How and When to use block quotes:

  • Use block quotes whenever your quote exceeds four lines of text
  • Below is an example of INCORRECT MLA formatting

In Book Two of Christian Doctrine Milton explains that the general category of virtue (he differentiates between general and specific categories of virtue), which “are relevant to the whole duty of man” (CE xvii. 27) are comprised of understanding and will. Why should memory be the discarded component? Ignatian meditations employ memory to dramatize a biblical event in one’s imagination. If the object of meditation is the Nativity, the retreatant places himself at the scene: he sees the baby Jesus, hears the animals surrounding the manger, and uses all his senses to recreate the event in his imagination, thus becoming a part of the biblical scene.  The first stage of the meditative process focuses on the event itself as opposed to scripture, which for Milton  problematizes memory.  Further, evidence suggests that Milton understood exactly what it meant to retreat, Ignatian-style, into the inner self for private imaginings:  “It is better therefore to contemplate the Deity, and to conceive of him, not with reference to human passions, that is, after the manner of men, who are never weary of forming subtle imaginations respecting him,  but  after  the manner of Scripture, that is, in the way wherein God  has  offered himself  to our contemplation; . . .” (CE xiv. 33).

          Who are these ambiguous men who “never weary of forming subtle imaginations”? St. Ignatius Loyola? St. Bernard of Clairvaux? St. Bonaventure? Or any and every one of a hundred other Catholics whose meditative treatises flooded England, their works churned out through secret presses? Milton’s reference to never wearying men not only suggests his awareness of Ignatian treatises, but the very specific nature of his remark on “subtle imaginations” (CE xiv. 33),  increases the likelihood that he did not record in his Commonplace Book his readings of at least some of these texts.

 

·        And here is the same text in properly formatted MLA style

 

In Book Two of Christian Doctrine Milton explains that the general category of virtue (he differentiates between general and specific categories of virtue), which “are relevant to the whole duty of man” (CE xvii. 27) are comprised of understanding and will. Why should memory be the discarded component? Ignatian meditations employ memory to dramatize a biblical event in one’s imagination. If the object of meditation is the Nativity, the retreatant places himself at the scene: he sees the baby Jesus, hears the animals surrounding the manger, and uses all his senses to recreate the event in his imagination, thus becoming a part of the biblical scene. The first stage of the meditative process focuses on the event itself as opposed to scripture, which for Milton problematizes memory. Further, evidence suggests that Milton understood exactly what it meant to retreat, Ignatian-style, into the inner self for private imaginings:

            It is better therefore to contemplate the Deity, and to conceive of him, not with reference to human passions, that is, after the manner of men, who are never weary of forming subtle imaginations respecting him, but after the manner of Scripture, that is, in the way wherein God has offered himself to our contemplation; . . . (CE xiv. 33)

Who are these ambiguous men who “never weary of forming subtle imaginations”? St. Ignatius Loyola? St. Bernard of Clairvaux? St. Bonaventure? Or any and every one of a hundred other Catholics whose meditative treatises flooded England, their works churned out through secret presses? Milton’s reference to never wearying men not only suggests his awareness of Ignatian treatises, but the very specific nature of his remark on “subtle imaginations” (CE xiv. 33),  increases the likelihood that he did not record in his Commonplace Book his readings of at least some of these texts.

Notice that:

1.      Block quotes are used only “If a quotation runs more than four lines in your paper” (Gibaldi 110).

2.      Always use a colon at the end of the signal phrase.

3.      Quotation marks are not used to open/close block quotes.

4.      Block quotes are indented 10 spaces from the left margin, but if a 10 space indentation makes the block quote match up with the paper’s standard paragraph indentation then it is acceptable to indent the block quote an additional tab space. It is not acceptable for paragraph indentations and block quote indentations to match up, for the block quote indentation must be deeper.

5.      Block quotes run flush to the right margin.

6.      Punctuation goes at the end of the quote’s final sentence, not after the page number.

Works Cited

Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 6th ed. New York: MLA, 2003.

Patterson, Frank Allen, and Fogle, French Rowe, ed. The Works of John Milton. 18 vols. New York: Columbia UP, 1934-38.