How to Block Quote in APA Format


American Psychological Association style is a set of guidelines used to format certain types of documents. In APA style, you use a block quote when you have more than 40 words in a quotation. Block quotes have unique margin requirements and do not require quotation marks. APA has strict guidelines that dictate the proper formatting of block quotes.

  • Insert one blank line between the last line of your body text and the first line of your block quote.

  • Indent the block quote 0.5 inch from the left margin. In most word processors, you indent a paragraph by clicking "Format" in the menu bar, then clicking "Paragraph" in the drop-down menu. The dialog box that opens should have an option to set the indent for the whole paragraph. Don't use quotation marks at the beginning or end of the block quote unless the quotation marks are in the original text.

  • Space the block quote identically to the rest of your document. For example, if you document is single spaced, APA format requires that your block quote is also single spaced.

  • Leave one blank line between the last line of your block quote and the continuation of your body text.

  • Check to ensure that your final block quote looks like this quote from Purdue University Online Writing Lab: In-Text Citations -- The Basics. Include the name of the person expressing the quote as well as the page number, as follows:

    Jones's (1998) study found the following:
    Students often had difficulty using APA style,
    especially when it was their first time citing sources.
    This difficulty could be attributed to the fact that many
    students failed to purchase a style manual or to ask
    their teacher for help. (p. 199)

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