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2 Tutorials that teach MLA Format: Long Quotes
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MLA Format: Long Quotes

MLA Format: Long Quotes

Author: Sydney Bauer

This lesson goes over how to format longer quotes in MLA style.

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Long Quote: Block Quote

This block quote makes the assumption that the writer has already introduced both the author and the work, which is why the author is referred to by last name only and the work is not named in the sentence introducing the block quote or page citation.

When inserting a block quote, it is a good idea to spend some time introducing the author and the work before you insert the quote. Block quotes take up a lot of space, especially in shorter papers. Writers need a good reason to use them. 

Whether a quote is long or short, writers should only use quotes when they are discussing the specific language within the quote; when the wording or phrasing of the quote is so specific to the topic that it is best to keep the statement in its original form; or when the wording is crucial to understanding the statement. 

After introducing and inserting the block quote, the writer needs to explain the connection between the quote and his or her writing. Never leave a reader guessing about why you've dropped a quote into your paper. 

Using the block quote from the example above, the writer would most likely elaborate on how an audience might use genre titles (like romantic comedy or horror) to form expectations, and how this is exactly what Albee is trying to avoid. The writer might go on to attempt to prove that the author (Albee) might be influenced by the Theater of the Absurd, but is not attempting to make that type of theatrical performance. With each piece of reasoning the writer would provide specific examples from texts as support or evidence. 

As you might of guessed, quotations take a lot of time and effort if they are to be effective in your papers. Make sure you meet their needs when you use them. 

MLA Format: Long Quotes