How to Cite a Poem in APA and MLA

how to cite a poem

If you are reading this, it means you need more information about citations. Truth be told, learning how to cite a poem the right way can be pretty difficult. You will either need to use an APA poem citation or a MLA citation. The citation will be made in-text, obviously. However, you also need to make an entry in the Works Cited section.

If you want to learn how to cite a poem in APA and MLA, you should read this blog post written by our experts in English homework to the end. Examples are included, so you will learn how to cite a poem from a book and how to cite a poem from a website. In most cases, you will find poems online, on various websites and even in online anthologies. This is why it’s very important to know how to cite poem from a website.

Why Learn How to Cite a Poem?

OK, but why is it so important to learn how to cite a poem in an essay? Many students still don’t realize how many points they can lose if the citations are not formatted correctly. Here are just some of the reasons to start learning about citations right now:

  • A paper that is properly formatted and that has all works cited properly will often get bonus points. Yes, you will get a higher grade if you demonstrate that you know how to cite your resources.
  • There are notable differences between the various styles. To cite poem APA style, you need to know how to format the text correctly. APA and MLA have different formatting rules.
  • Don’t think you need to learn how to cite a poem MLA style? Using the wrong format will get you penalized – quite harshly in many cases.
  • Making a distinction between in-text citations and Works Cited entries is extremely important. Remember, each in-text citation requires a Works Cited.

Learn How to Cite a Poem APA Style

Learning how to cite a poem in text in APA style isn’t difficult at all. However, learning how to make the Works Cited entry is a bit tricky. To help you out, we’ve included an outline of the citation, as well as some examples. Here is how an APA citation should be formatted:

Last Name, First Name of the poet. “Title of the Poem.” Title of the Book, Edition (if it is not the first edition), Name of the publisher (shortened), The year of publication, The name of the website, Website URL. Accessed Date the book was accessed.

If you would like an example of how to cite a poem APA style, here is how an in-text citation would look like:

“Through fire and water for their sake; / Rise early, late take rest, to sow / Their wealth, and lie all night awake” (Beeching, lines 7-9).

Remember that you should also make an entry in the APA References section. Here is what this would look like for the poem used as an example, if we were to retrieve the poem from a website:

BEECHING, H. C.  (2002, February 11). Fatherhood. Retrieved from http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/22668/pg22668.html.

In case the poem was taken from a book, you would make the following entry:

BEECHING, H. C. (2002). Fatherhood. In A. Haines (Ed.): Poems of To-Day: an Anthology (pp.142-143). The Gutenberg Archives: English Association by Sidgwick & Jackson, Ltd.

Cite a Poem MLA Style

Need to learn how to cite a poem in MLA? We have both in-text citations for poetry and the format for the Works Cited section. Here is how you cite a poem MLA style:

Last Name, First Name of the poet. “The title of the poem.” Title of the book, edited by First Name Last Name of the editor, Edition (if it is not first edition), Name of the publisher (shortened), The year of publication, pp. pageX-pageY.

Here is how a MLA poem citation should look like in your text:

“Through fire and water for their sake; / Rise early, late take rest, to sow / Their wealth, and lie all night awake” (Beeching, lines 7-9).

And here is how you could include the citation in the Works Cited section:

BEECHING, H. C. “Fatherhood.” 2002. Poems of To-Day: an Anthology, http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/22668/pg22668.html. Accessed 10 March 2021.

If you had taken the poem from a book, the entry in the Works Cited section would look like this:

BEECHING, H. C. “Fatherhood.” Poems of To-Day: an Anthology, edited by Al Haines, The Project Gutenberg EBook, 2007, pp. 142-143.

Need Help With the Works Cited Section?

Truth be told, many students are really struggling with writing the Works Cited or APA References section. On the other hand, inserting poetry in-text citations is not too difficult. How do you cite a poem the right way? If you still don’t understand, it’s time to get some help. Check out the differences between APA and MLA first. Our experienced writers can help you not only write an entire essay, but also make in-text citations and Works Cited entries. Here are some of the things we can help you right now:

  • We can show you how to cite a poem title
  • We can insert an in-text citation of poem in minutes
  • We can show you how to cite poetry in any academic writing style
  • We can create the Works Cited or References section for you

OK, but why would you rely on us for help? The truth is that we serve thousands of students every semester. We have some of the best writers on the Web, as well as a team of experienced editors and proofreaders. All our ENL writers have extensive experience writing essays about poetry, so you can rest assured they know all too well how to make citations and Works Cited entries. We can share this knowledge with you, taking your paper as an example. You just tell us what you need to cite and where, and we will show you how to do it the right way. Quick and simple!

FAQ

Can I copy and paste the entire poem when citing a poem MLA style?

If the poem is relatively short (up to 6 or 7 lines) and you really need to discuss it in its entirety, you could paste it into your essay. However, it is usually best to include short excerpts and then add the poem to the Works Cited or References section.

What’s the biggest mistake students make when citing a poem APA style?

Around 75% of all papers contain a frequent mistake: forgetting to make an entry in the Works Cited or References section for an in-text citation. It’s easy to forget to make the entry if you don’t do it right after you make the citation, so don’t postpone it.

How to cite a poem from an anthology?

Inserting a poetry citation when the poem is included in an anthology is a bit tricky. Here is when you need to include in an APA citation:

Last name, First initial. Middle initial. of the author of the poem. (The year the anthology was published). The title of the poem. In First initial. Middle initial. Last name of the Editor (Ed.), The title of anthology (p. Page number). URL

APA Example:

BEECHING, H. C. (2002). Fatherhood. In Al Haines (Ed.), Poems of To-Day: an Anthology (p. 142-143). http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/22668/pg22668.html

If you want to include a MLA citation in the Works Cited section, you should use the following format:

Last Name, First Name of the poet. “The title of the Poem.” The title of the Anthology, edited by First and Last Name of the editor, Publisher, The year the anthology was published, the page number

Here is the MLA equivalent of the citation above:

BEECHING, H. C. “Fatherhood.” Poems of To-Day: an Anthology, edited by Al Haines, Project Gutenberg, 2007, p. 142-143.

 

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