Quoting sources is crucial in academic writing. It shows you’ve read up on your subject. It also lets you back up arguments with evidence and ideas from other people. But if you’re quoting a long passage of text, there are rules you need to follow to make sure your work is presented correctly.
That’s why we’ve prepared this handy guide on how (and when) to use block quotes.
What are Block Quotes?
Block quotes are longer passages of quoted text that have been set apart from your own writing. This ensures that the reader does not confuse the quoted text with your own writing.
When Should I Use a Block Quote?
Generally speaking, block quotes should be used sparingly. This is particularly true in academic writing, since you need to show you can express your ideas in your own words.
However, quoting a longer passage now and then is fine, especially if your arguments rely on how something is worded (e.g., when analyzing a literary text).
A good rule of thumb is using a block quote for quotations that are more than 40 words long. If you’re using a particular style guide, though, it might have specific guidelines. For example: