According to the Modern Language Association (MLA) citation style manual, it is standard to double-space a long quote set off (indented) from a paragraph in the same way that it is standard to double-space each element of the entire paper, including your name, course title, professor’s name, and date in the far left top corner of the first page.
However, there will be times, not many, where a professor will tell you to single-space the indented quote. These are quotes that exceed the standard four lines. The professor doesn’t disagree with the citation style of MLA. For her class, she just prefers not to read a lengthy quote that starts on one page and ends up on another.
Don’t worry about the standard in this case, because these are the professor’s “instructions” and he or she sets the tone and the requirements for the class. Don’t assume that just because this one professor puts a different spin on standard requirements that every professor you take after him or her will like this.
Unless your professor says otherwise, i.e. within the essay prompt or during a verbal discussion of an upcoming test, always adhere to MLA standards, or those that apply to your particular discipline (i.e., APA, Chicago Style, or Harvard Referencing Style).
Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.