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Easy Tips and Tricks to Cite a Poem
Citing is no less than an art in schools or colleges. Usually, professors ask students to cite prose. However, you can also be asked to cite a poem and that can take a toll on your sleep. Prose and poetry are two different things. The citation techniques are also different. You may not have to go insane while doing the citations if you are aware of the right techniques. This blog will help you understand the basic rules of citing a poem.
Professors usually prefer MLA and APA format when it comes to citing poems. Therefore, this blog will also guide you through the same. Before going through the rules, it is important to understand why you should cite a poem. Let’s know about the same in detail.
Why Is It Important To Cite A Poem?
When you submit a poem to your professors, they expect it to be original and unique. They will deduct valuable marks if they find plagiarism in any section of your paper. You can ignore this scenario if you cite the phrases or quotes in your poem. This is an indication that you have borrowed someone else’s ideas from a published edition. Your poem will not be labelled as ‘plagiarised.’
Need To Know About The Facts Of Citing A Poem
- You must indicate that the ideas or words borrowed are important in the context of your paper.
- Use citations every time you quote a phrase from someone’s published edition.
- Use in-text citations if you have paraphrased some parts of the text.
- Use a line of ellipses if you need to delete one or more than one line of the poem.
Now that we are done with the basic ideas of citing a poem, let’s have a look at the easy techniques.
How to Cite a Poem in the MLA Format?
You must use an ellipsis if you have a long quotations that need shortening to be more relevant to the point that you are trying to make. Check out these examples here:
Example 1: Robert Frost talks about solitude and a desire to forget obligations when he writes, “The woods are lovely…but I have promises to keep” (13-14).
Example 2: Robert Frost talks about solitude and a desire to forget obligations when he writes, “The woods are lovely…but I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep” (13-15).
In the second example, it is shown that it is mandatory to use backslashes to indicate line breaks if you wish to continue without an ellipsis.
- Citing the title of the poem
You must start citing a poem right from its title. You can use italics or quotation marks to do so. It depends on the size of the title which you want to cite. For example, if it’s a short title, use the quotation marks as shown:
“Be Proud Of Who You Are”;
You need to use italics for longer poem titles. For example:
Tape for the Turn of the Year;
The Sea and the Mirror;
The Age of Anxiety.
As you can see, the MLA format is quite easy to understand and implement. You can always talk to your professors or seniors for help if you struggle with the citation. Now let’s have a look at the process of citing a poem in the APA format.
How to Cite a Poem in the APA Format?
American Psychological Association or APA style brings forth several ways to cite a poem. It depends on whether the source is a collection of poems, an anthology and the Web.
- Citations on the reference page
If your poem is retrieved from an anthology, you need to include the following information:
- Poet’s name
- Anthology publication year
- Title of the poem
- Editor’s names
- Anthology name in italics
- Page numbers
- Publishing city
- Name of the publisher
It would look something like this:
Cleveland, J. (1927). To the state of love, or the senses festival. In H.Gardner (Sheeran.), The metaphysical poets (pp. 250-260). Harmonsworth: Penguin.
If you want to cite a poem retrieved from a collection, the information required are:
- Poet’s name
- Year of publication
- Name of collection
- Edition of collection
- Publishing city
- Publisher name
The citation would look something like this:
Hardy, T. (1934). The collected poems of Thomas Hardy (3rd ed.). London: Macmillan.
If you have collected the poem from the Web, include the following details.
- Name of the poet
- Poem title
- Retrieval date
- Web address
The format is:
Poe, A., A. (1847). Annabel Lee. Retrieved, October 13, 2016, from http://poestories.com/read/annabellee
- In-text citations
In-text citations include the last name of the poet followed by the year of publication. If it is an anthology or a collection of poems, you need to include the page numbers as well. If you want to cite the poem from the Web, the format is:
“With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven Coveted her and me,” (Poe, 1847).
If you retrieve the same from an anthology, it will look like:
“With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven Coveted her and me,” (Poe, 1847, p. 567).
Hopefully, now you can cite poems in your work stress-free. Still having problems? Have a word with your professors and ask them to help you out. You can also try out an online citation generator for instant help. Good luck!
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