When should a block quotation be used?
When a writer chooses to include a long quotation—one that takes up four or more lines of text—it must be set off as a free standing block. As with any quotation a writer employs as evidence, the original text should contain relevant and compelling ideas that are expressed in vivid and concise language.
Block quotations should be used sparingly in longer essays and articles (multiple pages) and rarely in shorter works (1,500 words or less). Lengthy, wordy quotations should never be used simply to fill pages when the writer has little to say about the topic or issue.
When should long titles be shortened within in-text citations?
In-text citations usually supply the author(s)’ last name to reference their work, but when the source has no known author or more than one source by the same author is cited, the title of the source is inserted instead. When an in-text citation refers to a work with a long title, a shortened phrase from the title should be used.
Care should be taken to shorten the title in such a way that it does not compromise the reader’s ability to locate the source on the Works Cited list.
- Follow MLA guidelines for punctuation surrounding a quotation
- Place the parenthetical citation at the end of the sentence
- Place the end punctuation after the parenthetical in-text citation
- Remove the comma between author’s last name and page number
- Format ellipsis points according to MLA guidelines
- Use brackets to insert or alter words in a direct quotation