Block Quotations vs Run-In Quotations 

Block Quotations

Quoted material that is roughly more than 40 words or 3 typeset lines should be set off from running text. Quoted material is not enclosed in double quotation marks.

For a discussion of footnote number placement in quotations, see the McGill with Footnotes page.

Punctuation Preceding Block Quotations 

Use the same punctuation that you would if the quotation were part of the sentence. Use a colon with, e.g., “ follows”, but not with a phrase like “Smith explained that...”. In the second example, the first word of the quotation is capitalized because in that case more than one sentence follows a colon.

Justice Iacobucci stated that
there are “grave systemic” flaws in the enforcement of the Customs legislation. But I cannot agree that the remedy is simply to issue a declaration and take it on faith that Canada Customs—an agency which, it bears repeating, has a long and ignominious record of excessive censorship throughout this century—will reform its ways.
Elise Chenier explained it as follows:
[G]rassroots activism is [essential] in creating a robust, dynamic, and progressive society. Shouting down the police and marching against unjust laws is one kind of activism, but there is so much more that it takes to create change. There are people who answer the phones, people who support those struggling with familial, religious, or other conflicts, including depression.


Obvious typographical errors are silently corrected (e.g., "statuatory" is changed to "statutory").

Grammatical or factual errors may be noted by the insertion of [sic] following the error.

Conceptual or ideological "errors" are not noted by the insertion of [sic]. For example, the use in quoted material of masculine nouns or pronouns, where masculine and feminine terms or genderless terms might be used instead, is not considered an error.

Imposition of House Style 

Emond imposes house style on quoted material in the following areas:

  • Standardize punctuation around quotation marks (e.g., put periods and commas inside quotation marks)
  • Convert single quotation marks to double, where appropriate, and vice versa
  • Update use of en dashes em dashes where house style does so
  • If the use of italics on case names, statute names, Latin terms, book titles, etc. is inconsistent, standardized per the quotation's prevailing style
  • Standardize the introduction of judicial decisions in format and punctuation. That is, remove periods from judges’ names.
    (e.g., "Smith, J.A. (Orally):—This case ..." is changed to "SMITH JA (orally): This case ...)"
  • Authorial interpolations (enclosed in square brackets within the quotation) are edited to conform to house and reference style
  • Although periods are removed from abbreviations in the titles of works in the citation proper, do not remove periods from abbreviations in the quotation itself.


Ellipses are used to indicate an omission. Do not use ellipses at the beginning or end of quotations. The ellipsis is not enclosed in square brackets, and is preceded and followed by a space. An ellipsis includes any omitted text: punctuation, words, in-text citations, paragraph breaks, even chapter breaks.

N.B. In casebooks, centred, spaced bullets (<BULL>•<en>•<en>•) are used, offset and centred, to indicate the omission of one or more paragraphs. The presence of author interpolations does not obviate the need for bullet ellipses. If a partial paragraph is omitted, followed by a whole paragraph that is also omitted, use both ellipses and then centred bullets to indicate the omission.

For information on the placement of ellipses in relation to punctuation marks, see the ellipses entry under Usage & Practice.


Please find attached guidelines to assist you in preparing your manuscript. Some authors are preparing a separate text and workbook. Others are preparing an integrated text/workbook.
We anticipate that most authors will use their teaching notes as the basis of their manuscript. Some authors, however, will incorporate material published by other authors. We are happy to receive either kind of manuscript.


Please find attached guidelines to assist you in preparing your manuscript. ...
Some authors ... will incorporate material published by other authors. We are happy to receive [your] kind of manuscript.

Ellipses in Original 

When there are ellipses in the original, indicate this with a note at the end of the quotation: “[Ellipses in original.]”

Footnotes Omitted or Integrated 

When footnotes are omitted from a quotation, indicate this at the end of the quotation with “[footnotes omitted].” Or put the note “(footnotes omitted)” after the CIT line in casebooks.

13   Supra note 9 at 85 [footnotes omitted].

When the author wants to include the footnotes from the original, quoted material, then those footnotes are placed in square brackets within the quotation. No need to place the footnotes in square brackets in the footnote section of the text.

Emphasis in Original or Added

If emphasis is added to a quotation, via italics, or is in the original quotation, add "(emphasis added)" or "(emphasis in original)" to the end of the citation in the footnote.

1  Ibid at para 23 (emphasis added).

If there is no citation, or the text does not use footnotes, added it in brackets or parentheses after the quotation.

Block quotation:
It is clear from these facts that the respondents acted in their capacity as regulators and did so in consultation with the beekeeping industry. They did not assume a role outside their regulatory role, though it is alleged in the rest of the statement of claim that they discharged their regulatory responsibilities badly. This distinguishes this case from Imperial Tobacco where the relationship of proximity was found to exist by reason of the additional non-regulatory roles adopted by Canada’s officials. Imperial Tobacco is not the only template for proximity based on a course of conduct but, at the very least, it can be said that these facts do not fit that template. [Emphasis in original.]
Non-block quotation:
However, section 2(3) talks about the “individual nature” of the crime (emphasis in original).

Grammatically Incomplete Sentences 

Where the quoted material is grammatically incomplete and is meant to remain incomplete, use an ellipsis at the end of the quotation to signal incompletion. Use three ellipsis points if the author's sentence continues; use four ellipsis points if the author's sentence ends with the incomplete quotation.

The first paragraph of your letter should begin with the words "We are the solicitors ..." and the second paragraph should state the issue.
The first paragraph of your letter should begin with the words "We are the solicitors...." The second paragraph should state the issue.

Authorial and Editorial Changes 

Authorial and editorial changes, comments, and interpolations are enclosed in square brackets.

The defendant [Mr Brown] did not say.

If the first word following an ellipsis is lowercase in the original manuscript but is edited to be understood as the first word of a new sentence, the first letter of the word is capitalized and enclosed in square brackets.

He did not say where he was staying. ... [T]here was no way to tell where he was staying.