Block Quote for Long Quotations in APA formatting

While some students prefer to summarize or paraphrase source materials in their writing, a lot of students will use quotes to help make their points or to support their arguments. However, many students will then use quotes that are too long, and then don’t know how to properly format them in APA formatting.

APA formatting has some specific requirements on how to format any quote that is longer than 3 lines in length. These quotes should not be integrated into a paragraph in the same way as smaller quotes would be. In fact, they have different requirements.

For quotes longer than 3 lines in length, they need to be:

  • They should be introduced in the paragraph before the block quote.
  • They should have a 1 inch left indentation for the entire quote.
  • They should have no first line indentations, like body paragraphs have.
  • They should have a citation at the end, which will include the page or paragraph number
  • They should NOT have any quotation marks around them. However, if there are quotations in the quote itself, they can be present as normal.

For example, a block quote might look like this:

The Pearson Education group pushes for why education is so important in their article, “The Importance of Education.” They specifically point out that:

Governments are investing more than ever before on educating their citizens, eager for them to compete in the global workforce. A growing global middle class is spending more of its own money on educating their families. Employers are looking for a new sort of colleague – someone with the skills to flourish in the 21st century. Combined with technologies that continue to develop at breakneck speed, the result is a world that has the want, and the means, to learn at scale. (n.d., para. 2)

As you can see, it is vital that employers invest in educated employees in order to keep up with progressive technologies.


Pearson Education. (n.d.). The Importance of Education. Retrieved from  


Keep in mind that with APA formatting, quotes should always have a page or paragraph number. If there is no date available, then the date must be listed as n.d. (for no date). Otherwise, there should be a publication year included. Also, unlike in other citation situations, the period should come before the citation instead of after it. 

No matter whether you use long quotes or short quotes in your writing, keep in mind that you don’t want to overwhelm your reader with too many quotes, and you should always introduce and analyze those quotes so your reader knows why they are there, and why they matter!

It is generally suggested that a paper should be no more than 20% quoted material. The rest should be your own writing.

Remember, the reader wants to “hear” what you are saying about the topic, not just what other people are saying. Use the quotes to emphasize your points and to help support your arguments – don’t use them to make your arguments for you!

Jenny Mark

Jenny Mark is a graduate of California State University of San Bernardino and lives in Southern California. She is a part time professor for Baker College, Southern New Hampshire University, Vista College, and Baker College. She teachs composition, creative writing, and essential college skills. Check out her blog at

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