Double quotation marks are used to signal a short direct quotation (four
lines or fewer of text).
Marcia stated, "You must bring your book to every class."
NOTE: Indirect discourse (someone's words quoted inexactly) does not require
Marcia had reminded the students to bring their books.
Single quotation marks punctuate a quotation within a quotation.
"I never read 'The Raven'!"
Use explanatory remarks to transition into quoted material.
At the beginning (comma follows your explanatory remark):
Patrick Henry said, "Give me liberty or give me death."
At the end (comma follows the quoted material):
"Give me liberty or give me death," said Patrick Henry.
In the middle (commas follow the quoted material and your attributive
"Give me liberty," said Patrick Henry, "or give me death."
Block quotes (four or more lines of quotation) should be set off from your
text and NOT put in quotation marks.
For MLA documentation of a block quote:
A quote of more than four typed lines of prose or more than three lines of
poetry should be double spaced and indented one inch from the left margin. A
signal phrase should introduce the quote and be followed by a colon:
At the meeting, the University president discussed the parking
Available parking on the University campus is generally
adequate. However, during special events students and staff have difficulty
finding convenient parking. Sometimes no parking is available. To alleviate this
problem in the future, off-site parking will be secured and shuttle buses will
For APA documentation of a block quote:
For quotes containing 40 or more words, the quotation should be double spaced
and indented one-half inch from the left