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

Block quotes in MLA

3
(2)

Direct quotation

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

Block quotation in prose

A block quotation is used in prose when the content taken verbatim from the published work is more than four lines. It is also called a long quotation.

  • Block quotations are indented 0.5 inch from the left margin.
  • Do not give any extra indent to the first line of the block quotation.
  • Do not add quotation marks to the quotation unless the original content has quotation marks.
  • The punctuation before a block quotation should be set according to the connection between the prose and the block quotation.
  • Set the parenthetical citation of the block quotation on the last line of the quotation after a variable space.
  • The punctuation mark of the block quotation should go before the parenthetical citation.
  • The prose following a block quotation should not be indented.

Block quotation beginning after a colon

In Goals, Tracy explains how to practice:

The more you practice what you are learning, the faster you will become competent and skilled in that area. The more you practice, the more confidence you will develop. The more you practice, the more rapidly you will overcome your feelings of inadequacy in that skill and the faster you will master it. The more you practice, the more rapidly you will add that skill to your mental toolbox where you will possess it for the rest of your career. (211)

Block quotation as part of the prose

In Think & Grow Rich, Hill exclaimed and added

What do we say about the Chinese?

        We refuse to believe that which we do not understand. We foolishly believe that our own limitations are the proper measure of limitations. Sure, the other fellow’s eyes “off slant.” BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT THE SAME AS OUR OWN. (28)

Note that subsequent paragraphs in a block quotation should be indented.

Block quotation within a paragraph

For the first few years, he justified his long hours by saying that he was “doing it for the good of the firm,” and that he planned to take a month off and go to the Caymans “next winter for sure.” As time passed, however, Julian’s reputation for brilliance spread and his workload continued to increase. The cases just kept on getting bigger and better, and Julian, never one to back down from a good challenge, continued to push himself harder and harder. (14)

As expected, Julian became enormously successful. He achieved everything could most people ever want.

Block quotation in poetry

A block quotation is used in poetry when the verse runs more than three lines.

  • Block quotation is indented 0.5 inch from the left margin.
  • Do not add quotation marks to the quotation unless the original content has quotation marks.
  • Set the in-text citation of block quotation on the last line of the quotation after a variable space.
  • If the in-text citation of a block quotation does not fit on the last line of the quotation, set it on the next line and flush the citation with the right margin.

The in-text citation is given in parenthesis after the block quotation.

While I am lying on the grass

Thy twofold shout I hear,

From hill to hill it seems to pass,

At once far off, and near. (Wordsworth, 997)

If the in-text citation does not fit on the last line, set the verse as below:

While I am lying on the grass

Thy twofold shout I hear,

From hill to hill it seems to pass,

At once far off, and near.

(Wordsworth, The Cuckoo 997)

If a line of the verse is too long to fit within a line, indent the continuation to show that it is a continuation of the previous line.

I marvel how Nature could ever find space

For so many strange contrasts in one human face:

There’s thought and no thought, and there’s

paleness and bloom

And bustle and sluggishness, pleasure and gloom.

(Wordsworth, A Character 2)

Key takeaways

  • A block quotation is used in prose when the content taken verbatim from the published work is more than four lines.
  • A block quotation is used in poetry when the verse runs more than three lines.
  • Block quotations are indented 0.5 inch from the left margin.
  • Quotation marks are never used unless the original content has quotation marks.

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?