Long Quotes

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Per AGLC r 1.5.1, quotations are considered ‘long’ when they span more than four full lines. When you wish to quote text that is longer than four full lines, you must:

  • Not use quotation marks (unlike short quotes); and
  • Use a smaller font size; and
  • Indent the quotation from the left margin; and
  • Add the footnote at the end.

Take this example from a student essay:

Long quote1

When should I use a long quotation?

While a long quotation may sometimes be unavoidable, you should use them sparingly in your work. There will rarely be an occasion where four full lines of the original text can’t be more efficiently paraphrased.

Alternatively, quoting just a few key words from the long passage of text may be enough to get your point across. Here’s what the example above looks like when the long quotation is converted into a series of short quotes instead.

Long quote2

Not only is this version easier to read, it will help the student stay under their word limit!

Another reason to avoid overusing long quotations is because it can be a red flag for your reader. It may send the unintended message that you ran out of time to write your essay, or that you don’t know the subject matter well enough to write about it in your own words.

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