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The Correct Way to Cite a Poem Found Online in APA


Use of the Internet for student reading and research has made composing essays easier. However, you may be left with questions as you begin composing your paper, such as how you are expected to cite poetry found online, according to the American Psychological Association style guide.

References Page Citations

For the References page, include the author's name, editor if available, publication year in parentheses, name of the poem, name of the site the poem is on in italics, date the poem was retrieved and the Web address from which it was retrieved. A citation from poet William Blake's work "The Tyger" would read:

Blake, William (1794). The Tyger. The Poetry Foundation. Retrieved on 04 June 2013 from http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/172943

In this example, no editor name was available, so you would put "The Poetry Foundation" in italics.

In the event that the poem has an unknown author, use the title of the poem for in-text citations and on your References page.

In-Text Citations

For poems found on the Internet, in-text citations follow the same rules as you would use for the author of a printed book or other text. Use quotation marks around the relevant quote, followed by the author's last name and the publication year in parentheses. For "The Tyger," the in-text citation would read:

The poet asks who or what "Dare frame thy fearful symmetry" (Blake, 1794).

About the Author

Dr. Chris Snellgrove is a writing specialist, and a veteran of everything from a book-length dissertation to a newspaper editor's desk. He has produced work for academic, business, creative, and non-profit endeavors.

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