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Leading Tips on How to Start an Essay With a Quote Correctly
13 Mar 2023
📰 Beginning a Paper with a Quote
📑 Types of Quotes
🎓 Use a Quote as a Hook
✍ How to Start an Essay with a Quote?
❗ The Importance of Quotation Marks: Format Your Quote Correctly
"Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words." - Mark Twain.
And that's how you can use a quote as a hook to start a text. It must grab the attention, be topic-related and come from reputable sources. To start an essay with a quote, you must pick phrases that should grab readers' attention and complement your thesis statement. It's essential to make proper choices as the right quote will set the whole paper tone, yet doing so is tricky.
In this article, we will share valuable information and some simple tips that may help you start your essay with a quote without worries. Using them, you can start an interesting yet unique opening that draws readers' attention and sets the stage for your work.
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Beginning a Paper with a Quote: Everything You Need To Know
Starting an essay with a quote is one among multiple methods popular with professionals and students. Numerous people use them because they can set a text tone and show text direction or support one's thesis. An appropriate quote should grab the reader's attention and shift it to the author's own words.
However, many people misuse quotes, and that can damage an essay's integrity or lose one's audience. Furthermore, if you use quotations that are not trustworthy, your writing will lose its credibility, or you'll get accused of plagiarism. Knowing how to use direct quotes in your work is crucial. Yet, not knowing how to insert them properly can cause the failure of your whole assignment.
Use Your Own Words and Avoid Quotation Misuse
If you want to avoid quotation misuse, learn not to make common mistakes. An example of such is using a quote out of context that may distort your original citation's actual meaning and ruin your thesis statement. That's why when you select quotes for essay assignments, you have to pick one that delivers an intended meaning. If you reach out to such experts, you can see that their academic papers use quotations related to the main idea of your case.
A proper quotation must accurately reflect some intended meaning. That's because these quotes are used to back up your arguments when you start an essay. Essay quotes at the start are an amazing idea because every introduction essay paragraph aims to support an argument or strengthen your thesis. They should not be overused, as they must show your analysis of a case.
Finally, the most common mistake people make is breaking set citation guidelines. Always attribute quotations to their original sources and provide proper citations based on your educational institution's rules. If you do not do so, your work will likely be labeled as plagiarized, leading to a failed assignment.
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What Are the Types of Quotes To Use In An Essay Writing?
There are various types of quotes, of which the most common are direct, paraphrased, or summary quotes. With the direct ones, students transfer the expressions intact, as they are. This way, they relay the meaning of one's remarks without changing anything. Paraphrased on the contrary are quotes in which you rephrase a saying. It can be to transfer thoughts or statements with your own terms. Lastly, summary quotes are those which give brief key points of an account from an initial quotation. Additionally, there are multiple ways to use and insert these in your introduction. Here are some examples:
Start with a quote that provokes thinking: One perfect way of starting is by challenging your audience's human nature of doubt. Put a quote at the beginning of an essay and let them assume, debate, and overthink it. This provokes them to express their beliefs or opinions about some specific statement or case. Using such is an easy way of setting intrigue and provoking your readers to engage with your topic.
Use a quotation that highlights your thesis: Every good quote can support and accentuate an argument that's part of your work. Such quotes do not only find their place at the start but throughout your essay. They should elaborate on arguments and back up your case statement.
Start an essay by using famous quotes: This method is used by any creative writing service to gain audience attention and provide high-quality texts. Doing so guarantees a well-crafted paper that can earn top grades for any student using this service. Writers will use quotations from respectable, famous people that relate to a topic. That not only boosts text credibility, but it indicates that you are knowledgeable.
Set a tone: Starting an essay with a quote is a good way to set your text tone. This way, your paper explaining arguments and quotes will elaborate on each other and will capture an overall mood. With that, you can set a roadmap for your audience or provide a sense of coherence.
As you see, there are many ways of using a quotation. Pick one based on your essay goals.
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Using a Quote as a Hook: When and Why?
When crafting any type of paper, it's crucial to use quotes that are not only attention-grabbing but also relevant to your topic. Many great essay examples written by PapersOwl specialists are a proof of that. These experts know how to make quotes a powerful tool to engage with readers. Taking into consideration their experience, we provide you with examples of when you could use one:
When introducing a new topic or a newly found case: A good quotation will show relevance in such situations. It will gain people's attention while showcasing new topics and establishing their importance.
If you are in the writing process of a historical essay: In such situations, any quotation from any case-related historical figure may provide context and spark interest in readers.
Personal experience: For such essays, quotations not only can grab one's audience but serve as proof of your experience with this case. They show your perspective and give a deeper nuance when writing arguments, which affects those reading your paper.
To support written arguments' main point: It's an outstanding way to start by hooking all readers up while backing up your claims.
When challenging their beliefs: This is perfect for argumentative essays where you have to challenge their commonly held view. Such quotations engage with people and make them think and be eager to read more.
Using a quote relevant to your case is necessary, so always ensure you use a proper one that creates parallels between all sections. If you don't see a proper connection, you can seek help from experts who edit essay theses. Many professional editors at PapersOwl can easily edit your text flow and create an effective introductory paragraph by providing reworded statements or better quotations. Additionally, they may help check all relevant sources for credibility, see if they deeply relate to your topic, and if they support your claims or bring controversy.
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How to Start Essay with a Quote To Support Your Thesis Statement?
To start a paper with a quote, you must choose one that brings up the proper tone of your paper. The quotation source must be credible and fit your essay context. Finally, each phrase you pick must support your assertion while demonstrating your case proficiency. All of that's important because the purpose of quotes is to make a good hook for essay and grab the attention of your target audience, which happens via knowledge and trust. So, without further ado, we'll show you the best expert advice on how to start an essay with quoted terms:
Consider your target audience: Thinking about your readers is a significant thing to do when starting an essay with a quotation. You must consider their age, background, expertise, and interests. If you write for the general public, use quotes from any popular book or movie. If it's for educational purposes, use one from academic writing or other reputable sources.
