Easily Quote in APA Format Using Word

To quote in APA format, use Word's formatting features to simplify the task. 

If the quotation contains less than 40 words, the quotation (enclosed by double quotation marks) is part of the sentence in the text.

A quotation of 40 words or more has its own APA format - the text is separated as a block.

And if the contains more than one paragraph, additional formatting is required.

If you expect to be quoting often, including in documents not yet written, consider setting up styles for quotations in APA format. You will save so much time.

Copy the following Word screenshots to quote in APA format when the quotation contains 40 or more words.

Quote in APA Format - one paragraph (40 or more words)

If your quotation consists of 40 or more words, copy Figures 1 to 3.

Step 1 - Select Quotation Text

Select the paragraph that is to be the quotationFigure 1: Select quotation

Written instructions for Figure 1 (if required) are as follows:

  1. Select the paragraph that is the quotation.
    Hint: Move the pointer to the left of the paragraph and double click.
  2. Open paragraph formatting menu (select arrow in bottom right-hand corner of the paragraph group).

Step 2 - Set Indent and Spacing for the Block Quotation

Set indent and line spacing for block quotation in APA formatFigure 2: APA quotation indent and spacing

Written instructions for Figure 2 (if required) are as follows:

  1. Select Indents and Spacing tab.
  2. Set Left Indentation (0.5 in or 1.27 cm) to create the block quotation.
    The whole paragraph will be indented from the left margin.
  3. Set Line spacing to Double.
    Do not have any spacing before or after, or add space between paragraphs.
    Spacing is taken care of by the double line spacing.
  4. Do not select OK. Select the Line and Page Breaks tab.
    (if you do select OK, open the paragraph formatting menu again - see Figure 1)

Step 3 - Additional Formatting for the Block Quotation

Set Widow/Orphan control and Don't hyphenate for quotation in APA formatFigure 3: Pagination and hyphenation control for APA block paragraph

Written instructions for Figure 3 (if required) are as follows:

  1. Select Line and Page Breaks menu (if not already selected).
  2. Select Widow/Orphan control (if not already selected).
    This will stop a single line of the quotation appearing by itself on a page.
  3. Select Don't hyphenate (an APA requirement that prevents Word from splitting a word across lines).

Quote in APA Format - two or more paragraphs (40 or more words)

Step 1 - Format the First Paragraph of the Block Quotation

The first paragraph is formatted as shown in Figures 1 to 3 above.

Step 2 - Select Remaining Paragraphs of the Block Quotation

Select the second, and any other subsequent paragraphs, of the quotation.

Select paragraphs (except the first) in the quotation for APA formattingFigure 4: Select all subsequent paragraphs in the quotation

Written instructions for Figure 4 (if required) are as follows:

  1. Select the remaining paragraph or paragraphs of the block quotation.
    Note: Do not select the first paragraph of the block quotation. You have already formatted that paragraph in step 1.
    Hint: Move the pointer to the left of the second paragraph and double click to select the paragraph.
    For any subsequent paragraphs, move the pointer to the left of the paragraph, hold the shift key down, and double click.
  2. Open paragraph formatting menu (select arrow in bottom right-hand corner of the paragraph group).

Step 3 - Format Subsequent Paragraphs of the Block Quotation

The second and subsequent paragraphs have the additional requirement of indenting the first line.

Set indent and line spacing for block quotation in APA formatFigure 5: APA quotation indent and spacing

Written instructions for Figure 5 (if required) are as follows:

  1. Select Indents and Spacing tab.
  2. Set Left Indentation (0.5 in or 1.27 cm) to create the block quotation.
    The whole paragraph will be indented from the left margin.
  3. Set the First Line indent (0.5 in or 1.27 cm) to indent the first line of the paragraph(s).
    This is how the second (and any other) paragraph of the block quotation differ to the first paragraph.
    The first line is actually indented 1 inch (2.54 centimeters) from the left margin.
    The remaining lines of the paragraph are indented 0.5 inch (2.54 centimeters).
  4. Set Line spacing to Double.
    Do not have any spacing before or after, or add space between paragraphs.
    Spacing is taken care of by the double line spacing.
  5. Do not select OK. Select the Line and Page Breaks tab.
    (if you do select OK, open the paragraph formatting menu again - see Figure 1)

Step 4 - Additional Formatting for the Block Quotation

Set pagination and hyphenation control for APA block paragraphFigure 6: Pagination and hyphenation control for block quotation

Written instructions for Figure 6 (if required) are as follows:

  1. Select Line and Page Breaks menu (if not already selected).
  2. Select Widow/Orphan control (if not already selected).
    This will stop a single line of the quotation appearing by itself on a page.
  3. Select Don't hyphenate (an APA requirement that prevents Word from splitting a word across lines).

Summary

The above figures show you how to quote in APA format.

This method should be enough if you do not have many quotations.

If you have several block quotations, or will have a need to quote in APA format in future academic papers, then creating a style in Word will be much more efficient.

Reference

American Psychological Association APA Style (opens in new window)