How To Cite Lyrics In A Research Paper – Expert Suggestions

Adding lyrics to a research paper can bring a much needed relevancy to the project. While it is often easy for students to choose where to add lyrics in a writing project, it is not as easy to do it correctly. Like any other quoted material, lyrics need to be properly cited. Students are often at a loss regarding how to cite them correctly. Here are some suggestions from the experts:

  1. Check out a sample research paper. Many students will include lyrics in their papers. If the projectrs are available online or if your instructor is willing to share a sample, you can use that to guide your work. Be sure to not only cite them properly in the text, but also in the bibliography section, too. Notice the way the lyricist is mentioned in the bibliography and what is inside of the parenthesis or in the endnotes of the text.
  2. Use your style guide. Most style guides will have the rules for citing lyrics in a formal essay or research paper. Since many instructors require their students to use them on a regular basis, you should be able to find the answers you need by checking out the index or the table of contents.
  3. Use an online style guide. There are several online writing websites that include the styles for the MLA, APA, and Chicago Style papers. The key to finding a reliable online writing site is to look at who is sponsoring it. The best ones come from big universities, because they are constantly updated by graduate students, or other degree-seeking students. You should be able to find a good sample paper as well as the citation for a bibliography page.
  4. Understand there are length requirements. When you insert lyrics in your writing assignment you have to consider the amount of lines that are allowed. Different lengths might need to look different in the project. In some cases, you might have to indent the entire length of the lyrics you use. In some cases, you will not have to indent at all. You might also need to use specific punctuation to show line changes.
  5. Ask your instructor. If you are still unsure how to include lyrics in your paper, the last resort is to ask your instructor for assistance. In most cases, instructors will know where to look for the answers and they might even know from memory.

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