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A Comprehensive Guide to Citing Block Quotes in MLA

UserSienna Kelly time27 January,2021

If you are wondering how to block quote in MLA, you have arrived at the right place. The block quote is used for direct quotations. Typically these are longer than four lines of prose, or longer than three lines of poetry. And it is always used in plays, when quoting dialogue between characters. In this blog, you will also get to see block quote in MLA examples.

How To Block Quote MLA

The Authentic MLA Block Quote Format

A block quote in MLA is set on a new line, indented 0.5 inches, with no quotation marks. And as far as the in-text citation is concerned, it goes after the period at the end of the block quote.

The quote must be surrounded by double quotation marks. In the in-text citation, provide the author and particular page number (in the case of verse, provide line numbers).  And provide a full reference in the Works Cited page. Make sure that the punctuation marks such as periods, commas, and semicolons should appear after the parenthetical citation.

Hopefully, you have some insight into how to cite quotes in MLA. When you take a look at the examples below, you will have a greater understanding of the concept.

How to Block Quotes in MLA?

Now, let us take an in-depth look into the subject matter. It involves 3 steps, which you must follow chronologically.

  • Present the Quote

In your own terms, add block quotes. Start with a sentence or two that tells the reader why the quote is used in your statement and how it fits in. Add a colon after the introductory sentence and then begin the quote on a new line.

  • Format the quotation

The block quote should be double spaced, like the rest of your MLA format paper. The entire quote is indented half an inch from the left margin, which is the standard MLA block quote format. Include in the original text the same capitalization, punctuation, and line breaks as they appear.

  • Comment on the Quote

Once you have cited the quote (as mentioned above), you have to analyze or comment on the quoted text. Be careful not to end the paragraph with a block quote.

In the next section, we will study various examples.

Block Quote MLA Examples that You Should Refer to

In case, you are unsure what is MLA formatting for quotes; you should take a look at the following examples.

Short Quotations

When you are citing short quotes in your assignments, you must include question marks or quotations if they are a part of the text.

  1. It is a known fact that “the world is all about you” (Tolkien 56). Many look forward to building good fortune, settle down and continue flourishing.
  2. As per some people, dreams portray “Profound aspects of personality” (Foulkes 184), though others might disagree.

All you have to do is specify the name of the author and the page number.

Long Quotations

Here, you will get to see the MLA format for long quotes.  

  1. In Moses and Monotheism, Sigmund Freud maintains that the effect of a traumatic event need not appear right after the incident. It takes time to manifest. He opines that:

                        It may happen that a man who has experienced some frightful accident—a

                        railway collision, for instance—leaves the scene of the event apparently

                        uninjured. In the course of the next few weeks, however, he develops a

                        number of severe psychical and motor symptoms which can only be traced

                        to his shock, the concussion or whatever else it was. (Freud, 1990, XIII:

                        309)

2) Dr Mortimer, in The Hound of Baskervilles, had something interesting to say about the origin of the legend. He said,

“Know then that in the time of the Great Rebellion (the history of which by the learned Lord Clarendon I most earnestly commend to your attention) this Manor of Baskerville was not held by Hugo of that name, nor can it be gainsaid that he was a most wild, profane, and godless man. This, in truth, his neighbours might have pardoned, seeing that saints have never flourished in those parts, but there was in him a certain wanton and cruel humour which made his name a by-word through the West. It chanced that this Hugo came to love (if, indeed, so dark a passion may be known under so bright a name) the daughter of a yeoman who held lands near the Baskerville estate. But the young maiden, being discreet and of good repute, would ever avoid him, for she feared his evil name” (Doyle, 1901)

Hopefully, now you have a clear understanding of formatting long quotes.

Omitting or Adding Quotations

The MLA format for block quotes is also used when you add or omit texts. If you wish to add words in a quotation, you should put brackets around the words to indicate that they are not a part of the original text.

  1. In the essay on urban legends, Jan Harold Brunvand says that "some individuals [who pass on the urban legends] make a point of learning every rumor or tale" (78)

Now, if you wish to omit certain texts in an original passage, you should indicate by using three ellipses followed by a space.

  1. We all have to take hard decisions in life, and arrive at crossroads. It can be best explained by the poem The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, ….

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

The examples will help you have a clear insight into how to block quotes in MLA. 

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