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Skidmore Guide to Writing Index
Quotations--Longer or Block Quotations


Earlier in this guide, we recommended that you double-space your papers. Continue to use double-spacing when you quote a long passage but indent ten spaces from the left margin to clearly distinguish blocked quotations from your own text. (Prior editions of the MLA Style Sheet used single-spacing for blocked quotations.) The right margin does not need any adjustment. Longer or block quotations, (four or more lines of prose; three or more lines of poetry) usually follow an introductory sentence ending with a colon. This placement on the page identifies the passage as a quotation; therefore, you do not need quotation marks at the beginning and end of the quotation. Since block quotations usually are not part of your own sentence, place the parenthetical citation at the end of the passage, two spaces after the final period. However, when a block quotation is part of your own sentence, place the period after the parenthetical reference, as with a short quotation.

Since block quotations usually are not part of your own sentence, place the parenthetical citation at the end of the passage, two spaces after the final period. However, when a block quotation is part of your own sentence, place the period after the parenthetical reference, as with a short quotation.

     Brown cites China as the one country that has tried to deal directly with its own staggering population problem:

     While most countries now officially encourage family planning, China is the first to undertake national birth planning. Each year, Beijing establishes a national birth quota as an integral part of overall economic planning.... These quotas are then translated into birth permits, made on the basis of the couple's age and their current number of children. A newly married couple in their late twenties would be high on the eligibility list while a couple in their mid-twenties with a newborn infant might be encouraged to wait a few years before having another child. (158)

 

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