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MLA Style: Writing & Citation

Block Quotations

What Is a Block Quotation?

If your quotation extends to more than four lines as you're typing your essay, it should be put into a 'block' format. 

Rules for Block Quotations

There are 4 rules that apply to long quotations that are different from regular quotations:

  1. The line before your block quotation, when you're introducing the quote, ends with a colon.
  2. The bock quotation is indented half an inch from the rest of the text, so it looks like a block of text.
  3. There are no quotation marks needed when using block quotes.
  4. The period at the end of the quotation comes before your in-text citation as opposed to after, as it does with regular quotations.

Example of a Long Quotation

At the end of Lord of the Flies the boys are struck with the realization of their behaviour:

The tears began to flow and sobs shook him. He gave himself up to them now for the first time on the island; great, shuddering spasms of grief that seemed to wrench his whole body. His voice rose under the black smoke before the burning wreckage of the island; and infected by that emotion, the other little boys began to shake and sob too. (Golding 186)

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