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APA Citation Style (6th ed.): Quotations


Direct quotation of a source is discussed in sections 6.03-6.10 of the Publication manual (6th ed., pp. 170-174), and except as noted must accurately follow the wording, spelling and interior punctuation of the original source.

Use three spaced ellipsis points (. . .  ) to indicate the omission of text from the original source, and use square brackets to enclose additions or explanations inserted into the text of the original source:

Certain details of life at Hogwarts call to mind Molesworth’s earlier scribblings on St. Custard’s. As Nigel observes, “. . . any skool [sic] is a bit of a shambles” (Willans & Searle, 1953, p. 9).

“. . . cannot be undertaken without the parent’s informed and written consent [emphasis added]” (p. 106).

Changes from the original source which do not require explanation include:

  • changing the case of the first letter of the first word
  • changing the punctuation at the end of a sentence
  • changing single to double quotations and vice versa    

Quotation of more than 40 words

Block quote format is used for longer quotations. Do not use quotation marks.  Start the quote on a new line, indented to the same position as a new paragraph (about a half inch or 13 mm). Indent and double space each subsequent line:

This commitment matured in the course of graduate studies:

As I prepared to begin my doctoral research, I clung to one truth that seemed enduring. Qualitative approaches to educational research, approaches that relied on observation, description, and analysis, especially through writing and talking, seemed most consistent with my increasingly complex perspective on literacy and learning, my need as a researcher to tap into deeper social and political forces than I had to date, and my ongoing love for writing as a mode of learning, researching, and creating connection among people. (Nielsen, 1998, p. 57)

Optionally, cite the source in the text used to introduce a quotation, but still supply the pagination at the end of the quotation.

Quotation under 40 words

Incorporate quotations under 40 words into the body of your text, enclosed in double quotation marks:

He also observed that “the intermingling in the school of youth of different races, differing religions, and unlike customs creates for all a new and broader environment” (Dewey, 1916, p. 21).


Dewey (1916) observed that "the intermingling in the school of youth of different races, differing religions, and unlike customs creates for all a new and broader environment" (p. 21).


When to cite

Give credit where credit is due! All the sources that you use must be cited in your text. This principle applies whether you quote directly, summarize, or paraphrase the work of others. For more information on avoiding plagiarism, consult section 1.10 of the APA Publication Manual (6th ed., pp. 15-16; see also “When to cite,” pp. 169-170). For institutional policy at the University of Saskatchewan, see the following resources: Student conduct & appeals, Integrity defined.