MLA Block Quotations

Quotations that are more than four lines should be set off from the text of your essay in a block quote. The text you’re quoting should be indented a half inch. Do not add quotation marks for a block quote. All lines of the block quote should be indented a half inch, with the start of any paragraph that occurs within the quoted passage indented another half inch. Remember to introduce your block quote with an explanation that ends with a colon. The parenthetical citation of a block quote follows the last bit of punctuation and follows normal citation guidelines.

A sample block quotation:

A block quote that is correctly formatted and cited.

For poetry, block quotes are used when quoting more than three lines. Each line should be indented a half inch. Spacing such as stanza breaks or other unusual formatting should be preserved to the best of your ability. If a line of poetry is too long to fit on a single line in your block quotation, it should be formatted with a hanging indent.

A sample poetry block quotation:

A properly formatted poetry block quote.

For more help with formatting your paper to meet MLA guidelines, please visit our formatting guide or download our essay template.

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