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Tuesday, 25 November 2014 00:00

How to Write APA Poems

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In college, your English Literature professor has assigned you to analyze a poem from 19th century Britain. He wants it done in APA format. As a freshman in college, you are unfamiliar with APA format. APA stands for American Psychological Association. APA papers are generally written in behavioral sciences, social sciences, and education. This guide will assist you in writing an analysis of a poem in APA format.

First, read the poem. Note the title, author, time period that the poem was written. As you read the poem, note how the stanzas are arranged, the tone of the poem, the thematic elements, characterization, point-of-view, grammar, punctuation, and other elements. Take notes line by line and take into consideration what the author of the poem is trying to communicate.

When you have completed analyzing your poem, begin writing for your rough draft. The paper you should print for your rough draft is 8.5” by 11” with 1” margins on all sides. The paper needs to be double spaced. Type in 12-point Times New Roman or Courier (serif typeface). Figure labels are typed in 12-point Arial, Helvetica, or any sans serif typeface.

Number each page, beginning with the title page. Figures and artwork are not numbered. Page numbers need to be located in the upper right corner of the page. The title’s first words should be in the right corner of every page, except for pages with figures and artwork.

At the top of every page is the running head. The running head should be 50 characters and in all capital letters. Your paper should be arranged in this manner: Title Page, Abstract, Introduction, Research, and References. Your title should be short and concise, and not more than ten to twelve words. Center the title on the top of the page and put the title in sentence case. On the new line, center your first name, middle initial, and last name. If you have a suffix in your name (like Jr. or III), put a space between the last name and the suffix. The name of your college or university should be listed on a new line. List the city or state, if the place where you conducted research is not at a college or a university. If you are located outside the United States, list the city, state or province, and the country.

The abstract is a clear, short summary of your poem. Beginning with page two, the paragraph should be at most 120 words. In this section, the most important details of your paper should be highlighted. Abbreviations and special terms (except units of measurement) should be labeled in this section. If you have previous research on your topic, it needs to be cited here.

Listed on the third page is the introduction. You can put the background information of your poem and a brief biography of the author.

In the research portion, which is the bulk of your paper, first begin with a paragraph which contains your thesis statement about the poem. Your thesis statement analyzes the poem’s significance.

As you write your thesis, introduce the paragraphs through topic sentence. Sentences in the paragraph need to be evidence to help support the viewpoint of the topic sentence. This is where you integrate your material from your prior analysis of the poem into your paper. You make an internal citation by using (Author, page number) of the source that you are referencing.

In your conclusion, you can state that your thesis statement has been supported by presenting ample evidence. Remind the reader of the points that you have made in the thesis statement and ways that these points are connected.

For your reference page, you list the sources of your research paper. To properly cite your references, go to the Purdue OWL Writing Lab (

A poem is a piece of literature, which can have many interpretations. By using the APA format, the poem’s analysis can be structured in an effective manner

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