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How to Cite Song Lyrics in MLA Format

by Sara Hickman, Demand Media

    When you write a paper or thesis, you must cite any material used to draw conclusions. Without citations you are plagiarizing other people's work. Even if you use a song lyric it is important to note who wrote the lyrics as well as what song the lyrics are from. Most schools require you use MLA citation to note where quotes came from. It is simple to write but there is a specific order you must use to cite a lyric.

    Step 1

    Start by writing the lyricist's last name and first name. For example: Bon Jovi, Jon.

    Step 2

    Write the lyrics you used in the paper next. For example: Bon Jovi, Jon. We're halfway there, oh we're living on a prayer.

    Step 3

    Write the song title in quotations. For example: Bon Jovi, Jon. We're halfway there, oh we're living on a prayer. "Livin' on a Prayer."

    Step 4

    Write the album title next. For example: Bon Jovi, Jon. We're halfway there, oh we're living on a prayer. "Livin' on a Prayer." Slippery When Wet.

    Step 5

    Write if the song is on CD, cassette or mp3. For example: Bon Jovi, Jon. We're halfway there, oh we're living on a prayer. "Livin' on a Prayer." Slippery When Wet. CD.

    Step 6

    Write the record company's name next. For example: Bon Jovi, Jon. We're halfway there, oh we're living on a prayer. "Livin' on a Prayer." Slippery When Wet. CD. Island/Mercury.

    Step 7

    Write the year of release next. For example: Bon Jovi, Jon. We're halfway there, oh we're living on a prayer. "Livin' on a Prayer." Slippery When Wet. CD. Island/Mercury. 1986.

    Step 8

    Write the name of the website you got the lyrics from if applicable. Write the name, date you accessed information and completed with the URL (starting with http://).

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    About the Author

    Sara Hickman owns a preschool science-based entertainment business in the Greater Cincinnati area. She has a bachelor's degree in communication and psychology from the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point.

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