want to emphasize or strengthen a certain point in your essay. It can also be used to highlight a particular theme, style, or structure of a poem. Poetry quotes can also be used to describe feelings and emotions that cannot be easily expressed in words.
If you use poetry quotes in your work, be sure to cite them properly. This means making sure that you include the author’s name and the title of the poem, as well as relevant line numbers. If you don’t, it will be considered as plagiarism. Also, if you use a quote from another source, be sure to provide readers with the original source. This is important so that readers can examine the information presented and verify its authenticity.
Quoting poetry excerpts in MLA style
MLA provides rules for writing, quoting, and layout formatting. This includes how you should use punctuation, italicized words, and how you should cite other sources.
Short Quotes: For example, Robert Frost wrote, “The woods are lovely, dark and deep / But I have promises to keep / And miles to go before I sleep” (Frost 1-3). Long Quotes: For example, Robert Frost wrote: “The woods are lovely, dark and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep” (Frost 1-4).
Quoting short quotes
- No need to start short bidding on a new line; You can write it only between texts.
- In fact, it is mandatory to put it in quotation marks.
- If the question mark or exclamation point is part of the poem, put it in quotation marks; Leave them outside if they are part of your text.
- Use slashes to mark line breaks, or double slashes if there’s a verse break; Put a space before and after the slash.
- Begin each line of poetry with a capital letter (before and after the slash).
Example: In “Song of Myself”, Walt Whitman wrote, “I exist as I am, that would be enough, / If no one else in the world realized I was sitting, / and if each and all were aware I was sitting.”
Quoting long quotes
- If you do choose long quotes, some of the rules are exactly the opposite of how you would write small quotes – and you have to be really careful not to mix them up.
- Start your quote on a new line, indented half an inch from the left margin.
- Enter in block quotes. Include line breaks in quotes like the original.
- Save the original formatting and punctuation as part of the author style.
- Use double space in quotations.
- No need for quotes or slashes, just skip it.
Example: Emily Dickinson wrote:
Cause I can’t stop to die,
He kindly stopped for me;
Train held but only ourselves
Quoting the title of the poem
Example: John Donne, in “The Flea,” wrote: “Mark but this flea, and mark in this / How little that which thou deniest me is.”
1. If you are citing a poem found in a book, the parenthetical citation must include the poet’s name, the title of the poem, and the page number where the poem begins. For example: (Shakespeare, “Sonnet 18,” p. 34). 2. If you are citing a poem that is in a magazine or journal, the parenthetical citation must include the name of the poet, the title of the poem, and the edition number in which the poem was published. For example: (Shakespeare, “Sonnet 18,” April 2020 issue). 3. If you are citing a poem found on a website or blog, the parenthetical citation must include the poet’s name, the title of the poem, and the URL where the poem was published. For example: (Shakespeare, “Sonnet 18,” https://examplewebsite.com/sonnets/sonnet18).
- If a poem is published with line numbers in the margins, include the line numbers. Use the word “line,” or “lines,” in the first quote of your work. Only use numbers in all of the following quotations from the same sources you have already cited.
Example: “Two roads diverged in the wood, and I- / I took the less traveled, / and it has made all the difference.” (Frost, lines 18-20)
- If there are no line numbers in the margins, place the page number in parenthetical citations after the poet’s last name instead. Do not use commas between the poet’s name and page number.
Example: “Your head is so concerned with the outside, / mine with the weather, the weather.” (Frost 126)
- If you find a poem from a website, or the page numbers aren’t available for some other reason, don’t put any numbers. Leave only the poet’s last name and the title of the poem (if required as stated above).
Example: “Tell me, what are you planning/doing with one wild and precious life?” (Mary Oliver)
- If you include the poet’s last name and the title of the poem before the citation (if needed as noted above), and you don’t have any lines or page numbers, don’t make any in-text citations at all.
Example: Here is what Pablo Neruda wrote about this feeling, “I love you for certain dark things are to be loved, / in secret, between shadow and soul.”
- If you want to cite the title of the poem not in parenthetical citations, but within your text, there are two ways to do this, and it depends on the length of the title. The title of the short poem must be quoted in quotation marks.
Example: “Books,” “fire and ice,” or “no gold cannot stay”
- The title of a long poem must be quoted in italics.
Example: Drop by the wood on a snowy night, ’cause I can’t stop to die.
