Published on August 22, 2014
Formatting Quotations in MLA Short Quotations Less than 4 lines of prose or 3 lines of verse Put the quote in double in double quotation marks Include the author and specific page citation Punctuation marks (like periods, commas, and semicolons) are after the parentheses Question marks and exclamation points are inside the quotation marks unless they are a part of the text, not quote Example: According to some, dreams express "profound aspects of personality" (Foulkes 184), though others disagree. Long Quotations Quotations that are more that four lines of prose or three lines of verse. Place quotations in a free-standing block of text and don’t include quotation marks. The entire quote should be indented one inch from the left margin and keep double-spacing. When citing long sections of poetry, keep it as close to the original as possible. Example: The whiskey on your breath Could make a small boy dizzy; But I hung on like death: Such waltzing was not easy. We Romped until the pans Slid from the kitchen shelf; My mother's countenance Could not unfrown itself. (quoted in Shrodes, Finestone, Shugrue 202) Adding or Omitting Words When adding words, put brackets around them to show that they aren’t part of the original text. When taking out words, you should indicate it by using ellipsis marks, which look like this “(…)”, followed by a space. Example: In an essay on urban legends, Jan Harold Brunvand notes that "some individuals make a point of learning every recent rumor or tale . . . and in a short time a lively exchange of details occurs" (78).