APA Quotations and Citations for Occupational Therapy Students & Researchers

Quotations are often misused in APA format, and for good reason – there are very specific rules. Here is a simple cheatsheet for you to use quotations and to cite them for your academic work and research capstone based on the APA format.

Short Quotes

A quote is considered a short quote it if contains less than 40 words (tip: use word count). In this case, use quotation marks.

Example 1: Occupational therapists know the saying “that’s what OT Dude said” (OT Dude et. al, 2022, p. 123).

Example 2: OT Dude (2022) said “quotes are quite fun to use” (p. 123).

Long Quotes (Block Quote)

  • Longer than 40 words.
  • Do NOT use quotation marks.
  • Indent the quote (hence the name block).
  • Double-space the quote.
  • Insert a period after the final sentence, but before the citation.

Here is a really long block quote. It would typically be in quotes if it was shorter than 40 words, but since this is longer than 40 words, it is a block quote. Notice this block is indented from the paragraph above it. It should be double-spaced as well (but this might not render in your browser since it’s a website). Finally, notice where the period is at the end of this long quote. It is at the end of the last sentence and not at the very very end after the citation stuff. (Smith & Wong, 2022, p. 123)


That’s all there is to quotes, they’re either short quotes or longer blocks. The number to remember is 40. To remember this, like a quote from the movie 40-year-old virgin, “is it true that if you don’t use it, you lose it?” (Carell, 2005).



Jeff is a licensed occupational therapist and lead content creator for OT Dude. He covers all things occupational therapy as well as other topics including healthcare, wellness, mental health, technology, science, sociology, and philosophy. Buy me a Coffee on Venmo.