Select a relevant quote for the entire essay: A quotation on the spot will generate interest in the audience while supporting your thesis. It's crucial to check the credibility of this direct quote, as it can shape the tone and style of your academic paper. For example, writing about personal experiences has nothing to do with well-known historical figures and quotations from their works.
Introduce it properly: After selecting a quotation, you must introduce it to your readers. That happens by directly presenting it at the beginning of your paper or after a specific sentence. Ensure you do not do a long quote introduction, as it may be boring. Provide some context explaining why you have it in your work and don't forget to cite it.
Explore the quotation and its connection to your claims: After covering it by providing a brief account, you should point out how it connects to your statement and why. You can analyze it within one or two sentences by providing key points of why you used it while keeping all around the central theme of your topic.
By considering all the intimidating aspects, starting essays with quotes may be easy only if you have done it before and understand everything properly. Yet, given the peculiarities of these types of papers, you may be faced with difficulties in using a quotation correctly. In such situations, you should contact professionals who can write your assignment and explain the main points to consider for the best results. Like that, you will have an outstanding paper written by experts with an effective introduction that holds a powerful meaning and will capture your reader's attention.
Tip: Avoid frequently used quotations, better focus on something that can surprise the audience and show you've done some research.
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The Importance of Quotation Marks: Format Your Quote Correctly
Quotation marks are important because they showcase the writer's use of someone else's quoted words. So, these marks and citing are essential elements of all written assignments that use quotes. Using them is vital because they allow the readers to distinguish the writer's remarks from the source's. Additionally, these marks serve as a way to maintain the accuracy of your words and boost credibility. Not using quotation marks risks causing confusion and misinterpretation of the initial quote. That may further cause issues related to plagiarism, which can ruin your paper.
Using them properly is placing quotation marks at the beginning and end of original phrases. A quote should be written without any changes. That includes punctuation signs and letter capitalization. If it starts with a capital letter, write it like that. If there are some grammatical errors, you also write it like that, as its main idea is to change nothing but transfer the source meaning and complement your statement with them.
Four Perfect Quote Starters for Essays
In theory, knowing how to open an essay with a quote is easy but not enough. Sometimes we all face difficulties explaining key points or placing quotation marks properly. In such situations, it's in human nature to seek help. That's why you can reach out to experts and buy narrative essay or any other type of paper written by specialists. Not only will this get you a good grade in college, but you may gain some essay writing insights and learn how to use a good quotation properly.
Malcolm X. "Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today." 1964. (MLA 8 format)
That is an excellent example of a quote that may be used in educational-related academic essays. It presents a powerful statement underscoring the need to prepare for the future by relying on teaching. If you plan to write an essay in MLA format , note that all sources/authors' names are in front of the phrase, followed by the quotation marks, the saying, and lastly, the date of the quotation.
Frost, R. (n.d.). In three words, I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on. (APA 7 format, usually you add a date - if there's no specified one, add n.d).
Perfect for those writing argumentative essays related to life or nature. After this quote from Robert Frost, every student can express their written arguments after grabbing the reader's attention. The quotation is perfect for such topics because its simplicity showcases the inevitability of change.
Mandela, Nelson. "The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." (Chicago/Turabian format).
This quote is a remarkable example of how you can start and hook the readers in. First, it's a thought-provoking statement made by a credible person. It also challenges the widespread belief that failure is bad, which engages with the reader's opinions.
Jordan, B. (n.d.). Writing an essay is like building a house the writer lays the foundation, builds the walls, and finishes with a roof. (Harvard format)
This quotation is perfect to use when writing essays or text structure. It emphasizes the step-by-step writing process while hinting that you need a solid form to create something good.
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PapersOwl editors can also format your paper according to your specific requirements.
After reading this article, you know that starting an essay with the right quote will set a specific tone for your writing. With it, your first sentence will grab your audience's attention. If you correctly use a proper quotation, it helps readers understand your thesis from the quote and its following context. So make sure you use what we've discussed next time you write essays. Do so, and you'll get a properly connected essay with a good flow that can start with a bang and earn you high marks.
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I have always been a bit of a polymath – I loved going through encyclopedias, learning interesting facts about the world around us. Even when it was time to choose my major, I struggled a lot, as I wanted to learn everything about everything.
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How to use Quotes in an Essay in 7 Simple Steps
A quote can be an effective and powerful literary tool in an essay, but it needs to be done well. To use quotes in an essay, you need to make sure your quotes are short, backed up with explanations, and used rarely. The best essays use a maximum of 2 quotes for every 1500 words.
Rules for using quotes in essays:
- Avoid Long Quotes.
- Quotes should be less than 1 sentence long.
- Match Quotes with Explanations and Examples.
- Use Max. 2 Quotes for 1500 words.
- Use page numbers when Citing Quotes.
- Don’t Italicize Quotes.
- Avoid quotes inside quotes.
Once you have mastered these quotation writing rules you’ll be on your way to growing your marks in your next paper.
How to use Quotes in an Essay
1. avoid long quotes.
There’s a simple rule to follow here: don’t use a quote that is longer than one line. In fact, four word quotes are usually best.
Long quotes in essays are red flags for teachers. It doesn’t matter if it is an amazing quote. Many, many teachers don’t like long quotes, so it’s best to avoid them.
Too many students provide quotes that take up half of a paragraph. This will lose you marks – big time.
If you follow my perfect paragraph formula , you know that most paragraphs should be about six sentences long, which comes out to about six or seven typed lines on paper. That means that your quote will be a maximum of one-sixth (1/6) of your paragraph. This leaves plenty of space for discussion in your own words.
