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8.06 Block format

A block quotation set off from the text is not enclosed in quotation marks. However, it requires indentation, single spacing, and double spacing above and below the passage to set it off. Smaller font size is an alternative to single spacing or indentation. Use a colon at the end of introductory phrases:

  • In "Keeping Our Words," Burkhard Bilger examines the rapid extinction of most Native American languages and concludes that, although traditional field work might be the only way to save these languages, linguists are running out of time and financial support:

    Endangered languages, like endangered species, might be infinitely valuable, but funding and linguistic expertise are finite. They could resort to triage, ignoring both the healthiest languages and the lost causes to concentrate the money where it will make the most difference. Saving a language, however, is more unpredictable than saving a battlefield casualty. A single committed speaker can resuscitate a language, whereas a million suppressed or indifferent speakers can let their language die in a generation.1

Note that in this case the source is mentioned at the beginning of the passage and further information is given in footnotes or endnotes. Place any in-text reference notes (see 9.25 In-text notes) at the end of the block, immediately after the period.


  • Back to the note1 Burkhard Bilger, "Keeping Our Words." Sciences – New York, 34, 5 (1966): 18-20.