How To Include Long Quotes in Essays

We all know that the best way to quote in essays is to keep it short and snappy, right? If possible, you should include the quote inside your sentence:

Smith supports this point, stating that ‘readers generally get bored with long chunks of quoted text’.

However, there are going to be times when you feel you have to include a quote in full. Perhaps it has several points that you want to discuss. So how should you do this?

Style Guide

The first point of call is to check your style guide. Most universities use the Harvard guide, but APA, Chicago, and MLA are all common too. Most law essays will use OSCOLA. You should have a copy of this somewhere but if not, there is sure to be a version on your university website. Go and get it!

Got it? Good, let’s carry on.

Format for long quotes

Most style guides will tell you that for quotes of over fifty words, or four lines in length, you should indent the quote and use double quote marks. So, a quote would look something like this:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Morbi ullamcorper ac diam at blandit. Pellentesque nec erat ut nibh vestibulum laoreet eget blandit felis. Aenean a turpis quis orci ultrices dapibus non semper nibh. Pellentesque fringilla sed est non imperdiet. Ut et facilisis diam. Vestibulum vitae malesuada diam, a condimentum nulla. Suspendisse auctor, odio et dapibus congue, orci est laoreet nisi, sit amet congue mauris ex vel libero. Fusce ut nulla et est luctus consequat. Donec ligula diam, congue non dictum ut, varius tincidunt orci. Donec scelerisque a tellus eu ornare. (Smith, 2010, p.45)

Some style guides will also recommend that the font in the quote should be a little smaller than usual, to distinguish the quote from the rest of the text. Some also say that you should leave out the quote marks. However you do it, make sure that you put in an author, date and page number at the end of the quote!

Good luck!


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