Quotation Marks with Multiple Paragraphs
Quotation Marks Covering Multi-Paragraph QuotationWhen a quotation has multiple paragraphs, use a quotation mark at the start of each paragraph (to remind readers that they're still reading a quotation), but do not use a quotation mark at the end of the paragraphs except the last one.
Closing the quotation only at the end of the last paragraph makes it clear to your readers that they are reading the same quotation as the previous paragraph.
Table of Contents
- Examples of Quotation Marks Used with Multi-Paragraph Quotations
- Quoting a Long Passage
- Example of a Block Quotation
- Test Time!
Examples of Quotation Marks Used with Multi-Paragraph QuotationsIn 1912, the publisher Arthur C. Fifield sent Gertrude Stein the following rejection letter shortly after receiving her manuscript for The Making of Americans:
"I am only one, only one, only one. Only one being, one at the same time. Not two, not three, only one. Only one life to live, only sixty minutes in one hour. Only one pair of eyes. Only one brain. Only one being. Being only one, having only one pair of eyes, having only one time, having only one life, I cannot read your M.S. three or four times. Not even one time. Only one look, only one look is enough. Hardly one copy would sell here. Hardly one. Hardly one.
"Many thanks. I am returning the M.S. by registered post. Only one M.S. by one post.
"A. C. Fifield"
After three hours of waiting, it was at last my turn to question Thomas. I hit him with my warm-up question: "Would you describe the device as your most brilliant achievement?"
"My most brilliant achievement was convincing my company to fund my research.
"It took three years of persistence and, frankly, pestering, but, in the end, they yielded.
"I think my boss gave me the resources for a quiet life — not because he shared in my vision."
"He can be very persistent. In fact, he can be annoyingly persistent.
You should try being married to him!", Susan half-joked.
Quoting a Long PassageWhen quoting a long but single-paragraph passage (typically, 40-50 words or three-four lines), it is a common practice to use a block quotation. (Using block quotations is particularly common in academic writing.)
Example of a Block Quotation
One ought never to turn one's back on a threatened danger and try to run away from it. If you do that, you will double the danger. But if you meet it promptly and without flinching, you will reduce the danger by half. Never run away from anything. Never! (Winston Churchill)Such encouragement to confront danger without a strategic assessment of the risks and consequences was described by the opposition as reckless.