APA Style Quick Tips: Citing long quotes

Only a few weeks left to complete your final papers and projects—have you started writing yet?

If you’re in the process of writing, you may have come across a big chunk of information in one of your sources that you want to include in its entirety. Do you know how to format a long quote or paraphrase in APA Style?

Citing apa style editing











Sounds complicated, right? The Online Librarians are here to help you decipher this rule!

1. If it’s more than 40 words, make it a “block quotation.”

Block quotation format allows long quotations and paraphrases to be easily identified in your essays. Your reader will quickly see which ideas are your ideas, and which ideas come from someone else.

Forty words is about as long as three short sentences, so if your quotation is four sentences or more, it’s a good rule of thumb to indent it. You can also highlight the quote in Microsoft Word and check the word count of the block of text only. The word count will display in the lower left of Microsoft Word.

2. No quotation marks needed.

The indented style of the block quote serves the same purpose as quotation marks. It signals that the block of text is someone else’s idea. Therefore, you don’t need to include quotation marks at the beginning and end when you use block quotation format.

3. Use the tab key to indent the entire section.

The tab key on your keyboard will indent the block about a half inch from the left margin. Simply tab the first line, then move your cursor to the next line and hit the tab key again. The whole section should indent.

If not, you can also highlight the block of text and use the indentation button in the paragraph tools section of Microsoft Word. Here’s what the indentation button looks like: 

4. Double space throughout.

Not a whole lot of explanation here, just keep double spacing like you would in the rest of your essay. It keeps the style consistent.

5. In-text citation at the end.

Don’t forget to include your in-text citation at the end to show your readers where the information came from.

6. Use sparingly!

Block quotations are handy when you have a really interesting piece of information that you want to include—but don’t go quote crazy! Remember that your essay or project is meant to showcase your ideas. The purpose of including a quote or paraphrase is to explain how it supports your argument or inspired your own thoughts on the subject. If your essay or project is starting to look quotation heavy, incorporate more of your own ideas on why the quotations are important.

If you have more questions about APA style citations, check out the library’s APA Citation Guide, join an APA Citation Webinar, or ask a librarian!