Connect With Us:

Find us! Follow us!
Block formatting – How, when, and why Block formatting is used to distinguish long quotations. Definitions of "long" vary across styles. Our editors use APA's rule: Quotations of 40 words or more are considered "long". Two rules are always applied for block formatting:

(1) Indent the desired quote.
(2) Remove quotation marks.
(Indenting essentially replaces the quotation marks.)


The example below shows what a block formatted quote generally looks like:

Some smaller details may vary depending on your paper: Our editors will try to uphold the patterns that you already have in place. For example, punctuation could vary slightly around the citation placement. The presentation of ellipses, which are used to indicate that some text has been omitted from the quotation, could vary slightly too. The two block formatting rules, however, will stay consistent: The long quotation is indented, and the quotation marks have been deleted.

As a final warning... use block quotations sparingly! And more importantly, try to use them as evidence, not argument. Ideally, any block formatted content will be introduced with some paraphrasing and then followed by reflection or explanation. Your analysis should always ultimately be expressed in your own words.