One reason teachers don’t like long quotes is that they suck up your word count. It can start to look like you didn’t have enough to say, so you inserted quotes to pad out your essay. Even if this is only your teacher’s perception, it’s something that you need to be aware of.
Here’s an example of over-use of quotes in paragraphs:
Avoid Quotes that are Too Long
Children who grow up in poverty often end up being poor as adults. “Many adult Americans believe that hard work and drive are important factors on economic mobility. When statistics show that roughly 42% of children born into the bottom level of the income distribution will likely stay there (Isaacs, 2007), this Is a consequence of structural and social barriers.” (Mistry et al., 2016, p. 761). Therefore poverty in childhood needs to be addressed by the government.
This student made the fatal mistake of having the quote overtake the paragraph.
Simply put, don’t use a quote that is longer than one line long. Ever. It’s just too risky.
Personally, I like to use a 4-word quote in my essays. Four-word quotes are long enough to constitute an actual quote but short enough that I have to think about how I will fit that quote around my own writing. This forces me to write quotations that both show:
- I have read the original source, but also:
- I know how to paraphrase
2. Do not use a Quote to that takes up a full Sentence, Starts a Sentence, or Ends a Paragraph
These are three common but fatal mistakes.
Essay quotes that start sentences or end paragraphs make you appear passive.
If you use a quotation in an essay to start a sentence or end a paragraph, your teacher automatically thinks that your quote is replacing analysis, rather than supporting it.
You should instead start the sentence that contains the quote with your own writing. This makes it appear that you have an active voice .
Similarly, you should end a paragraph with your own analysis, not a quote.
Let’s look at some examples of quotes that start sentences and end paragraphs. These examples are poor examples of using quotes:
Avoid Quotes that Start Sentences The theorist Louis Malaguzzi was the founder of the Reggio Emilia Approach to Education. “Children have the ability to learn through play and exploration. Play helps children to learn about their surroundings” (Malaguzzi, 1949, p. 10). Play is better than learning through repetition of drills or reading. Play is good for all children.
Avoid Quotes that End Paragraphs Before Judith Butler gender was seen as being a binary linked to sex, men were masculine and women were feminine. Butler came up with this new idea that gender is just something society has made up over time. “Gender is a fluid concept” (Butler, 1990, p. 136).
Both these quotes are from essays that were shared with me by colleagues. My colleagues marked these students down for these quotes because of the quotes:
- took up full sentences;
- started sentences; and
- were used to end paragraphs.
It didn’t appear as if the students were analyzing the quotes. Instead, the quotes were doing the talking for the students.
There are some easy strategies to use in order to make it appear that you are actively discussing and analyzing quotes.
One is that you should make sure the essay sentences with quotes in them don’t start with the quote . Here are some examples of how we can change the quotes:
Example 1: Start Quote Sentences with an Active Voice The theorist Louis Malaguzzi was the founder of the Reggio Emilia Approach to Education. According to Malaguzzi (1949, p. 10), “children have the ability to learn through play and exploration.” Here, Malaguzzi is highlighting how to play is linked to finding things out about the world. Play is important for children to develop. Play is better than learning through repetition of drills or reading. Play is good for all children.
Here, the sentence with the quote was amended so that the student has an active voice. They start the sentence with According to Malaguzzi, ….
Similarly, in the second example, we can also insert an active voice by ensuring that our quote sentence does not start with a quote:
Example 2: Start Quote Sentences with an Active Voice In 1990, Judith Butler revolutionized Feminist understandings of gender by arguing that “gender is a fluid concept” (p. 136). Before Butler’s 1990 book Gender Trouble , gender was seen as being a binary linked to sex. Men were masculine and women were feminine. Butler came up with this new idea that gender is just something society has made up over time.
In this example, the quote is not at the start of a sentence or end of a paragraph – tick!
How to Start Sentences containing Quotes using an Active Voice
- According to Malaguzzi (1949, p. 10), “…”
- Malaguzzi (1949, p. 10) argues that “…”
- In 1949, Malaguzzi (p. 10) highlighted that “…”
- The argument of Malaguzzi (1949, p. 10) that “…” provides compelling insight into the issue.
3. Match Quotes with Explanations and Examples
Earlier on, I stated that one key reason to use quotes in essays is so that you can analyze them.
Quotes shouldn’t stand alone as explanations. Quotes should be there to be analyzed, not to do the analysis.
Let’s look again at the quote used in Point 1:
Example: A Quote that is Too Long Children who grow up in poverty often end up being poor as adults. “Many adult Americans believe that hard work and drive are important factors in economic mobility. When statistics show that roughly 42% of children born into the bottom level of the income distribution will likely stay there (Isaacs, 2007), this Is a consequence of structural and social barriers.” (Mistry et al., 2016, p. 761). Therefore poverty in childhood needs to be addressed by the government.
This student has included the facts, figures, citations and key details in the quote. Essentially, this student has been lazy. They failed to paraphrase.
Instead, this student could have selected the most striking phrase from the quote and kept it. Then, the rest should be paraphrased. The most striking phrase in this quote was “[poverty] is a consequence of structural and social barriers.” (Mistry et al., 2016, p. 761).
So, take that one key phrase, then paraphrase the rest:
Example: Paraphrasing Long Quotes Children who grow up in poverty often end up being poor as adults. In their analysis, Mistry et al. (2016) highlight that there is a misconception in American society that hard work is enough to escape poverty. Instead, they argue, there is evidence that over 40% of people born in poverty remain in poverty. For Mistry et al. (2016, p. 761), this data shows that poverty is not a matter of being lazy alone, but more importantly “a consequence of structural and social barriers.” This implies that poverty in childhood needs to be addressed by the government.
To recap, quotes shouldn’t do the talking for you . Provide a brief quote in your essay, and then show you understand it with surrounding explanation and analysis.
