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ENG 102 Poetry Research

This guide is designed to help you complete an English 102 research paper about a poem.

Cite Your Sources in MLA format

Here are a few examples to help you cite your sources in MLA format:

How to Cite an Entire Book or Ebook (Print or Electronic)

Format: Author(s). Title of Book in Italics. Edition, Publisher, Year. Database Name in Italics. (if electronic), URL. 

*Note: if using a print book, skip the database name.


How to Cite Part of a Book or Ebook (Print or Electronic)

Format: Author(s). "Title of Part." Title of Book, edited by Editor, edition, vol. #, Publisher, Year, page number(s). Database Name (if electronic), URL.


How to Cite a Journal Article from a Database

Format: Author(s). "Title of Article." Title of Journal, vol. #, no. #, Date of Publication, page number(s). Database Name (if electronic), URL.


How to Cite a Website

Format: Author(s). “Title of Article.” Title of Website in Italics, Website Publisher (if different than title), Date of publication, URL.

*Note:  Exclude publisher if title of website and publisher are the same.
*Note: If website does not have a date, add an access date at the end after the URL: Accessed 7 May 2016.
*Note: Do not include the http:// or https:// in the URL.

Additional MLA Examples

Citing a Poem: In-Text Citation

Quoting a single line of poetry

Format: (Poet Last Name line number(s))

*Note: Only include the line numbers if they are already included in the poem you are citing. You do not need to count line numbers if they are not already included. If you find the poem in a book, you can use the page number(s) for the poem. If you found the poem online and there are no page numbers or line numbers, you only need to include the poet's last name.

Example: "So better by far for me if you were stone" (Duffy line 17).


Quoting 2-3 lines of poetry

When quoting 2-3 lines of poetry, use a forward slash ( / ) to mark the line breaks. If there is a stanza break between the lines you are quoting, use a double slash ( // ). Be sure to put a space before and after the slash. 

Use the exact punctuation, capitalization, and styling as used in the original text.

Format: (Poet Last Name line number(s))

Example: "Wasn't I beautiful? / Wasn't I fragrant and young? // Look at me now" (Duffy lines 40-42).


Quoting 3+ lines of poetry

When quoting more than 3 lines of poetry, use a block quote. Be sure to keep the spacing, punctuation, and capitalization the same as it is in the poem.

Example: In the poem "Medusa," Medusa discusses why she wants to turn the man she loves into stone:

Be terrified.

It's you I love,

perfect man, Greek God, my own;

but I know you'll go, betray me, stray

from home.

So better by far for me if you were stone. (Duffy lines 12-17)

Citing a Poem: Works Cited

Poem in a book

Format: Last Name, First Name. "Poem Title." Book Name, Publisher, Year, Page.

Example: Duffy, Carol Ann. "Medusa." The World's Wife, Macmillan Publishers Ltd., 1999, pp. 40-42.


Poem in an anthology

Format: Last Name, First Name. "Poem Title." Anthology Title, edited by Editor, edition, vol. #, Publisher,

Year, Page.

Example: Duffy, Carol Ann. "Medusa." Norton Anthology of English Literature, edited by Stephen Greenblatt,

9th ed., vol. F, W. W. Norton, 2012, pp. 3043-3044.


Poem from website

Format: Last Name, First Name. "Poem Title." Poem Publication Year. Website Name, URL. Access Date.

Example: Duffy, Carol Ann. "Medusa." 1999, Genius, www.genius.com/Carol-ann-duffy-medusa-annotated.

Accessed 2 Dec. 2020.

In-Text Citations

1 Author and Page Numbers

Place the author’s last name and page number in parenthesis. If the in-text citation is at the end of a sentence, place the period outside the parenthesis.

Example 1: (Hennessy 81).

Example 2: (Hennessy 81-82).


No Page Numbers

If a source has no page numbers, omit the page number. Keep in mind, most electronic sources do not include pages.

Example 1: ("Everyday Victims")

Example 2: (Jones)


No Author

If the source has no author, your in-text citation will use the title of the source that starts your works cited entry. The title may appear in the sentence itself or, abbreviated, before the page number in parenthesis.

Example 1: (“Noon” 508).

Example 2: (Faulkner’s Novels 25).

Example 3: (“Climate Model Simulations").


2 Authors

If the entry on the Works Cited page begins with the names of two authors, include both last names in the in-text citation, connected by and.

Example: (Dorris and Erdrich 23).


3+ Authors

If the source has three or more authors, include the first author’s last name followed by et al.

Example: (Burdick et al. 42).

Additional In-Text Citations Examples