How Do You Quote Lyrics In An Essay

Quotation Marks with Fiction, Poetry, and Titles

Summary:

A rundown of the general rules of when and where to use quotation marks.

Contributors:Sean M. Conrey, Mark Pepper, Allen Brizee
Last Edited: 2016-02-27 11:17:45

Block Quotations

Check your citation style guide for specific guidelines on when you should use block quotations. Typically, you should use a block quotation when the quotation extends more than four typed lines (in MLA style) or extends 40 words or longer (in APA style). Although they are allowed in any type of writing, you will likely most often use them when quoting from fiction or literature. A block quotation is removed from the main body of your text. Indent one inch from the main margin (the equivalent of two half-inch paragraph indentations) and begin your quote. Maintain double spacing throughout, but you do not need to use quotation marks.

Gatsby experiences a moment of clarity while standing with Daisy on his dock. Fitzgerald writes:

Possibly it had occurred to him that the colossal significance of that light had now to him vanished forever. Compared to the great distance that had separated him from Daisy it had seemed very near to her, almost touching her. It had seemed as close as a star to the moon. Now it was again a green light on a dock. His count of enchanted objects had diminished by one. (98)

Quoting Poetry

When you quote a single line of poetry, write it like any other short quotation. If the piece of poetry you are quoting crosses multiple lines of the poem itself, you may still type them in your text run together. Show the reader where the poem's line breaks fall by using slash marks.

In his poem, "Mending Wall," Robert Frost writes: "Something there is that doesn't love a wall,/ that send the frozen-ground-swell under it" (42-44).

If the quotation is three lines or longer, set it off like a block quotation (see above). Some writers prefer to set off two-line verse quotations for emphasis. Quote the poem line by line as it appears on the original page. Do not use quotation marks, and indent one inch from the left margin.

In his poem "Mending Wall," Robert Frost questions the building of barriers and walls:

Before I built a wall I'd ask to know

What I was walling in or walling out,

And to whom I was like to give offense.

Writing Dialogue

Write each person's spoken words, however brief, as a separate paragraph. Use commas to set off dialogue tags such as "she said" or "he explained." If one person's speech goes on for more than one paragraph, use quotation marks to open the dialogue at the beginning of each paragraph. However, do not use closing quotation marks until the end of the final paragraph where that character is speaking.

Quotation Marks with Titles

Use quotations marks for:

  • Titles of short or minor works
  • Songs
  • Short Stories
  • Essays
  • Short Poems
  • One Act Plays
  • Other literary works shorter than a three act play or complete book
  • Titles of sections from longer works
  • Chapters in books
  • Articles in newspapers, magazines, or journals
  • Episodes of television and radio series

Underlining or italics are used for the titles of long pieces or works that contain smaller sections.

Formatting direct quotations is an entire art when it comes to writing a school or college essay. MLA writing style is the simplest, but you still have to know how to add citations properly, especially when talking about the poem. The poem is something different from prose by its nature. Thus, the formatting rules are a bit different. We recommend citing a poem in MLA style.

First, a student has to realize why it is crucial to quote a poetry. Often, various essays are assigned to the students of English Literature or Arts class:

  1. Descriptive
  2. Reflective
  3. Critical thinking
  4. Argumentative
  5. Compare & contrast

You may first read about the best ways to get ready with your homework as fast as possible.

GET YOUR A+ ESSAY FULLY CITED

Reasons to Cite Quotes from Poem

To prove your words and the fact that you have read the story, it is critical to insert direct and indirect quotes from the selected MLA poem. To cite means to apply exact words of the discussed authors in your academic essay. Under the MLA writing style, a student should develop quotations in various ways. It all depends on the length.

  1. Short quotations from poetry include less than 3 lines (for prose, 4 lines are used). Example from Edgar Allan Poe is:

As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.

Tis some visitor,' I muttered, `tapping at my chamber door -

Only this, and nothing more

  1. Long quotations have to be more than 3 lines of the literary piece (or 4 lines of prose). You will have to cite multiple paragraph quotes. The example of such quote to cite may be the lines by DeFord:

The broken hearts of yesterday

But wait, be still, don't lose this way

Affection now, for what you guess

May be something more, could be less

Accept my love, live for today.

Moreover, students may sometimes need to insert in-text direct citations to explain or omit words that play no role. Thus, students are not encouraged to cite unnecessary parts.

Without proper research skills, you won't be able to choose the most proper texts to quote, so perfect your research capabilities using these tips.

Format Your Title Properly

Sure thing, it is necessary to start citing a poem correctly from its title. Sometimes quotation marks are used instead of italics. But which way should you choose?

Well, this decision depends on the size of the piece. If you need to cite a short poem, do it this way:

  • "Be Proud of Who You Are"
  • "Our Brothers"
  • "Forever"
  • "Life's Own Battle"

Longer poems have to be cited in italics. Let's have a look at several examples:

  • Tape for the Turn of the Year
  • The Sea and the Mirror
  • The Age of Anxiety

The titles of short literary pieces are always put in quotation marks. As for the long poems, as you have noticed, their titles are written in italics.

For more ideas on writing an essay, turn to this article.

How to Cite a Poem in MLA?

Working on MLA poem is the simplest task you can picture as it does not require too much time. Instead of reading lengthy manuals, keep to these short guidelines.

  1. Each time you cite a quotation from a poetry (it can be several words or the whole paragraph), place the citations off with quotation marks around them. Insert parentheses to quote exact words of the author. Always leave punctuation marks like period or comma outside the end parenthesis. The number next to the citation corresponds to the number of the specific line.

