Quoting Song Lyrics In Essay

I love music. I’ve been teaching myself to play guitar, and I can stumble my way through four or five songs without wanting to poke holes in my eardrums, but my main appreciation for music is when other people play it. I’m an avid Spotify user, and I take a lot of pride in my ability to make kickass playlists. One of my girlfriends has even given me the green light to create her hypothetical wedding reception playlist.

So obviously, when I write about a song or album, I know when to use quotation marks and when to use italics. Let’s discuss.

Photo by Jo.Anne11

Here’s how it works:

Song Titles in “Quotes”

Song titles are always surrounded by quotation marks, like *NSYNC’s “Bye Bye Bye,” or “A Whole New World” from Disney’s Aladdin.

Album Titles in Italics

Album titles, on the other hand, are always italicized. For example, while I will openly admit to loving Journey’s power ballad “Faithfully,” I think pretty much every song on their Greatest Hits album should be sung at karaoke nights across the country.

Other Italics Questions

Of course, lots more media have titles than just songs and albums. There are books, short stories, podcasts, TV shows, episodes . . . the list goes on and on. Want more italics advice? Check out our ultimate title-writing guide for answers to all your italics conundrums.

PRACTICE

Sunday night was the closing ceremony of the Olympics, and I don’t know if you were paying attention, but the Spice Girls were there and dancing it up (well, except for Posh).

Take fifteen minutes and write about the hypothetical conversation the ladies of the group had in determining the songs they would play for the ceremony (or any other band in any other situation is fine too). Post your practice in the comments, and leave notes for other writers brave enough to publish as well.

Liz Bureman

Liz Bureman has a more-than-healthy interest in proper grammatical structure, accurate spelling, and the underappreciated semicolon. When she's not diagramming sentences and reading blogs about how terribly written the Twilight series is, she edits for the Write Practice, causes trouble in Denver, and plays guitar very slowly and poorly. You can follow her on Twitter (@epbure), where she tweets more about music of the mid-90s than writing.


How to put lyrics into an Essay?


I'm writing my research paper on music as a form of protest and I need examples of the specific artists I want to use, their lyrics. But I have no idea how I put them into the essay. The lyrics. It's confusing me and I don't think I type them like I would a normal quotation?

You can use Harvard quotation style e.g. "lyrics" (Artist, year), and at the end of the paper you mention artist's name, the year when the song was realized, song's name, the person who wrote the lyrics, and you can also post the link with the lyrics and the day you have accessed the link. :)
Great question! Catalina's idea is a good one, and in fact I encourage you to write the paper and stop thinking about it for now. Just get your paper written. It is easy to write if you stay in that creative state of mind that makes the ideas flow from your mind.

When you finish, you can format it like this:
"Just one world that we all must share / not enough just to stand and stare" (author name).
A slash mark is used to separate the lines.

:-)


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