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Learn: How to Cite a Poem in Different Styles – MLA, APA, Harvard, and Chicago

How to Cite a Poem in Different Styles

Poetry is not for everyone and if you love it, you are the most intelligent person who just loves expressing life in poems. However, it is fun until your teacher assigns you a poem that includes lots of quotations. In other words, citations offer readers the source of the art. Indeed, it is a bewildering task for those who are unable to foster an impressive poem. They can get online coursework help to get started and deliver an engaging poem to the educator. But that is not it, you must know what it takes to write an amazing poem with proper citations. To resolve the misery, many of you search on how to write a poem with adequate citations.

Poems can be used as sources in academic studies. Poem formats, unlike ordinary sorts of papers, frequently necessitate exclusive in-text citations. For example, if someone wishes to know how to reference poems, the American Psychological Association (APA) and Chicago/Turabian referencing styles have no rules for poetry in-text citations. In turn, the Harvard and Modern Language Association (MLA) styles include standards that authors must follow in order to make proper citations.

When To Use Quotations In Poem?

When should you use a poetry citation? Quotes from poetry are most commonly utilized by liberal arts, literature, and language students. It’s difficult to conceive writing an article about a poet without mentioning any of his works, or defining a poetry movement without offering examples. Poem lines may also be found in descriptive, introspective, argumentative, and comparison and contrast essays.

Even if you are not a humanities student, you may utilize poetry citations in your work if the meaning of the line(s) you have selected is important. While there are no restrictions about where you may quote a poem, there are several regarding how you should do so in various formatting styles. Continue reading to learn more about how to correctly quote poetry, or just get expert assistance.

How To Cite Poems In MLA Format?

MLA is the most widely used formatting type (Modern Language Association). Despite the fact that it may be the simplest style to utilize, you will need some time to master all of the principles and time to practice using them. The criteria for referencing a poem in MLA style vary depending on the length of the citation. Quotes of up to three lines are regarded as short, whereas quotes of more than three lines are considered lengthy.

Citing a Brief Quote

There is no need to start a brief quote on a new line; you can just write it between the lines.

  1. It is, nevertheless, required to place it in quote marks.
  2. Put question or exclamation marks within quote marks if they are part of the poetry; leave them outside if they are part of your writing.
  3. To indicate line breaks, use a slash, or a double slash if there is a stanza break; place a space before and after the slash.
  4. Each line of the poem should begin with a capital letter – at the beginning and after the slash marks.

Citing a Long Quotation

If you pick a lengthy quotation, several guidelines are exactly the reverse of how you would write a brief quote – and you must be extremely cautious not to mix them together.

  1. Begin your quotation with a new line and a half-inch indent from the left margin.
  2. Include it in a blockquote. Include line breaks as they appear in the original quotation.
  3. As part of the author’s style, keep the original formatting and punctuation.
  4. Within the quote, use double-space spacing.
  5. There is no need for quote marks or slashes; simply leave them out.

Citing the Poem’s Title

A parenthetical citation should include a line or page number in addition to the poet’s last name and the title of the poem. Here are some general guidelines for parenthetical citations:

  • Put the line number if a poem was published with line numbers in the margin. In the opening citation of your work, use the term “line” or “lines.” Only use numbers in the following quotations from the same sources as before.
  • If there are no line numbers in the margin, place the page number in parentheses after the poet’s last name instead. A comma should not be used between the poet’s name and the page number.
  • If you stated 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 include an in-text citation after the quote at all.
  • If you want to reference the title of the poem within your text rather than in a parenthetical citation, there are two ways to do it, and it depends on the length of the title. Name the poems in quotation marks.

How Do You Cite a Poem in APA Format?

The acronym for American Psychological Association is APA, and it is the second most prevalent formatting style, mostly utilized in social studies. Here are some APA guidelines for poetry citations you should be aware of:

  1. Use quotation marks for poetry quotations of up to 40 words – short quotes.
  2. A brief quote does not have to begin on a new line.
  3. Use a slash to indicate line breaks in short quotations.
  4. Block citations should be used for quotes that are more than 40 words long – long quotes.
  5. A block citation must begin on a new line.
  6. For block citations, do not use quotation marks.
  7. Intend blockquotes 1.3 cm from the left margin and format them in double space.

Poem Citation in Harvard Style

The Harvard style guide includes a specific citation strategy for citing poetry. To keep the author-date format, quoting poetry, for example, covers the names of editors or the title of the anthology. This guideline implies to mention the poet’s name in the in-text citation. Instead, add the poet’s name and the title of the poem to the text of the quoted passage.

Tips & Tricks for Citing a Poem

Here are some pointers on how to correctly structure poem quotes. They will be valuable whether you are a novice or an expert user of poetry citations, regardless of the formatting style you select.

  1. Read the entire poem to ensure that you comprehend the reference and the author’s point accurately. Then, choose the lines to utilize as a quotation in your work.
  2. Write a few sentences defining the reason of choosing those lines from the poetry, what their meaning is, and how they relate to your essay topic.
  3. Use citations sparingly in your writing. You may also paraphrase instead of quoting to express other people’s points of view.
  4. There’s no need to mention the full poem if you only require a few lines at the beginning and finish. Remove any unnecessary middle lines. Make two quotations that are related to your text and place them between them.
  5. Use embedded quotations. Use these quotations as a part of your sentence. You can insert it at the beginning, middle, or end of your statement. The goal is to make it a natural part of your writing.
  6. When mentioning a specific source, make sure to verify the specifics on how to reference it in MLA or another style – there are certain details we didn’t have time to address.
  7. Proofread your citations in conjunction with the final evaluation of your poem.


Finally, MLA and Harvard have different requirements for citing poetry. MLA style guidelines, on the other hand, are more detailed than Harvard guidelines. Then, for quoting a poem, Chicago/Turabian and APA styles use standard conventions. Furthermore, the MLA’s stringent standards for referencing poetry may be a result of the style’s widespread use in literary works. As a result, typical in-text citation forms may be altered. It contains the quoted statement’s line number to allow for further specificity beyond the page level.

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