How to cite a poem found online – the best guide ever

Posted By Admin @ November 23, 2022

How to cite a poem found online – the best guide ever

In what manner should a poem’s author be referred to? This one question is the cause of insomnia for a large number of college students. Because there are so many referencing styles to choose from, it can be difficult for students to select one. Poetry is considered the hardest to cite. How do you know what to recall in the midst of so much information? There is no need to worry about referencing a poem because all the information you need may be found on this blog. The best way to succeed in this profession is to read on. As a rule, literary citations are used to enhance the quality of an essay. Citing poetry can be as simple as frosting on a cake once you get the hang of it. So without further ado, let’s get this party started.

Varying citation styles have different requirements for citing poetry lines.

There are a variety of citation styles. There are numerous varieties, but the following are the most prevalent:



• Harvard

Let’s see how to cite the poem in the various citation styles now.

Cite A Poem Found Online in MLA Style

Poetry can be easily available online, yet it may be difficult to document. In order to verify a website’s credibility, it is necessary to look into its sponsoring organization. Poems found online must be properly credited, according to the Modern Language Association handbook’s seventh edition.

The Bibliography

In a Works Cited list, there are six things to include:

• The author’s name.

• Examples of the poem’s title in words and phrases

• Italicized domain name for the website.

• According to the poem’s date of publication (in day-month-year order)

• The publication method (Web)

• Date of accession for the poem.

The MLA does not require URLs or web “addresses” because they are short-lived and burdensome. You may add a footnote to your reference by placing an angle bracket and period at the end of it like this: Hanging indents can be used to alphabetize the whole Works Cited list, resulting in a half-inch indentation after the first reference.

In-Text Citation

Your report should mention the author’s name in parenthesis after any direct citations from the poem. Even if the author’s name is mentioned in the text, cite the line numbers in parentheses. Using quotation marks and slashes to separate quotations maintains the original capitalization. If I were to leave my body, I would burst into blossom,” as James Wright writes in his poem “A Blessing” (Wright 23-24). There is no period following the parenthetical reference as shown above since the ellipsis denotes words that were omitted from the original version. Be creative when it comes to poetry with more than three lines. But maintain the original line breaks intact, indent the entire section. It is important to punctuate long, indented quotations exactly as they occur in the original text. No further punctuation follows the parenthesis.


When they ripple, it’s because they are delighted that we have arrived, to paraphrase from “A Blessing.” They bow like a pair of shivering swans. They can’t be separated. Their sense of isolation is unmatched. (Wright 23-24)

Cite a Poem Found Online in APA style

Students research and essay writing have been streamlined because of the internet. Questions like referencing poetry on the internet according to the APA style guide may come up when writing your paper.

Citations on the Reference page

You should include the author’s name and the poem’s name when writing a reference page. The website’s name and the date and URL where you found the poem should also be included. William Blake’s poem “The Tyger” is quoted thusly:

Blake, William (1794). The Tyger. The Poetry Foundation. Retrieved on 04 June 2013 from

Because there is no editor listed, the phrase “The Poetry Foundation” would be italicized.

All in-text and reference citations for a poem should use the poem’s title instead of the author’s name if the author cannot be identified.

In-text citation

A poem found online can be cited the same way a real book or another resource would be, following the same requirements. Put quotation marks around the relevant passage and include the author and publication date in parentheses. The following would be the in-text citation for “The Tyger”:

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

Cite a poem in Harvard referencing style

In Harvard style, it is vital to know basic facts about a poem, such as its author, title, and subject matter, and the date and publisher or URL of its publication. A poem’s bibliographic record contains this information.

Sample citations and templates based on the 11th edition of Cite Them Right by Richard Pears and Graham Shields have been prepared. For the sake of standardization, this page uses the text from Cite Them Right, however, it is not affiliated with the site.

There is a special way to cite poems in the Harvard style guide. When citing a poem, the names of editors and the title of the anthology are typically omitted in order to preserve the author-date format. According to this rule, the name of the poet shall not be included in the in-text citation. In this scenario, the author’s name and work title are not enclosed in quotation marks.


Dickson, E. (2003) ‘In a library,’ in Poems Series One. Fairfield: 1st World Library, pp. 14-16.

Example of an in-text citation of a poem in Harvard:

“His quaint opinions to inspect, / His knowledge to unfold / On what concerns our mutual mind, / The literature of old” (Dickson, 2003, p. 14).

Cite the Line Numbers of a Poem in an Essay

If you’re citing poetry in an essay, you should mention the poem’s lines rather than its pages. If this seems difficult at first, it is because the citation can change depending on the length and form of the poetry. In the future, you will be able to quote poetry in your papers in accordance with the 7th Edition of the MLA handbook’s guidelines.

