The UVic Writer's Guide


Quoting Prose


Passages of prose more than about four lines long should be set as block quotations, indented both from the right and left.

The difference between what we call prose and what we call poetry is often blurred:

At last we've found, in pinewoods on the hills above Florence, a house until the end of July. The pooled ponded rosed goldfished arboured lizarded swinghung towelled winetabled . . . garden leads into our own (dear God) olives and vines climbing to a mute's conventicle, a Niobe's eisteddfod of cypresses. (Thomas 630)

As in this example, the quotation will usually be introduced by a colon at the end of an independent clause (a clause which could be a sentence in its own right). The reference at the end is placed after the quotation, and has no punctuation after it. With hard cary, double space the quotation as well as the main body of your essay.

Remember that you should keep quotations as short as possible. Do not try to pad an essay by extensive quotation.


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Copyright, The Department of English, The University of Victoria, 1995
This page updated April 20, 1995