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Academic Resource Center (ARC) Research & Writing Resources

Quotes & APA Style

Using Quotes

Quotation vs. Paraphrasing

The APA encourages writers to paraphrase, restate another person's idea, in their own words (see Plagiarism & Paraphrasing section of this guide for tips on paraphrasing and avoiding plagiarism). Paraphrasing provides the ability to summarize the material in the writer's own style, and place the material in context with other concepts.discussed in the paper.

There are circumstances where a direct quotation:

  • for an exact definition 
  • when the original author's text was memorable or significant
  • If the writer wants to respond to the exact text of the original author
  • Provide the author, publication year and page number of the quotation

 

Quotation Types

Short Quote

(less than 40 words)

Block Quote

(40 words or more)

As part of the text.

  • Must use quotation marks.
  • Use a parenthetical citation after the quotation
  • (author, publication year and page number where quote is found)

If quotation is longer than 40 words, introduce the quote with a short sentence ending with a colon (:).

Do not use quotation marks

Block quotes are set apart from the text:

  • Start quotation on a new line,
  • indent the entire block 0.5 inches from the left margin

Author and publication year in parenthetical citation

  • as part of the narrative introduction (page number at end of the quotation)

 or

  • Parenthetical citation at end of block quote

 

 

Example:

"Cultural competency is at the root of establishing rapport with a client" (Lopez, 2018, p.224).

or

Lopez (2018) noted the importance of understanding a client's background because  "cultural competency is at the root of establishing rapport with a client" (p. 224).

Example:

Smith et al. (2020) describes the influence of telemental health on patient commitment to therapy:

Because they did not have to spend time traveling to an appointment patients were more likely to keep the appointment because they could fit it into a convenient time in their schedule. It was easier to find a private space to have a conversation than interrupting their day to come to our office for a session. (p. 340)

or

Telementalhealth appointments have decreased the number of no-show appointments:

 

Because they did not have to spend time traveling to an appointment patients were more likely to keep the appointment because they could fit it into a convenient time in their schedule. It was easier to find a private space to have a conversation than interrupting their day to come to our office for a session. (Smith et al., 2020, p. 340)

Secondary sources

A secondary source is when a writer cites a source as used in the original text e.g. (Smith, 2005, as cited in Jones, 2014).

Best practice is to find the original text, read it and cite the original source.

Only use secondary sources in rare circumstances:

  • if the original work is out of print
  • available in a language you do not understand