3.2 How To Quote

Quotations can be included at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end of a sentence. However, it is a good practice to introduce quotations with some sort of statement that signals to the reader that the wording ahead is from a source, such as in the two examples shown below. ​

Examples in APA Style

Short Quotations (defined in APA Style as quotations of fewer than 40 words) are always enclosed in quotation marks, so the reader knows that these are the EXACT words from the source. Not putting quotation marks around a short quotation is considered plagiarism even if a citation is included, because the absence of quotation marks signals to your reader that the words are your own.

Example: 

One researcher indicates that “the most difficult thing for them was the attitude of their parents” (Crook, 2003, p. 157), while others believe…​

Long Quotations (defined in APA Style as quotations of 40 words or more) are not placed in quotation marks but are instead formatted in a block indented from the remaining text.

Example:

A family’s assessment has a powerful influence on how capable teenagers believe they are. In her study, Crook (2003) found

their expectations became self-fulfilling prophecies; because their families thought they couldn’t do anything, they didn’t think they could either. After all, if the people who knew them best and presumably loved them most thought they were losers, then the family was probably right. (p. 37)​

Can I make changes to a quotation? 

You may omit words from a quotation, but you must indicate that you did so by inserting three spaced dots called an ellipsis. If you change a quotation, for example to make it fit your sentence structure, you must use square brackets to do so.

In the example below, we omitted a part of the quotation, and we indicated this by adding three dots. We also added the word “and” which is put in square brackets because it is not part of the original sentence.

In her study, Crook (2003) found that if teenagers felt that “their families thought they couldn’t do anything, they didn’t think they could either . . . [and] the family was probably right” (p. 37).​

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Academic Integrity Handbook by Donnie Calabrese; Emma Russell; Jasmine Hoover; and Tammy Byrne is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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