When quoting a book, do the page numbers go before or after the period? Example: “But we must never speak of the times before the Great Rebirth…. They whisper many strange things, of the...

When quoting a book, do the page numbers go before or after the period?

Example: “But we must never speak of the times before the Great Rebirth…. They whisper many strange things, of the towers which rose to the sky, in those Unmentionable Times, and of the wagons which moved without horses, and of the lights which burned without flame. But those were evil times." (19-20)

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dneshan's profile pic

dneshan | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted on

You did not specify whether you were using MLA or APA style.  If using MLA style AND the quote is four lines or less you would use quotation marks and the period would go after the page numbers ... for example "...those were evil times" (19-20).

If the quote is longer than four lines it must be set apart from the text, single spaced and indented; you would not use quotation marks, and the period would come before the page numbers.

rmhope's profile pic

rmhope | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted on

Here is how you would quote the passage according to Modern Language Association (MLA) style:

But we must never speak of the times before the Great Rebirth…. They whisper many strange things, of the towers which rose to the sky, in those Unmentionable Times, and of the wagons which moved without horses, and of the lights which burned without flame. But those were evil times. (Rand 19-20)

Your entire paper must be double spaced. Each line of this block quote would be indented twice from the left margin (two tabs or ten spaces). Because the passage is more than three lines, it must be formatted as a block quote. Do not use quotation marks around it; the double indenting shows it is quoted material. End the quote with its appropriate punctuation mark, and after that, inside parentheses, give the last name of the author and the page number or range without a comma. No period comes after the parentheses.

If you were to quote a passage of three or fewer lines, a different rule applies. You would run the quote into the paragraph of your text, and you would place quotation marks around it. In this case, do not end the quote with a period, just end quotation marks. After the quotation marks, insert your parenthetical reference, and after that place a period. It would look like this:

"But we must never speak of the times before the Great Rebirth…. They whisper many strange things, of the towers which rose to the sky, in those Unmentionable Times" (Rand 19-20).

Whether you use a period before or after your parenthetical reference depends on the length of your quote. 

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abahamonde's profile pic

abahamonde | Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

When quoting, the page numbers go first and the period goes after the brackets. For example:   "But those were evil times" (19-20).

nursestok's profile pic

nursestok | College Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

In both MLA and APA formatting, the page numbers follow the quote and are placed in parenthesis. Your punctuation follows the last parenthesis. 

Example: "But we must never speak of the times...." (19-20). 

If you are writing a paper referencing more than one quote, you should have a full intext citation following each quote or excerpt. 

Example: "I love being a nursing professor" (Stoklosa, 2016, p. 45). 

Just as punctuation ends a sentence, it ends the quote---following the in-text citation. 

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