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How to Cite a Poem Stanza in an Essay


Poems are cited in essays as a way of making a point, describing research or simply to discuss the poem itself. While you may use only the poem stanza, you will need to cite the entire poem and the source where you found the poem. Some poems are found online, but most are collected in anthology books. Try to find an anthology collection for all poems to guarantee the publication information is correct. Cite poem stanzas with in-text and bibliography citations in Modern Language Association (MLA) or American Psychological Association (APA) format.

MLA

Gather information about the poem that you would like to cite, such as the author, name of the poem, book it appears in, publisher, and date.

Use the author of the poem and the page numbers with an MLA-style in-text citation.

For example: (Rossetti, 23-28).

Cite the poem on the bibliography with the poem’s title and author, the book title (in italics), the book editor, the year and location of publication, the publisher, page numbers referenced and the medium in MLA format.

For example: Rossetti, Christina. “Goblin Market”. Collected Poems of Christina Rossetti: Ed. Charles Smith. London: Poem Publishers, 1928. 23-28. Print.

APA

Gather information about the poem that you would like to cite, such as the author, name of the poem, book it appears in, publisher, and date.

Include the poem’s author and the date it was published in parentheses with an APA-formatted in-text citation.

For example: (Rossetti, 1928).

Include the author of the poem, the title of the poem, the editor, the title of the anthology, the page numbers, the date of publication, the publisher and the publisher’s location with an APA poem citation.

For example: Poe, E. (1987). The Raven. In E. Davis (Ed.), The Complete Works of Edgar Allen Poe (pp. 134-137). Charleston: Poem Publishers.

References
  • “Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition”; American Psychological Association; 2009
  • “MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers 7th Edition”; Modern Language Association; 2009
About the Author

Melissa Hamilton began writing professionally in 2007. She has enjoyed cooking creatively in the kitchen from a young age. In addition to writing cooking articles for various publications, she currently works in the restaurant industry as a food and beverage trainer.

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