How to create a block quote in Word

In business and in academia, writing must be clear in its message, and logically presented.

Software such as PandaDoc can speed up some parts of the creation process, allowing you to concentrate on other important aspects.

One of which is referencing and quoting other authors and sources with the correct formatting and to a recognizable standard.

Sometimes a quote is just a word or phrase, used to illustrate a point or back up an argument. 

Other times, a larger section of text needs to be quoted. In this scenario, there is a defined set of rules that you should adhere to. 

In academic writing, it’s to adhere to strict style standards, whereas in other writing it helps with clarity and aesthetics.

The correct way to quote a lengthy chunk of text is to insert a block quote, so let’s get into how to create a block quote in Word.

What is a block quote in Microsoft Word?

A Word block quote is a way of indenting text and keeping it distinct from the main body of the piece you have composed. 

However, a Microsoft Word block quote is more than simply indentation; there are certain steps you must follow to use longer quotations effectively.

Knowing how to make block quotes in Word is an essential academic writing skill and can help with commercial writing, too. 

Let’s look at some techniques in more detail.

APA vs MLA style

Before we look at how to do a block quote in Word in detail, it’s important to explain the terms APA and MLA. 

APA, which stands for American Psychological Association, is a style used for technical and social science academic writing.

It’s a format for making citations in journals and technical reports. 

MLA, on the other hand, stands for Modern Language Association. This format is used for academic writing in the field of the arts and humanities.

It’s used to quote information on areas such as literature, architecture, and paintings.

These two terms relate to how to make block quotes in Word because there are differences in how to make block quotes in each. 

For both styles, you have to start a new line and use left-hand indents of 0.5 cm.

But whereas APA block quotes need to be a minimum of forty words in length, MLA should be four lines or more. 

Importance of block quotes in writing

Block quotes in Microsoft Word serve to keep your own observations, conclusions, and opinions separate from those of other writers.

If a reader confuses your writing with quoted matter, it can mislead and worse, misinform. 

But there is a question of quantity when it comes to using block quotes. Add too many lengthy quotes and your own writing can be overwhelmed.

As an academic writer you need to demonstrate a clear and authoritative voice, backed up and enhanced by quotations, but not dominated by them.

Quantity, in terms of documents when it comes to academic or technical writing, can also be an issue.

Having separate Word documents for each aspect of a piece of writing can be inefficient and confusing, but PandaDoc document generation software can streamline the process.

Different methods for creating a block quote in Word

When learning how to create a block quote in Word, it’s important to know there is more than one method. 

The fastest method is probably to use the layout menu in Word:

  1. In a Word document, select the quoted text, then click “Layout” on the ribbon. 
  2. Set the left indent to 0.5cm, and click the “Enter” key. 
  3. Use the arrows in the indent size box to increase or decrease the indentation. You will then see that the block quote has been created. 
  4. Once in place, the block quote can be formatted. 

Another way to block quote in Word is to use the paragraph settings in the menu:

  1. Once the text to be quoted is selected, you right click on the text, and choose “Paragraph”. 
  2. Under the “Indentation” option, you can select the appropriate indent size. 
  3. Press OK, and repeat for each quote.

You can also make a block quote using the ruler bar in Word: 

  1. Click the “View” button on the ribbon. 
  2. Tick the box by the “Rule” option. 
  3. The correct indent size for APA and MLA (0.5) will be set.

Format your quotes in Word with just a few clicks

We’ve covered why we use block quotes in academic writing, and why they’re so important, and we’ve also looked at several methods for how to create a block quote in Word.

Now let’s look at formatting.

Block quotations should always start on their own line. As we’ve seen for both APA and MLA, the indentation should be 0.5cm.

Likewise, each new paragraph should also be indented, and this should be double spaced.

It’s not normal to use quotation marks around block quotes, and the punctuation at the end of the block quote should go before the citation as standard.

Sticking to these simple rules will ensure your academic writing, whether in the field of science or humanities, adheres to style norms and standards in its use of block quotes in Word.

While block quotes are usually a feature of academic writing, they can also help businesses when drafting documents or website copy.

Customer testimonials, for instance, will really pop on your site if you use a block quote. A sales or marketing proposal, too, is sure to stand out with a block quote from a happy existing customer. 

PandaDoc can help with those types of documents and many more. Why not learn more by scheduling a 15-minute demo?