How To Cite Poetry Apa


Poetry has been part of literature since time immemorial and is celebrated around the world. When citing poetry using the American Psychological Association (APA) citation style, it is important to be aware of some specific details. APA citations are typically used in academic and scientific writing, and often include the author, title, what type of work it is, the publication information, and the page or line number of the source material. In this article, we will discuss how to correctly cite poetry in APA.

Brief History Of Citation Styles

Prior to the 1940s, citation styles weren’t well established. However, in 1945, the American Psychological Association (APA) established a set of guidelines that were meant to be applied to academic writing in the field of psychology. Over the years, these guidelines were adopted by various disciplines, making APA one of the most popular citation styles in use today.

APA Citation Format For Poetry

When citing poetry in APA, it is important to be aware of the details of this citation style. In APA, citing poetry requires the use of in-text citations and a reference list. In-text citations are used to indicate the source material used in the text and should contain the author’s last name, year of publication, and the page or line number.
It is important to remember that different types of poems can require different details in the citation. For example, when citing a poem from a book, you might cite it like this: (Author, Year, page number).
If you are citing an entire poem, you should include the author name, year the poem was published, and the poem’s title in quotation marks after the author name, like this: (Author, Year, “Poem Title”).
If you are citing a poem that is not in a book but has been posted on a website, follows the same pattern, but also includes the website name and URL in parentheses after the title of the poem.For example: (Author, Year, “Poem Title”, Website Name, URL).

Citing Poems In APA Reference List

In addition to using in-text citations, APA also requires that you include a reference list at the end of your paper. The reference list should include the author’s name, year of publication, the title of the poem, the type of work, and the name of the publication (if applicable).
For example, if you are citing a poem that is published in a book, you might cite it like this:
Author Last name, First Initial. (Year). Poem title. In Book Title (pp. page numbers). Publication location: Publisher.
If you are citing a poem that is not published in a book but is available on a website, the entry might look like this:
Author Last name, First Initial. (Year). Poem title. Website Name. URL

Additional Considerations

When citing poetry in APA, it is important that you provide as much information as possible about the source material. This will ensure that your citations are clear and complete, and will help readers easily locate the source material if they are interested. Additionally, APA guidelines state that when citing poetry, the names of works should be in “sentence-style capitalization.” This means that only the first word and proper nouns should be capitalized.


Citing poetry in APA can be a daunting task, but with the right information and guidance, it can be a manageable task. By taking the time to familiarize yourself with the details of APA’s citation style, you can ensure that your citations are accurate and complete.

Minnie Walters is a passionate writer and lover of poetry. She has a deep knowledge and appreciation for the work of famous poets such as William Wordsworth, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, and many more. She hopes you will also fall in love with poetry!

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