How To Quote A Poem In An Essay: 5 Useful Tips

It is extremely important that you understand how to quote a poem in an essay. It is important because if you don’t do it properly it can actually be called a form of plagiarism. This can be a very serious offense depending on how your professor reacts to improperly citing works. Every teacher is different but the best thing to do is make sure you are doing it properly so you don’t have to worry about how your teacher will react. There are particular ways to quote a poem in an essay and it is important that you know how to do it. The information that follows is if you are doing your essay in the MLA form of writing. There are other citation styles as well and they may treat poems differently. It is advisable that if you are quoting a poem, make sure you ask your professor what citation style to use and then look up the information on the internet about exactly how to do the formatting using the style directed by your professor. Here are 5 useful tips on how to quote a poem in an essay in the MLA style of writing:

  1. When you write the title of poems in a sentence, use quotation marks. It is improper to underline or italicize the title. Use quotation marks at the beginning of the title and the end of the title.
  2. If you are quoting a poem or a portion of a poem that is three lines or less, you can type the lines exactly as they are in the poem with the first word of each line capitalized and a slash is inserted to separate each line of the poem
  3. If you are quoting a poem that is four lines or more, it is important that you indent the poem 1 inch or 10 spaces from the left margin.
  4. If you are eliminating any part of a poem because it is not relevant to what you are trying to say you can do that by inserting an ellipsis which is three spaced periods.
  5. If you want to delete an entire line of a poem you can do that by using periods throughout the entire line

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