4. Know how many Quotes to use in an Essay
There’s a simple rule for how many quotes should be in an essay.
Here’s a good rule to follow: one quote for every five paragraphs. A paragraph is usually 150 words long, so you’re looking at one quote in every 750 words, maximum .
To extrapolate that out, you’ll want a maximum of about:
- 2 quotes for a 1500-word paper;
- 3 quotes for a 2000-word paper;
- 4 quotes for a 3000-word paper.
That’s the maximum , not a target. There’s no harm in writing a paper that has absolutely zero quotes in it, so long as it’s still clear that you’ve closely read and paraphrased your readings.
The reason you don’t want to use more quotes than this in your essay is that teachers want to see you saying things in your own words. When you over-use quotes, it is a sign to your teacher that you don’t know how to paraphrase well.
5. Always use page numbers when Citing Quotes in Essays
One biggest problem with quotes are that many students don’t know how to cite quotes in essays.
Nearly every referencing format requires you to include a page number in your citation. This includes the three most common referencing formats: Harvard, APA, and MLA. All of them require you to provide page numbers with quotes.
Citing a Quote in Chicago Style – Include Page Numbers
- Incorrect: “Gender is a fluid concept” (Butler 1990).
- Correct: “Gender is a fluid concept” (Butler 1990, 136).
Citing a Quote in APA and Harvard Styles – Include Page Numbers
- Incorrect: “Gender is a fluid concept” (Butler, 1990).
- Correct: “Gender is a fluid concept” (Butler, 1990, p. 136).
Citing a Quote in MLA Style – Include Page Numbers
- Incorrect: “Gender is a fluid concept” (Butler).
- Correct: “Gender is a fluid concept” (Butler 136).
Including a page number in your quotation makes a huge difference when a marker is trying to determine how high your grade should be.
This is especially true when you’re already up in the higher marks range. These little editing points can mean the difference between placing first in the class and third. Don’t underestimate the importance of attention to detail.
6. Don’t Italicize Quotes
For some reason, students love to use italics for quotes. This is wrong in absolutely every major referencing format, yet it happens all the time.
I don’t know where this started, but please don’t do it. It looks sloppy, and teachers notice. A nice, clean, well-formatted essay should not contain these minor but not insignificant errors. If you want to be a top student, you need to pay attention to minor details.
7. Avoid quotes inside quotes
Have you ever found a great quote and thought, “I want to quote that quote!” Quoting a quote is a tempting thing to do, but not worth your while.
I’ll often see students write something like this:
Poor Quotation Example: Quotes Inside Quotes Rousseau “favored a civil religion because it would be more tolerant of diversity than Christianity. Indeed ‘no state has ever been founded without religion as its base’ (Rousseau, 1913: 180).” (Durkheim, 1947, p. 19).
Here, there are quotes on top of quotes. The student has quoted Durkheim quoting Rousseau. This quote has become a complete mess and hard to read. The minute something’s hard to read, it loses marks.
Here are two solutions:
- Cite the original source. If you really want the Rousseau quote, just cite Rousseau. Stop messing around with quotes on top of quotes.
- Learn the ‘as cited in’ method. Frankly, that method’s too complicated to discuss here. But if you google it, you’ll be able to teach yourself.
When Should I use Quotes in Essays?
1. to highlight an important statement.
One main reason to use quotes in essays is to emphasize a famous statement by a top thinker in your field.
The statement must be important. It can’t be just any random comment.
Here are some examples of when to use quotes in essays to emphasize the words of top thinkers:
- The words of Stephen Hawking go a long way in Physics ;
- The words of JK Rowling go a long way in Creative Writing ;
- The words of Michel Foucault go a long way in Cultural Studies ;
- The words of Jean Piaget go a long way in Education Studies .
2. To analyze an Important Statement.
Another reason to use quotes in essays is when you want to analyze a statement by a specific author. This author might not be famous, but they might have said something that requires unpacking and analyzing. You can provide a quote, then unpack it by explaining your interpretation of it in the following sentences.
Quotes usually need an explanation and example. You can unpack the quote by asking:
- What did they mean,
- Why is it relevant, and
- Why did they say this?
You want to always follow up quotes by top thinkers or specific authors with discussion and analysis.
Quotes should be accompanied by:
- Explanations of the quote;
- Analysis of the ideas presented in the quote; or
- Real-world examples that show you understand what the quote means.
Remember: A quote should be a stimulus for a discussion, not a replacement for discussion.
What Bad Quotes Look Like
Many teachers I have worked with don’t like when students use quotes in essays. In fact, some teachers absolutely hate essay quotes. The teachers I have met tend to hate these sorts of quotes:
- When you use too many quotes.
- When you use the wrong citation format.
- When you don’t provide follow-up explanations of quotes.
- When you used quotes because you don’t know how to paraphrase .
Be a minimalist when it comes to using quotes. Here are the seven approaches I recommend for using quotes in essays:
- Avoid Long Quotes in Essays
- Do not use a Quote that takes up a full Sentence, Starts a Sentence, or Ends a Paragraph
- Match Quotes with Explanations and Examples
- Use a Maximum of 2 Quotes for every 1500 words
- Always use page numbers when Citing Quotes in Essays
- Don’t Italicize Quotes
- Avoid quotes inside quotes
Chris Drew (PhD)
Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. [Image Descriptor: Photo of Chris]
- Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/admin/ 10 Secondary Data Sources
- Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/admin/ 13 Secondary Data Examples
- Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/admin/ 31 Instinct Examples (In Humans and Animals)
- Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/admin/ Montessori vs Reggio Emilia vs Steiner-Waldorf vs Froebel
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How to Put a Quote in an Essay
Last Updated: November 28, 2022 Fact Checked
This article was co-authored by Christopher Taylor, PhD and by wikiHow staff writer, Danielle Blinka, MA, MPA . Christopher Taylor is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of English at Austin Community College in Texas. He received his PhD in English Literature and Medieval Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014. There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 2,604,751 times.
