Saturday 2 November 2019

Guide to Cite a Poem in English Literature Assignment

It would not be wrong to say that citing is art and that too a very difficult one if you don’t know how to do it the right way. When it comes to writing a top quality college or university assignment, the teacher expects you to mention all the sources that you have used for collecting information and writing the paper and this is called citation. There are a lot of formatting styles that are used by colleges and universities all over the world and the most popular among them at MLA, APA and Chicago.

Citation is not difficult but it is made difficult when students do not know how to do it the right way. When we talk about citing a prose or a poem, there are certain things that need be seen and done. It is necessary to know that when we are citing resources, we must have complete information about sources such as the name of the writer or author, the book from where it has been taken, the year it was published, which editing it is and so on. There are many students who believe that citing a poem is similar to citing a text but they are wrong. 

This article is a guide to citing a poem in English literature assignment and provides help to all those students who are studying literature. Read on to know more about how you can cite a poem most easily and impress the teachers with your art to do things the best way.


In order to cite a poem in MLA format, you will have to do the following:

Being with the name of the poet; write the last name, place a comma and then the first name and place a full stop after the name Example: Elliot, T. S.

The title of the poem should me mentioned in quotation marks; the title should be in title-case and all the nous, pronouns, verbs and adverbs in the title should be capital too along with a full top the end inside the quotation marks Example: Elliot, T. S. "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock."

Mention the book or the anthology in which the poem was published; if you found it online then you must use the title of the website from where you found it; don’t forget the editor’s name and place a comma too. Example of poem printed in a book: Stevens, Wallace. "Sunday Morning." The Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens, Online example: Ginsberg, Allen. "Howl." Poetry Foundation,

Mention the date or page number as required. Print example: Elliot, T. S. "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock." Literature: Reading Fiction, Poetry, and Drama, edited by Robert DiYanni, 6th ed, McGraw-Hill, 2007, pp. 1102-1105. Online example: Ginsberg, Allen. "Howl." Poetry Foundation, Accessed 3 Oct. 2016.


Citing a poem in APA format

Here are the most key steps to citing a poem most competently in the English literature assignment: 

Mention the poet’s first name in the full reference entry; the last name will come first and after the comma mention the first initial of his or her first name Example: Pope, A.

Mention the year in which the poem was published after the name; the year should be the one in which you have read the poet and not when it was first published Example: Pope, A. (1963).

Next you should write the name of the book in which the poem appeared but make sure to italicize it and put a full stop at the end Example: Pope, A. (1963). The poems of Alexander Pope (J. Butt, Ed.).

If it appears in an anthology, you should also type the title of the poem

If you have read the poem online and there is no published resource for it, type the title of poem and italicize it too, putting a period at the end Example: Wordsworth, W. (n.d.) To daffodils.

If you are taking the poem from a printed source, make sure to include its information too Collection example: Pope, A. (1963). The poems of Alexander Pope (J. Butt, Ed.). London: Methuen.

Mention the poet’s name and date on which it was published for parenthetical citation in-text Example: In Ode for Music, on St. Cecilia's Day (Pope, 1963), the poet writes a holiday poem that could be set to music.


Here is how you should cite a poem in Chicago format:

The poet’s last should be listed first in the bibliography and place a comma after it; then type his or her full name and use a period. Example: Frost, Robert.

Mention the poem title in quotation marks, using capital words. Put a full stop at the title end inside the quotation marks. Example: Frost, Robert. "The Road Not Taken."

Provide information about the books in which the poem was published by first writing the word ‘in’ and then providing the book title. Example: Frost, Robert. "The Road Not Taken." In Complete Poems of Robert Frost, 131.

There is nothing mentioned specially for the poems that have been published online in Chicago format so ask your instructor how they want it done. 

Provide publication information from where you have taken the poem; Example: Frost, Robert. "The Road Not Taken." In Complete Poems of Robert Frost, 131. New York: Holt, Reinhart, and Winston, 1964.

You will have to cite a poem when working on your thesis or a dissertation especially for a literary paper. Make sure to study the different formats to do a good job of citing your references the best way.


Post a Comment