July 24 2013

The pesky period

by Barbie in APA Style

We all know that the period goes at the end of the sentence, but when you’re dealing with a complex style guide like APA, periods can become a bit more complicated. Where does the period fall when you include an in-text citation? How do you use a period in quotations? Are block quotations different?

Here are your answers to these questions and more, courtesy of your handy APA Style Guide:

  • In-text citations: Place the period outside the closed parenthesis at the end of the citation.
  • Direct quotes: Place the period after the closing quotation marks and closed parenthesis at the end of the in-text citation.
  • Block quotes (40+ words): Place the period at the end of the last sentence of the quote before the in-text citation.
  • Page numbers: Include a period after “p.” or “pp.” when indicating page numbers.
  • Spacing: Use two spaces between sentences per the most recent edition of APA.

We hope the seemingly simple punctuation mark is now a little less confusing.