Short quotes

Three lines or less of poetry should fit within your essay’s usual margins. When quoting poetry, all MLA rules apply. Line breaks in poems with only two or three lines can be indicated by the use of slashes and spaces before and after them. Insert the parenthetical citation after the second quotation mark and before the period or terminating punctuation. The number of lines should be indicated by a slash (/) between each line.

For example:

In Plath's "Morning Song," the speaker compares her child to a "New statue. / In a drafty museum" (4-5).

Block Quotations

When citing poetry that is longer than three lines, the quotation marks should be removed and the text should be placed in a new line. It can be translated as “,”: “Content” Preserve the original line breaks and formatting. One inch from the left margin should be used to indent the entire quote. Before and after commas, it’s better to use parenthetical citations.

An Epic Poem Anthology

Instead of quotation marks, epic poem titles are underlined or placed in italics. In-text citations should include the book or canto number before the line number(s), followed by a period.


Cite the poem in its entirety in your Works Cited. The poet’s surname appears first in the list. Short poems’ titles are in quotations, not italicized like epic poems. Italicize the poem’s title and the editor’s name if it’s in an anthology. After that, list the poet’s name, the poet’s name, and the poet’s title, as well as the publisher, year, and location of publishing.

For example:

Achebe, Chinua. “Uncle Ben’s Choice.” The Seagull Reader: Literature. Ed. Joseph Kelly. New York: Norton, 2005. 23–27. Print.

How to Format Poems

The American Psychological Association’s Publication Manual is used in a wide range of academic writing. The guide also contains guidelines on how to properly format poetry. The type of quotation formatting to be used is determined by the number of lines in the quotation. All of your sources must be listed on the reference page at the end of your work.

Single Line

In APA style, poetry is treated just like any other quotation. Using double quote marks, this portion of the statement is included. The original source’s punctuation has been kept within quotation marks.

Two Lines

It is customary to integrate at least two lines of poetry into the text of an article. Even if the original punctuation was different, all words are enclosed in quotation marks. When two lines are separated, a slash (/) is used to signify the break. There is no effect on quote marks because of this mark.

Three or More Lines

When citing poetry that is longer than three lines, the block quote approach is recommended. In this passage, there are no quotation marks. Please stick to the original poem’s spelling and punctuation. The initial line of a new paragraph is indented half an inch from the left margin, like a new paragraph. The new margin is used to indent subsequent lines by a half-inch. The paragraphs in this section are double-spaced. The in-text citation occurs after the final punctuation mark.

In-Text Citation

Even if a poem is hundreds of lines lengthy, it must be referenced somewhere in the text itself. An asterisk (*) denotes the year of publication, which appears in parentheses after the last name of the author. Finally, include the page number in parentheses after the quotation “Frost (1987) wrote... in p.” For example (p.118). The following information can be put in parentheses after the quote: “

Reference Page

Poetry cited in the book must be listed on the reference page. Citing a poem requires the use of the author’s name, initials, and period. The date of publication is followed by a comma, and then by the author’s last name (if any). Once “In,” the editor’s first and last names are in parentheses, “(Ed. ),” the book title is in sentence case italics and the page number follows in parenthesis with a comma. This is followed by a colon and the city where the book was released, followed by an exclamation point.

How to Cite Poem Lines and Stanzas

Remember to give credit to the poet when you use a poem that perfectly fits your thesis or accurately depicts the scene. There are ways in which plagiarism might be caught, such as if you cite your sources incorrectly or at all. Poem quotations should adhere to several basic rules when used in an academic article.

Step 1

Any passages that have been quoted should be included in quotation marks. Aside from direct quotations, all other citations of another person’s remarks should be included in single quotation marks and in double quotation marks.

Step 2

The number of lines in each stanza, followed by the line number in each of those stanzas, should be placed behind the quotation marks. If you found this line in the third stanza’s fourth line, you’d replace it with “(3.4).” The author’s name and the title of the poem are common when introducing a quotation. A single number, such as three, would be enough to indicate that you’ve cited a full stanza.

Step 3

The author’s name should be included in the parenthetical reference if you didn’t identify them when presenting the quote.

For example, use (Dickinson 3.4) at the end of the quotation if you did not mention the author's name when introducing the quote.

Introduce the quote with the poem’s title. Two lines of poetry can be separated by a comma.

Using the example above, you would write (Dickinson 3.4,5) to indicate the fourth and fifth lines of the third stanza.

Step 4

A separate paragraph should be used if more than four lines of text are quoted. Simply add a new line and indent the quote by one inch on both sides to accomplish this. Place a dash in front of the names of the lines in the stanza you’re quoting.

For example, (Dickinson 3.4-7) indicates that you quoted lines 4 through 7 of the third stanza.

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