"According the lyrics of the author, "and every fair from fair sometime declines" (7).

  1. If you decide to quote lines that follow each other, type in a virgule (/) to define where the chosen lines "divide". In parenthesis, provide the first and last name of the author, breaking them apart with the help of a hyphen.
  2. In case you should include more than 4 consecutive lines, apply "long quotation"; or so-called blockquote. Print a short signal phrase in the introduction of your quote; indent it two times; double space; leave punctuation marks the way they appear in the original text.
  3. Other elements of formatting appear the way you would cite a prose with the rights reserved.
  4. Whatever you quote, always proofread and edit the way you cited quotations if necessary.

How to Cite Short Direct Quotations from Poems in MLA?

Before writing, one has to learn the basic rules of the corresponding format when citing a poem. You may have a look at the valuable example or find a good book dedicated to academic writing styles. Sure thing, you must read the poetry as well. Otherwise, you won't know which parts have to be chosen for your essay and quoted properly.

ORDER ESSAY FULLY CITED

Before you cite a poem, pay attention to how long the selected quotes are to identify their type. As it was said above, short quotes from poetry are those that involve less than three lines of text. Make sure you obey these rules when you decide to cite a quotation from poetry in English paper:

  • Apply quotation marks to the direct quote from the chosen literary piece
  • Mention the author's initial name, full title (in case of missing author), and page number or line number
  • Locate punctuation after the parenthetical quotation
  • Add questions or exclamation marks that belong to the citation inside the quotation marks. Leave them outside in case it does not belong to the original writer's words.
  • Don't forget about the full reference to the source on the Bibliography page at the end of your MLA essay.

Let's Have a Look at a Sample

Replace breaks with a "/," insert a space before and after the slash mark. Mind that the line of the poem is applied instead of the page number for the parenthetical quotation. The only exception is a work being cited in a secondary source. Capitalize every line of verse intact after the slash mark.

In Adrienne Rich's "Aunt Jennifer's Tigers," Rich says that"Uncle's wedding

band / Sits heavily upon Aunt Jennifer's hand" (7-8). The band evidently is a

sign of the oppression.

Another example is:As he mentioned, "till the leaves went whirling with him / Till the dust and wind together / Swept in eddies round about him" (10-12).

When you cite a poem, you should provide the line numbers only in case your source shares them, in parentheses, just after the ending quotation marks and before the final punctuation.

You can find even more poem's quotations samples online!

How to Cite Long Direct Quotations from Poems in MLA?

If you need to quote a longer part (more than three lines of verse), here are the steps to applying MLA style properly in such case.

  • It is recommended to use a free-standing block of text (k.a. block quote)
  • Skip quotation marks
  • Begin to quote directly from a new line
  • Indent the first word of each paragraph only if you have to quote several paragraphs
  • Apply double-space in the quote
  • Involve parenthetical citation which will follow after the final punctuation

Sample 1:

Emily Dickinson concludes "I'm Nobody! Who Are You?" with a characteristically bittersweet stanza:

How dreary to be somebody!

How public, like a frog

To tell your name the livelong June

To an admiring bog! (5-8)

Sample 2:

He celebrated his triumph as quoted in these lines of the poem:

he brought in triumph back the beauteous dame,

With whom her sister, fair Emilia, came.

With honour to his home let Theseus ride,

With Love to friend, and Fortune for his guide (9-12).

Other Rules of Citing Poems

The Golden Rule number one states: if the students quote a poem, they must add valuable feedback or comments to explain why particular lines were chosen to share. It is necessary to inform the reader what you make of this specific quote and why it is important in the context of your essay topic.

You can mix quotations into the sentences of your own. They don't have to be added unless you get your reader ready for them. The best way to do so is shown in the example below:

Alexander Pope's pastoral episode is determined by grief and deep depression, due to the fact that spectator, who is asked to "see gloomy clouds obscure the cheerful day' (5), is present at the funeral.

Make in-text citations of MLA poem using ellipses to point the space which included words you decided to skip. There are many examples like 'on the... different shores of the Dream" (23). Each time you make tiny adjustments to grammar, type in brackets (example: The speaker states that "Darkling [he listens]" (51).).

How to Cite a Poem - Final Recommendations

Apply 3-spaced period to highlight omissions. It does not matter whether the quote is long or really short, a student has to modify some of the given information in it to fit the sentence requirements. Skip anything from the poem quotation which sounds insignificant for your main idea. It is simple to exclude unnecessary parts: indicate such parts with 3-spaced periods (...).

Add square brackets in order to include your own interpretations within citations. If you insert words of your authorship to integrate the cited part into your train of discourse or to interpret words that might be ambiguous, paste square-shaped brackets around these words.

Remember: you should not overload your text with quotations from the discussed poem. Quote the words of others without getting too enthusiastic. Direct citations have to occupy only a small part of your entire essay. Paraphrasing or rewriting some words from the poem is a better way to recall certain episodes. Still, poem quotation is one of the best methods to prove you've really read the text.

If you experience difficulties when you add quotes from the chosen poems, you may find something even more effective than examples found on the web. No more need to read thick manuals with guidelines on specific formats with our professional academic writing and formatting website by your side. We can handle any poetry to win an A+ mark for you - just place your order today!


WE CAN WRITE FOR YOU ANY ACADEMIC TASK!

 Require academic assistance? – Get it right here and right now! 

Get a price quote & proceed with the order!

0 Thoughts to “How Do You Quote Lyrics In An Essay

Leave a comment

L'indirizzo email non verrà pubblicato. I campi obbligatori sono contrassegnati *