How Do You Block Quote in MLA Format?

When writing in MLA format, use block quotes for quotes that are more than four lines long by introducing the quote with a colon and indenting the entire quote 1 inch from the left margin and flush to the right margin. Omit the quotation marks, and place the citation in parentheses after the end punctuation.

  1. Use a colon after the signal phrase

    Omit any end punctuation that completes the statement before the quote. Insert a colon to signal the beginning of the block quote.

  2. Format the quote

    Press the Enter key, and format the lines of the quote 1 inch or 10 spaces from the left margin, depending on the body of your essay. Make sure that the left margin of the block quote does not line up with the left margin of the body of the essay. Continue to double-space between the lines. Indent the first line of the block quote if the quote consists of more than one paragraph. Keep the right sides of the quote close to the right margin. When quoting poetry, keep the original formatting of the lines of poetry.

  3. Use correct punctuation

    Omit quotation marks. Use a period directly after the last sentence of the quote, or use an ellipsis if you are not including the whole sentence. Add the citation in parentheses after the period or ellipsis.