Answered By: Theresa Bell
Last Updated: Nov 15, 2017     Views: 1330

According to the APA Style rules, a quotation with 40 words or more needs to be formatted as a block quotation, which means that the entire quotation begins on a new line and is left-aligned but indented one tab space (i.e., the same position as a new paragraph). See below for an example:

If the quotation comprises 40 or more words, display it in a freestanding block of text and omit the quotation marks. Start such a block quotation on a new line and indent the block about a half inch from the left margin (in the same position as a new paragraph). If there are additional paragraphs within the quotation, indent the first line of each an additional half inch. Double-space the entire paragraph. At the end of a clock quotation, cite the quoted source and the page or paragraph number in parentheses after the final punctuation mark. (American Psychological Association, 2010, p. 171)

Use the same font in your block quotations as you've used in the rest of your text; do not use quotation marks (p. 171). If there is a quotation within the block quotation, use double quotation marks to indicate the quotation (p. 92). See page 171 in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (American Psychological Association, 2010) for examples and more information. Quotations of 400 words or fewer do not need copyright permission (p. 173); however, please consider paraphrasing some of the material if you're working with a quotation of that length as it's unlikely that you actually need to quote everything.

For more information regarding block quotations, please visit "Block Quotations in APA Style" from the APA Style Blog.


American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.