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APA Block Quote Format

As you are weeding through the complex language of your APA paper, you might find yourself needing to use a long quote or a block quotation. In APA 7, direct quotations that are 40 words or longer must be set off in a block quote. Like any writing style, an APA block quote needs to follow a specific format. Learn the rules to create a perfect APA block quote in your research paper.

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APA Block Quote Format

If you have a quote that is more than 40 words, you need to format it per the APA guidelines for a block quote. When creating an APA block quote, keep these guidelines in mind.

  1. Start the quotation on a new line.
  2. Indent the block 0.5 inches from the margin.
  3. Do not put quotation marks around the block quote.
  4. Use double spacing for the entire quote.
  5. If the block quote consists of more than one paragraph, indent the first line of the second paragraph 0.5 inches.
  6. If you place the parenthetical (in-text) citation at the end of the block, put it after the final period.
  7. Include the author’s last name in the citation. Use the company name or title if author’s name is unavailable.
  8. The date of the work follows the author’s name.
  9. Use p. for a single page number, pp. for multiple page numbers, and para. to indicate the paragraph in online sources.

Introducing a Block Quote APA

In addition to formatting, it’s pivotal to introduce a block quote in your own words. This helps to show the reader how the quote fits into your paper. Additionally, you’ll use a colon to start your APA block quote.

Block Quote Introduction Example

Addiction in America is skyrocketing and taking the lives of our loved ones, resulting in more than 150,000 deaths per year in 2020. A recent editorial in the Washington Post argued:

The addiction crisis…

APA Block Quote Example

While words can tell you what to do, check out this example to see a block quotation APA style in action.

example APA block quote

Note: Use the exact quote as published. If there are spelling or grammatical errors, enclose sic in brackets after the error.


Block Quotation With Author At Beginning

When it comes to creating your block quote, you can have your author at the beginning of the quote. When you use a quote in this way, include the author and year of the work in the line before the quote. The page number is then at the end of the APA block quote.

Author Beginning APA block Quote Example

Wetli (2019) in her literature review about inclusivity in archival spaces, noted that:

Scholar’s [sic] view archives as the custodial spaces of history and its artifacts, a model which predicates ownership, power, and control. To negate this, many organizations [natural museums and large libraries] have moved towards a model of stewardship. These institutional archives work cooperatively with the communities whose histories they are preserving by providing stable infrastructure, training, and technological support. (p. 4)

Note: Use brackets to insert your own words within a quotation


Reference Citation Example

Wetli, A. (2019). Promoting inclusivity in the archive: A literature review reassessing tradition through theory and practice. School of Information Student Research Journal, 8(2). http://scholarworks.sjsu.edu/slissrj/vol8/iss2/4

APA Block Quotation With Author at End

Depending on your block quote, your citation might work better at the end of the block quote. In this instance, you still set the block quote off with an introduction, but you include the author, date, and page number at the end of your in-text citation.

Author at End APA Block Quote Example

A keen understanding of science is key to understanding the world as you can see in his book, Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation:

Science is the key to our future, and if you don’t believe in science, then you’re holding everybody back. And it’s fine if you as an adult want to run around pretending or claiming that you don’t believe in evolution, but if we educate a generation of people who don’t believe in science, that’s a recipe for disaster. We talk about the Internet. That comes from science. Weather forecasting. That comes from science. The main idea in all of biology is evolution. To not teach it to our young people is wrong. (Nye, 2014. p. 62)

Reference Citation Example

Nye, B. (2014). Undeniable: Evolution and the science of creation. St. Martin’s Press.

Tips for Using Block Quotes in APA

When it comes to using block quotes in your APA paper, it’s all about balance. Your professor or audience wants to hear your thoughts or research. Overusing block quotes can quickly overtake the voice of the paper, making it no longer your voice. Instead, use block quotes to emphasize and prove the points, making them stronger.

Why Use Block Quotes?

Since block quotes can get overused in the paper, why should you use block quotes at all? The answer to that question is pretty simple. APA format papers are written for social science fields such as psychology. As such, the material tends to be complex using high language. Therefore, when you’re preparing your APA 7 paper, you may find yourself using longer quotations from other researchers to strengthen your argument.

Direct Quotes and Paraphrasing in APA

To ensure you don’t go overboard, integrate short quotations (fewer than 40 words) within the sentence to show your points. Just remember to include the author, date, and page number to show you’re using someone else’s words.

Direct Quote Example in APA

As Babbie (2014) mentions, the survey method is “probably the best method available to the social researcher who is interested in collecting original data for describing a population too large to observe directly” (p. 118).

Block Quote for Truth

APA format papers can take some time to master. Including quotations, even longer ones, is an excellent way to demonstrate your understanding of the topic in your APA paper, literature review, or APA abstract. You can also show how the quote bolsters your thesis or purpose statement. As always, follow your assignment rubric as some teachers may require a certain number of quotations. And, if you need more formatting help, check out APA format guidelines.

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FAQ APA Block Quote Format

How do you block quote in APA?

In APA to make a block quote, you need to indent the entire passage 1/2 inch. Additionally, you need to include a lead-in sentence and a citation. The citation can be at the beginning or end of the quote.

Do you use quotation marks for block quotes APA?

No, when you use a block quote in APA, you do not include quotation marks. To set the block quote off, you indent the entire passage 1/2 inch.

What is a block quotation example?

An example of a block quote includes any passage you cite that is more than 40 words. The block quote consists of a lead-in line, and it is set off with a 1/2 inch indent for the entire passage. You also need to include a citation, either at the beginning or end of the passage.

How do you quote a quote in APA?

When it comes to using a quote of a quote in APA, you need to cite both the original source and the source you used. An example of a quote within a quote citation in APA:
(Barette, 2007, as cited in Dreven, 2020, p. 210)

How do you format a block quote?

To format a block quote in APA, you indent the entire passage 1/2 inch. Additionally, you include a line that leads into the quote, and you finish it off with a citation.

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