For the past 50 years much of the world has relied on the MLA (Modern Language Association) style manual and MLA handbook to provide standards for papers written in the humanities and liberal-arts community. In addition to general writing guidelines, the MLA has set standards for references and citations of every kind of media, from traditional books to television and the Internet. Many consider the MLA style the best because of its simplicity. Referencing a poem in an essay is easily accomplished in the MLA style.
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Type the name of the poem making sure to capitalise the first and last word as well as every noun, verb, adjective and adverb.
Place quotation marks around the title of the poem. The poem title can appear anywhere in a sentence but must be contained within quotation marks. For example, "The Road Not Taken," by Robert Frost, is my favourite poem.
Include the name of the author of the poem. There are multiple ways to include the author, depending on sentence structure.
Edgar Allen Poe wrote "The Raven."
"The Raven," by Edgar Allen Poe, is a dark poem that is popular around the world.
Include the poem with complete reference information in the Works Cited page if it is required for your paper. A complete reference includes the author, poem title and publishing information.
Donne, John. "The Relic." Immortal Poems of the English Language. Ed. Oscar Williams. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1952. 86.
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