Skip to main content

APA Style: Quoting Sources

Short Quotations

When you include a direct quotation within the text of your paper, always include the author, year, and page number as part of the in-text citation. Enclose any short quotation (fewer than 40 words) in double quotation marks and incorporate it into the formal structure of the sentence. Be sure to type the close parenthesis before the punctuation mark that ends the sentence. For additional examples of in-text citations, refer to the box titled In-Text Citation Examples below.

Short quotation

Long Quotations (block quotes)

A quotation is considered a "long" quotation if it exceeds 40 words. Follow these rules:

  • Start a long quotation on a new line.
  • The quotation should be a 1/2" indented block of text.
  • Do not enclose a long quotation in quotation marks. 
  • If the quotation consists of more than one paragraph, use a 1/2" indent for the second and any subsequent paragraphs.
  • Insert the parenthetical citation after the closing punctuation mark.

Long quotation...

Quotations: Omitting, Adding Words

If you choose to omit a word or words from a quotation, indicate the deletion by using three spaced dots (an ellipsis).

If you choose to add a word or words to a quotation, indicate the insert by enclosing the additions in square brackets.

Omissions, Additions...


When you are referencing the AUTHOR(s) by name in your text, include author name(s) depending on number as listed below, with the date in parentheses after the name(s): 

  • Single Author:  Brainard (2003) argues this point.
  • Two Authors:  Jones and Smith (2005) provide details on this...
  • 3-5 Authors, on first mention in the text:  Brown, Schultz, and Van Pelt (2009) are emphatic about...
    On subsequent mentions:  Brown et al. (2009) disagree with...
  • More than 6 Authors: Martin et al. (1999) insist that this phenomenon...

When you are not naming the AUTHOR in your text:

  • Single Author:  Others argue a different point of view (Brainard, 2003).
  • Two Authors:  The information from some researchers is more detailed (Jones & Smith, 2005).
  • 3-5 Authors, on first mention in the text:  Some researchers stand firm on this point (Brown, Schultz, & Van Pelt, 2009).
    On subsequent mentions:  Additional research is recommended by many (Brown et al., 2009).
  • More than 6 Authors:  The same result is achieved by many (Martin et al., 1999).

For additional help with in-text citations, refer to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Chapter 6, "Crediting Sources."