Skip to Main Content
a stack of books

Quoting & Paraphrasing


Quoting is using the exact words from the source in your paper. The format of a quotation depends on its length.

Quoting Fewer Than 40 Words

Put the exact words from the source inside double quotation marks.


 “Over the past seven decades, theorists have worked to understand how we can best teach adults” (Cranton, 2000, p. 23).

Notice that all quoted words are inside the quotation marks and that the period is placed after the citation.

Quoting 40 or More Words

A quotation of 40 or more words is formatted as a block quotation, which means

  • do not use quotation marks,
  • begin the quotation on a new line, 
  • indent the whole quotation, and
  • cite the source in parentheses AFTER the quotation's final punctuation.

Parenthetical Citation Example

An example of a block quote showing how all the text that is quoted is indented.

Changes to Direct Quotations

Sometimes it is necessary to make minor changes to integrate a quotation into your sentence. There are four ways you can do this:

Changing Punctuation

The punctuation mark at the end of the sentence from the original source can be changed to fit your sentence.

Changing the First Letter

The first letter of the first word from the source can be changed to an upper or lower case letter to fit your sentence.

Taking Out Information

To leave out part of a sentence, replace the group of words with an ellipsis.


"Insulin ... controls how glucose is used" (Diabetes Association of Research, 2015, para. 2).

Adding Information

To add information such as an explanation, place added material within square brackets.


"When there is a lack of insulin, glucose [sugar] levels can stay elevated in the bloodstream" (Diabetes Association of Research, 2015, para. 2).