- Don’t forget to include full references to each source you used on the page that cited your work at the end of your essay. If a poetic curse is taken from a book, it must be in the following format: poet’s last name, first name. “Title of the poem.” Book title: Subtitle (if any) , edited by editor first name last name, edition (if given and not first), publisher name (often shortened), year of publication, pp. xx-xx.
Example: Dickinson, Emily. “Book.” Emily Dickinson: Selected Poems , edited by Anthony Eyre, Mount Orleans Press, 2019, p. 55-56.
- If the quoted poem is taken from a website, it must be in the following format: poet’s last name, first name. “Title of the poem.” Book title: Subtitle (if any) , Edition (if given and not first), publisher name (often shortened), year of publication, website name, URL. Access date accessed.
Example: Frost, Robert. “Fire and Ice”. Poetry foundation. , https://poetryfoundation.org/poems/44263/fire-and-ice. Accessed 28 November 2019.
How to cite a poem in APA style?
1. If you are quoting a poem that is longer than 40 words, then you should use a quote block. A quote block is when you write the text in full and move each line to the left edge of the margin without the quotation marks. 2. If you are quoting a poem that is shorter than 40 words, then you must use quotation marks to mark the quoted text. 3. After the quoted text, enter the poet’s name and the title of the poem between quotation marks (if any). 4. After the poet’s name and the title of the poem, enter the edition information (if any) between brackets (). 5. After the edition information, enter the page number where the text is found between brackets ().
- For poetry excerpts of up to 40 words (short quotes), using quotation marks is mandatory.
- You don’t have to start a short bid from a new line.
- Line breaks in short quotes must be marked with a slash.
- Block quotes must be used for quotes longer than 40 words (long quotes).
- You must start the block quote from a new line.
- Don’t use quotation marks for block quotes
- Block quotes must be indented 1.3 cm from the left margin, and in double space formatting.
Short Quote Example: Robert Frost, in his poetry Stopped by Woods on a snowy night , wrote: “The wood is beautiful, dark, and deep, / but I have promised to keep on, / and miles to go before I sleep, / and miles before I sleep.”
Long quote example: This is how Emily Dickinson describes the meaning of the book:
There is no frigate like a book
To bring us ashore,
Or each cursor like a page
This traverse is hopefully the poorest
No toll suppression;
What a thrifty train
That bears the human soul! 2019.
. City: Publisher name. Example: Frost, R. (1920). Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. In E. Thomas (ed.), The Poetry of Robert Frost (page 26). New York: Henry Holt and Company.
Example: Dickinson, E. (2019). Book. A. Eyre (ed.), Emily Dickinson: Selected poems (pp. 55-56). Cricklade, u.K.: Mount Orleans Press.
Kerouac, J. (1959, April). The Dharma Bums. Retrieved from https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44982/the-dharma-bums.
Example: Dickinson, E. (2019, Nov. 28). I am nobody! Who are you? Retrieved from https://poets.org/poem/im-nobody-whooary-you-260.
Tips and tricks on how to quote poetry
1. Use single quotation marks to quote a poem. If you use double quotes, use double quotes inside. 2. If you are quoting a line or more from a poem, then write those lines indented to the right by one space. 3. If you are quoting the entire poem, then write the poem with an indent to the right by one space and don’t forget to leave a space between each line. 4. If you are quoting several parts of a poem, write down those parts by indenting one space to the right and leaving a space between each part. 5. After writing your poetry quote, provide a brief explanation of what you’ve quoted underneath (if needed). 6. After that, provide the original source from which you got the quote (including the name of the poet and the title of the book/website).
- Read the entire poem to make sure you understand the meaning of the quote and the author’s message correctly. Then, decide which lines to use as a quote for your work.
- Write a few words about: Why did you choose the lines from your poem, their message, and what is their connection to your essay topic.
- Don’t overuse quotes in your work. You can also paraphrase, rather than quote, to share another view. Besides, this is your own work and you shouldn’t rely on other people’s words all the time.
- There’s no need to quote the entire poem if you need a few lines at the beginning and a few at the end. Remove any center lines you don’t need (use ellipses to indicate that you’re going to skip words), or make two quotes that connect your text between them.
- Use embedded quotes. This is a quote that is implemented as part of your sentence. You can put it at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end of your sentence. The idea is to make it an organic part of your text. Example: As well as Robert Frost, at first “I stick with those who support the fire”.
- When citing a particular source (periodical or website perhaps), check for specifics on how to cite it in MLA or some other format – as there are some concerns we don’t have time to cover.
- Along with a final review of your essay, proofread your citations for both: appropriate use, and correct format.