Certain features require a modern browser to function.
Please use a different browser, like Firefox, Chrome, or Safari

Block quotes in APA


Create Citations for Free

Direct quotation

A direct quotation is used when you want to quote published content without paraphrasing it. Although paraphrasing is important, it is sometimes allowed to quote the content directly to create emphasis.

Block quote

A block quote is a type of direct quote (the other one being “short quote” used in the text). It is used when the number of words taken verbatim from the published work is greater than or equal to 40 words.

Citing a source

If the source appears as a parenthetical citation after the block quote, cite the author name, year, and page number in parenthesis after the final punctuation of the block quote. If the source is narrative, include the author’s name and year in the text and include the page number after the final punctuation of the block quote.

As a parenthetical citation

A researcher has explored:

Milošević’s regime led the country into sanctions and had taken Serbia from the largest republic in the internationally respected and cosmopolitan Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to a pariah country plagued by nationalism, haunted by war crimes, and devastated by economic insecurity. (Greenberg, 2014, p. 5)

As a narrative citation

Storeng and Béhague (2014) identify:

Some safe motherhood experts are resisting and modifying these authoritative paradigms and couching [their] ideological and moral convictions in the language of scientific evidence for the sake of political expediency. (p. 274)

Block quotes with more than one paragraph

If a block quote has more than one paragraph, the first line of each of the subsequent paragraphs is indented 1.0 inch from the left margin.

There are lots of doctors who unfortunately think that this evidence is not reliable, that its manipulated. The oldest ones, the professors, defend caesarean. It’s difficult for someone to change, who has practiced in a certain way for their whole life.

The doctors have access to the same scientific evidence that we doulas and humanised doctors have. But they keep telling the pregnant women that episiotomy is better, that it’s necessary. (Irvine, 2021, p. 15)

Omitting content

If you want to omit some content from a block quote, use ellipsis (…) in place of the removed content. Remember to add space before and after the ellipsis. Never introduce or end a block quote with an ellipsis unless the quote you are referring to itself begins or ends with an ellipsis. If the content at the end of one sentence and at the beginning of the next sentence is omitted, use a period followed by an ellipsis (. …).

Science says that a trained companion is the sole intervention with the most significant impact on outcomes. …Fewer c-sections, less use of anaesthesia, pain killers, medications. (Kozhimannil et al., 2013)

Inserting content

If you want to introduce emphasis, add words or phrases for more clarity, or mention the error in the original quoted content, you can mention them in square brackets inside the block quote.

Introducing emphasis

Ten years ago, rupturing membranes to induce labour was considered absurd [emphasis added] in these hospitals. This has changed a lot. In 2006, São Luis opened the first sala de parto.

The phrase “considered absurd” has been italicized, which was not in the original source. Therefore, it is mentioned as [emphasis added] in square brackets after the phrase.

Introducing text

I suffered obstetric violence from an obstetric nurse…in 35 years I haven’t been able to forget. …It’s the same for all of us [women]. During labour, we are abused.

The word “us” does not clarify who it refers to. Therefore, [women] is added in square brackets to clarify that it refers to women.

Error in quote

The appropriation of women’s bodies and reproductive processes by health professionals though [sic] dehumanised treatment, drug abuse and pathologisation of natural processes…

The word “though” should be “through.” To inform the reader that the typo is present in the original source, [sic] is added after the word. Note that sic is added in italics.

Citation in block quotes

If the block quote you are using has citations included in it, do not delete the citation. However, you need not add the details of such citations in your reference list unless you cite them in your work.

This increasing medicalisation of childbirth tends to undermine the woman’s own capacity to give birth and negatively impacts her childbirth experience (WHO 2018: 1). The WHO guidelines reflect a consensus among global maternal health experts that maternal health care should be “normalised” where possible, based on the understanding that birth is a normal physiological process that can be accomplished without intervention for most women.

Rules and guidelines


  • Always begin block quotes on a new line.
  • Indent block quotes 0.5 inch from the left margin.
  • Always double-space a block quote.
  • Enclose quoted content appearing inside a block quote in double quotation marks. Change single quotation marks to double quotation marks.


  • Do not use quotation marks for block quotes.
  • Never italicize a block quote.
  • Do not add any line space above or below block quotes.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?