The IVCC Stylebook includes examples of citing poetry as does our textbook, pgs. 411-412. But I’ve also included some examples here with “made-up” poems–you will input your own poem’s title, author name, line numbers, and page numbers (when applicable). I’ve included both direct quote and paraphrase/summary citation examples.
Those using the poem “Suicide Note” will reference it as though it comes from our textbook.
These examples are geared toward the Poetry Essay assignment, but please note the three main expectations when including direct quote citation from a poetry in your essay writing:
- Reference the original line breaks of the poem with slashes. Weird yes, but super important because poets toil and cry and obsess over line breaks, so forgetting to reference them could mean that you will be haunted (not bad, eh? this one is good too) by said poet you for the rest of your life. Or receive a reduced grade…
- Use the line numbers from the poem in your parenthetical documentation, not the page number.
- Use block quote formatting when citing more than three lines of the poem. For an example, scroll down to the “if you cite more than three lines of poetry” area of this link.
Poem from our Textbook (or “Suicide Note”)
Direct quote: Regina George’s speaker states, “everyone loves me / I have no flaws” (lines 2-3).
Paraphrase/summary: George’s poem shows readers that high self-esteem doesn’t always correlate to the perspective of others (252).
Poem from Poetry Foundation
Direct quote: Regina George’s speaker states, “Everyone love me / I have no flaws” (lines 2-3).
Strong paraphrase/summary: The speaker in the poem shows readers that high self-esteem doesn’t always correlate to the perspective others have of that individual (George).
Weak paraphrase/summary: George’s poem shows readers that high self-esteem doesn’t always correlate to the perspective others have of that individual.