How to Cite a Poem Chicago Style the Right Way

By the term "citation" we mean a reference to a published or not published source. It has several important tasks: avoiding plagiarism or maintaining intellectual honesty, providing the sources of ideas for a reader to evaluate the validity of the given data. People often use poems as sources in different academic papers. When it comes to specific literature assignments (e.g., analyzing assigned poems), the first question that arises is “How exactly should I cite a poem?”.


Usually, a poem citing format depends on the referencing style (either it is Chicago/Turabian, APA, MLA or Harvard one). For example, MLA (stands for Modern Language Association) and Harvard styles have fixed rules which authors should follow to make the correct citation, whereas the Chicago/Turabian and APA (stands for American Psychological Association) referencing styles don't have any regulations for in-text poetry citation. This article will cover the most crucial points of how to cite a poem Chicago style.


How to Correctly Cite a Poem According to Chicago style


The latest edition of the Chicago Manual of Style does not implement any specific instructions for poem citing in the bibliography. That is why one needs to look to the guidelines for the most similar source to which the one is using. For example, a person finds a poem in a periodical or magazine. Then the bibliographic citation must begin with the last name of the author, a comma after that followed by his or her first name and a period in the end. After that one should list the name of a poem in quotation marks and put a period after the title and before closing the quotation marks. At last, one should indicate the name of the magazine in italics followed by a comma and the publication date. 


In case the poem is published in a collection, the citation must as well begin with the last and first name of the poet and the title of the poem. However, then one should write a preposition “In” and the name of the book in italics. After that, one places a comma and writes the name of the editor after the words “edited by” followed by another comma. Next one should indicate the number of the page with the poem. After that, one should name the city of publication, put a colon, and close the citation with the publishing house name. Finally, one puts one more comma followed by the year of book publication.


To sum up everything mentioned above, Chicago style has a rather traditional format for poem citing and is common for different works.