Using a direct quote in your essay is a great way to support your ideas with concrete evidence, which you need to support your thesis. To select a good quote , look for a passage that supports your argument and is open to analysis. Then, incorporate that quote into your essay, and make sure you properly cite it based on the style guide you’re using.
Incorporating a Short Quote
- For instance, let's say this is the quote you want to use: "The brown leaves symbolize the death of their relationship, while the green buds suggest new opportunities will soon unfold."
- If you just type that sentence into your essay and put quotes around it, your reader will be disoriented. Instead, you could incorporate it into a sentence like this: "The imagery in the story mirrors what's happening in Lia's love life, as 'The brown leaves symbolize the death of their relationship, while the green buds suggest new opportunities will soon unfold.'"
- "Critic Alex Li says, 'The frequent references to the color blue are used to suggest that the family is struggling to cope with the loss of their matriarch.'"
- "According to McKinney’s research, 'Adults who do yoga at least three times a week have lower blood pressure, better sleeping patterns, and fewer everyday frustrations.'"
- "Based on several recent studies, people are more likely to sit on the park benches when they're shaded by trees."
- You still need to use quotation marks even if you're only quoting a few words.
- If you're in doubt, it's best to be cautious and use quotes.
- For example, let’s say you used the quote, “According to McKinney’s research, ‘Adults who do yoga at least three times a week have lower blood pressure, better sleeping patterns, and fewer everyday frustrations.’” Your commentary might read, “This shows that yoga can have a positive impact on people’s health, so incorporating it into the workplace can help improve employee health outcomes. Since yoga makes employees healthier, they’ll likely have reduced insurance costs.”
- When you use a paraphrase, you still need to provide commentary that links the paraphrased material back to your thesis and ideas.
Using a Long Quote
- The reader will recognize that the material is a direct quote because it's set off from the rest of the text. That's why you don't need to use quotation marks. However, you will include your citation at the bottom.
- "In The Things They Carried , the items carried by soldiers in the Vietnam war are used to both characterize them and burden the readers with the weight they are carrying: The things they carried were largely determined by necessity. Among the necessities or near-necessities were P-38 can openers, pocket knives, heat tabs, wristwatches, dog tags, mosquito repellent, chewing gum, candy cigarettes, salt tablets, packets of Kool-Aid, lighters, matches, sewing kits, Military Payment Certificates, C rations, and two or three canteens of water." (O'Brien 2)
Variation: When you're citing two or more paragraphs, you must use block quotes, even if the passage you want to quote is less than four lines long. You should indent the first line of each paragraph an extra quarter inch. Then, use ellipses (…) at the end of one paragraph to transition to the next.
- Your block quote will use the same spacing as the rest of your paper, which will likely be double-spacing.
- For example, “According to Li, “Rosa is the first sister to pick a rose because she’s the only one who’s begun to move on after their mother’s death” might become “According to Li, “Rosa is the first sister to pick a rose because she’s … begun to move on after their mother’s death.”
- Don’t eliminate words to change the meaning of the original text. For instance, it’s not appropriate to use an ellipsis to change “plants did not grow faster when exposed to poetry” to “plants did … grow faster when exposed to poetry.”
- For example, let’s say you want to use the quote, “All of them experienced a more relaxed, calmer disposition after doing yoga for 6 months.” This doesn’t tell the reader who you’re talking about. You could use brackets to say, “All of [the teachers in the study] experienced a more relaxed, calmer disposition after doing yoga for 6 months.”
- However, if you know the study is talking about teachers, you couldn’t use brackets to say, “All of [society experiences] a more relaxed, calmer disposition after doing yoga for 6 months.”
- If you don't explain your quote well, then it's not helping your ideas. You can't expect the reader to connect the quote back to your thesis for you.
- For instance, you may prefer to use a long block quote to present a passage from a literary work that demonstrates the author's style. However, let's say you were using a journal article to provide a critic's perspective on an author's work. You may not need to directly quote an entire paragraph word-for-word to get their point across. Instead, use a paraphrase.
Tip: If you’re unsure about a quote, ask yourself, “Can I paraphrase this in more concise language and not lose any support for my argument?” If the answer is yes, a quote is not necessary.
Citing Your Quote
- An MLA citation will look like this: (Lopez 24)
- For sources with multiple authors, separate their names with the word “and:” (Anderson and Smith 55-56) or (Taylor, Gomez, and Austin 89)
- If you use the author’s name in your lead-in to the quote, you just need to provide the year in parentheses: According to Luz Lopez, “the green grass symbolizes a fresh start for Lia (24).”
- An APA citation for a direct quote looks like this: (Ronan, 2019, p. 10)
- If you’re citing multiple authors, separate their names with the word “and:” (Cruz, Hanks, and Simmons, 2019, p. 85)
- If you incorporated the author’s name into your lead-in, you can just give the year and page number: Based on Ronan’s (2019, p. 10) analysis, “coffee breaks improve productivity.”
- For instance, a Chicago Style citation will look like this: (Alexander 2019, 125)
- If you’re quoting a source with multiple authors, separate them with the word “and:” (Pattinson, Stewart, and Green 2019, 175)
- If you already incorporated the author’s name into your quote, then you can just provide the year and page number: According to Alexander, “the smell of roses increases feelings of happiness” (2019, 125).
- For MLA, you'd cite an article like this: Lopez, Luz. "A Fresh Blossom: Imagery in 'Her Darkest Sunshine.'" Journal of Stories , vol. 2, no. 5, 2019, p. 15-22.  X Trustworthy Source Purdue Online Writing Lab Trusted resource for writing and citation guidelines Go to source
- In APA, you'd cite an article like this: Lopez, Luz. (2019). A Fresh Blossom: Imagery in "Her Darkest Sunshine." Journal of Stories , 2(5), 15-22.  X Trustworthy Source Purdue Online Writing Lab Trusted resource for writing and citation guidelines Go to source
- For Chicago Style, your article citation would look like this: Lopez, Luz. "A Fresh Blossom: Imagery in 'Her Darkest Sunshine.'" Journal of Stories 2 no. 4 (2019): 15-22.  X Trustworthy Source Purdue Online Writing Lab Trusted resource for writing and citation guidelines Go to source
Selecting a Quote
Tip: Quotes are most effective when the original language of the person or text you’re quoting is worth repeating word-for-word.
- If you’re struggling to explain the quote or link it back to your argument, then it’s likely not a good idea to include it in your essay.
- Paraphrases and summaries work just like a direct quote, except that you don’t need to put quotation marks around them because you’re using your own words to restate ideas. However, you still need to cite the sources you used.
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- Always cite your quotes properly. If you don't, it is considered plagiarism. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
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- ↑ https://www.ursinus.edu/live/files/1160-integrating-quotespdf
- ↑ https://lsa.umich.edu/sweetland/undergraduates/writing-guides/how-do-i-incorporate-quotes-.html
- ↑ https://helpfulprofessor.com/quotes/
- ↑ https://advice.writing.utoronto.ca/using-sources/quotations/
- ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/mla_style/mla_formatting_and_style_guide/mla_formatting_quotations.html
- ↑ https://guides.libraries.psu.edu/apaquickguide/intext
- ↑ https://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide/citation-guide-2.html
- ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/mla_style/mla_formatting_and_style_guide/mla_formatting_and_style_guide.html
- ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/apa_style/apa_formatting_and_style_guide/reference_list_articles_in_periodicals.html
- ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/chicago_manual_17th_edition/cmos_formatting_and_style_guide/periodicals.html
- ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/quotations/
About This Article
The content of this article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, examination, diagnosis, or treatment. You should always contact your doctor or other qualified healthcare professional before starting, changing, or stopping any kind of health treatment.
To put a quote in an essay, incorporate it directly into a sentence if it's shorter than 4 typed lines. For example, you could write "According to researchers," and then insert the quote. If a quote is longer than 4 typed lines, set it off from the rest of the paragraph, and don't put quotes around it. After the quote, include an in-text citation so readers know where it's from. The right way to cite the quote will depend on whether you're using MLA, APA, or Chicago Style formatting. For more tips from our English co-author, like how to omit words from a quote, scroll down! Did this summary help you? Yes No
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- Suggested Ways to Introduce Quotations
Suggested ways to introduce quotations
When you quote another writer's words, it's best to introduce or contextualize the quote.
How to quote in an essay?
To introduce a quote in an essay, don't forget to include author's last name and page number (MLA) or author, date, and page number (APA) in your citation. Shown below are some possible ways to introduce quotations. The examples use MLA format.
1. Use a full sentence followed by a colon to introduce a quotation.
- The setting emphasizes deception: "Nothing is as it appears" (Smith 1).
- Piercy ends the poem on an ironic note: "To every woman a happy ending" (25).
2. Begin a sentence with your own words, then complete it with quoted words.
Note that in the second example below, a slash with a space on either side ( / ) marks a line break in the original poem.
- Hamlet's task is to avenge a "foul and most unnatural murder" (Shakespeare 925).
- The speaker is mystified by her sleeping baby, whose "moth-breath / flickers among the flat pink roses" (Plath 17).
3. Use an introductory phrase naming the source, followed by a comma to quote a critic or researcher
Note that the first letter after the quotation marks should be upper case. According to MLA guidelines, if you change the case of a letter from the original, you must indicate this with brackets. APA format doesn't require brackets.
- According to Smith, "[W]riting is fun" (215).
- In Smith's words, " . . .
- In Smith's view, " . . .
4. Use a descriptive verb, followed by a comma to introduce a critic's words
Avoid using says unless the words were originally spoken aloud, for instance, during an interview.
- Smith states, "This book is terrific" (102).
- Smith remarks, " . . .
- Smith writes, " . . .
- Smith notes, " . . .
- Smith comments, " . . .
- Smith observes, " . . .
- Smith concludes, " . . .
- Smith reports, " . . .
- Smith maintains, " . . .
- Smith adds, " . . .
5. Don't follow it with a comma if your lead-in to the quotation ends in that or as
The first letter of the quotation should be lower case.
- Smith points out that "millions of students would like to burn this book" (53).
- Smith emphasizes that " . . .
- Smith interprets the hand washing in MacBeth as "an attempt at absolution" (106).
- Smith describes the novel as "a celebration of human experience" (233).
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Understand How to Start an Essay with a Quote
Table of Contents
Preparing the introductory paragraph is one of the most challenging tasks in the essay writing process. When compared to other essential sections, the introduction plays a vital role because it is the opening part of an essay that has the responsibility to pull the readers inside the essay. Basically, there are different approaches available to begin the introductory paragraph of an essay. But if you know how to start an essay with a quote, then you can easily grab the attention of your readers. Most of the time, the unique and creative quotation added at the start of an essay will stir the curiosity of the readers and will make them read the entire essay.
Never begin your essay without a catchy hook. A catchy hook is a powerful tool that has the vibes to grab the reader’s attention and generate interest in the topic. The hook can be a quote, a fact, a statistic, etc. However, using a quote that is relevant to the topic is one of the most effective ways to begin an essay.
Are you aware of how to start an essay with a quote? If you don’t have any idea, then keep on reading this blog post. Here, in detail, we have explained how to find an ideal quote and open an essay with that
What is a Quote?
It is a brief phrase or a section that is taken from the writing or speech of another author or speaker. It is one of the useful tools that is mostly used to write essays, blog posts, and articles. Additionally, the quotations can be utilized during speech delivery.
In general, there are numerous famous quotes on a wide range of subjects, including friendship, life, knowledge, love, and so on. You can look up the most famous quotes from any celebrity, past or present, especially when preparing your written assignments or speeches based on your topic.
There are generally three types of quotes: direct quotes, summary quotes, and Paraphrase quotes. You can start an essay with any kind of quote. The most important points from the first quote are briefly explained in the summary. The paraphrase consists solely of rephrased statements that convey the same meaning as the originals. Direct quotes are the spoken or written words that are quoted.
When writing an essay, students frequently prefer direct quotes over the other two of these three types. However, you can use any of these types of quotes appropriately to preserve the original citation’s intended meaning.
Learn How to Start an Essay with a Quote
Wondering how to begin an essay with a quote? Cool! The below-mentioned tips will provide you with a clear idea of how to begin the introductory paragraph of an essay with a quote.
Give preference to your target readers
Before you begin searching for the quote for your essay, first understand the mindset of your target readers and then select a quote suitable for them. The quote that you select should be easy for your readers to relate to and understand. Never choose a quote that is insulting to your readers unless you plan to refute the quote.
In order to catch the attention of the general audience, you can pick quotes from a pop culture celebrity or renowned personality. But to engage with a specific set of audiences, find a quote from a source that matches the interest of your target readers. Remember, the quote you use at the start of your essay should be clear, informative, and shouldn’t offend the intelligence of your readers.
Avoid picking a quote that is unfamiliar to your target audience. Choosing a less popular quote will not create any impact on your readers while they read the opening paragraph of your essay. If you feel that the quote you have selected would be unfamiliar to your readers, provide more details on that quote.
Get to know the context of the quote
Don’t randomly use quotes that are appealing to you. Before you finalize a quote, identify the original context of that quote. If you have a proper understanding of that quote, then you can determine whether or not that quote would be appropriate to use at the start of your essay.
Identify a quote relevant to the purpose of your essay
The quote that you have selected to use at the beginning of your essay should be relevant to the purpose of your essay. If you use any irrelevant quote at the start of your essay, then your readers will not even read your essay completely. Note that, using a quote mismatching to your essay purpose may easily distract your audience. Say, for instance, if you explain a sensitive topic with a humorous quote, then it won’t work for the readers. So, while selecting a quote, make sure to consider the purpose and the tone of the essay.
Never use clichés and popular quotations
Your readers will quickly get bored if you use popular quotes in the same way as every other person. Also, it might make your readers think that you haven’t put any effort or haven’t taken your target audience into account. So, whenever you choose a quote, say a big no to clichés and frequently used quotations.
Link your quote and point
When selecting a quote to start an essay, give preference to the quote that satisfies your arguments or main points. Your selected quote should sync with your essay topic or thesis. Also, you should remember to explain how the quote supports your opinion or argument about a particular essay topic.
Say, for example, while writing an essay on entrepreneurship topics, suitable to your main points or arguments, you can use quotes from a successful entrepreneur.
Cite the Sources
You must acknowledge the source of all the quotes that you have used in your essay. Specifically, you should mention where you took that quote and who said that quote. Note that, citing the sources would increase the credibility level of your essay.
To present the quotes in your essay, use a proper citation format or style such as the Modern Language Association (MLA), American Psychological Association (APA) style, etc. The standard citation format or referencing style would help the readers to effortlessly identify the source of your quote.
By following all the above-mentioned tips, you can come up with the right quote to start an essay. No matter what quote you have selected for your essay, before including it at the start of your essay, check whether it is matching to the focus of your essay. Usually, the hook statement at the opening of your essay should be specific, clear, engaging, and concise. So, never choose unimpressive opening quotes that offer a boring feel to your essay.
Examples – How to Start an Essay with a Quote
You shouldn’t just use the quote at the beginning of the introduction. Use appropriate quotation marks around the quote and punctuate it when you write it. If you don’t give credit to where the quote came from, you run the risk of being accused of plagiarism.
In accordance with the standard reference or citation style, whenever you use a quote in your academic essay, you must cite the original source and the author’s name.
We have provided a few examples to demonstrate how to properly cite a quote’s source using the appropriate citation style or format.
Franklin D Roosevelt once said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”.
“I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character”.(Martin Luther King, Jr., “I have a dream” speech, August 28, 1963). This quote from the great Martin Luther King’s speech still remains as a dream. Even in this modern digital world, no change is born; someone somewhere is suffering from racism and discrimination issues and waiting for justice.
Mark Twain (1940) once wrote, “Give every day the chance to become the most beautiful of your life” (p. 235).
“The best definition of man is: a being that goes on two legs and is ungrateful” (Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes from Underground, 1864). It looks like human nature is a constant. Maybe Dostoyevsky would have changed his thoughts if he had a chance to live around grateful people.
Essay Introduction Quote Selection
Basically, selecting a quote for beginning an essay is a tedious process that is time-consuming. But whenever you search for a quote, make sure to refer to printed books or credible online websites. The internet is loaded with a lot of fake information and the quote you pick might not be actually a quote. So, whenever you use a quote, check for the original source and the name of the person who said that quote.
For starting an essay, there are many catchy methods available but using a quote as a hook is one of the best methods to grab the attention of the readers. Remember, you may fail to impress your readers if you use a quote mismatched with the essay topic. Therefore, in order to identify an ideal quote suitable to the main points of the essay, invest more time and effort.
Hopefully, by now, you will have gained a better understanding of how to start an essay with a quote. In case, you don’t know what quote to use in your essay, or if you are unsure of how to start an essay with a quote, then call us immediately. On our platform, we have numerous talented academic writers to offer reliable and cheap essay writing help services online.
To get our essay help, simply book your order by sharing your requirements with us through the order form available on our website. Based on what you send us, we will provide the best assignment writing help for all the academic issues you suffer from
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Can you Start an Essay with a Quote: A Guide How to do it
an Essay with A Quote?
Students must produce outstanding essays to reach their academic expectations. What you should note is that the strategy or method you use to introduce your essay plays an imperative role in determining your essay score.
How you start your essay will tell the reader whether they should continue reading it or not. It sets the tone for the entire essay. It acts as the first impression you give to the readers about the essay.
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Importance of good essay starters.
In our guide on the steps to write good essays , we explained that having a good introduction is key to capturing the attention of the reader. In this section, we will give reasons why this is important.
Good essay starters can arouse the curiosity or interest of the reader to continue reading your paper to the end. The importance of good essay starters includes:
Attention-grabbing can be regarded as the greatest importance of good essay starters. This is because all other reasons for having a good essay starter trickle down to one thing: attention-grabbing.
When you have written an essay, and you submit it to your instructor for grading, you should be aware that they have to read the entire essay to determine your score.
Furthermore, the instructor has also to read your classmates’ essays so that they can grade their essays.
What this means is that your instructor is busy, and you should give them a good reason to read your essay in its entirety.
Imagine you are required to write an essay to win a prize or earn a scholarship to your dream university.
Many students will submit their essays in the hope of being considered, and the essay graders will have a lot of work.
From the two examples, it is apparent that your essay needs to stand out from the start.
The best way to make it stand out is to have a good essay starter that instantly grabs the attention of the reader. Once their attention is grabbed, they will be forced to read the entire essay and award you good grades.
2. Passing New or Interesting Information to Readers
Apart from grabbing the attention of the readers, good essay starters can also be used to pass new or interesting information to the readers.
The new or interesting information can be facts or even fun facts concerning your topic that will make the reader want to know more through reading your entire essay. Facts can include statistics like, “Did you know that 90% of all dolphins…”
As noted, your instructor will be very busy because he/she will be reading several essays from your classmates. Because of the need to standardize the evaluation process, your class will have to write essays on related topics.
As such, your instructor will already know what to expect, and he/she will treat your essay like any other. To make your essay stand out, start your essay with something interesting that will challenge the instructor to concentrate on your essay more.
3. Creating Awareness Concerning the Subject Matter or Topic
This depends on the topic of your essay. If your essay challenges social, political, economic, or environmental issues, you can start your essay with a statement that creates awareness.
For example, you can start by stating, “Youths in inner cities engage in gang violence because of high unemployment rate”. The reader will want to know why this is the case and therefore, continue reading the essay.
Can You Start an Essay with a Quote?
The answer to this question is dependent on the type of essay you are writing. It can also depend on the expertise of the writer, especially his or her ability to incorporate quotes in a paragraph.
You can start an essay with a quote if it is within the context of the topic you are writing about or if it is necessary to reinforce the argument you are presenting in the essay. If the quote forms the thesis or the claim you are arguing in the essay. Also, a quote is an attention grabber and captures the attention of the readers’ minds.
In addition, using a quote is among the most creative strategies used to start an essay that distinguishes you from the rest.
Such quotes can come from politicians, famous leaders, academicians, or influential individuals known by readers.
The quotes should be introduced effectively to add value and clarity to your essay.
There are various types of quotes that can be used to begin an essay.
The commonly used forms of quotations include a summary of the original text, paraphrasing, or direct quotes.
When starting your essay using a summary, ensure that you provide a brief account of the major points.
Concerning paraphrases, ensure that the facts are similar to the original text, even if you have reworded the statements. Direct quotes should contain the exact words as the original text enclosed with quotation marks (“…”).
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How to Start an Essay with A Quote
It should be noted that you can start an essay using either short quotes or long quotes. Below are tips on how to start an essay with a short quote.
1. Direct Incorporation of Short Quotes into A Sentence
Short quotes are those that do not exceed four typed lines.
If you use a short quote, copy-paste it directly into your introductory paragraph.
Make sure to enclose the short quote using quotation marks.
Then, use your words to explain the significance of the quote to the topic and the reader.
2. Incorporate Lead-Ins to Introduce Quotes
Lead-ins offer the context of the quote to the reader. The reader will know that you are presenting support or evidence and where the evidence comes from. You can use the author’s name as a lead-in, for example, “According to Mathew King…” You can also use other lead-ins like “Based on recent studies…”
3. Enclose the Direct Quote Using Quotation Marks
Anytime you directly quote another source, make sure you put them in quotation marks to show your readers that the quote does not belong to you.
When you incorporate quotation marks and an in-text citation of the source of the quote, you can directly utilize another person’s ideas or intellectual property without plagiarizing.
4. Give a Commentary after the Quote
When you provide a quote without a commentary, you have done nothing. This is because it does not fit the context of the paper or topic, and the readers cannot connect it to the topic.
Therefore, a commentary is very important to analyze the quote and link it to your claims and topic. You can use such commentary to build on a paragraph. Read our guide on how to start a paragraph in an essay and see how this fits well when writing.
5. Paraphrase or Summary
If you have paraphrased or summarized a quote, you do not need to enclose the text with quotation marks. All you need to do is put an in-text citation after the statement to show that the ideas belong to another writer.
Tips on How to Use Quotes in an Essay
1. Introduce The Quote’s Author
Every time you use a quote in any part of your essay, make sure that you first introduce the author of the quote to show the readers that the content does not belong to you.
2. State The Quote
The second tip is to state the quote after you have introduced the author.
The quote is directly copied from the source; hence, it should be enclosed using quotation marks. At the end of the quote, make sure that you cite the source using your preferred academic format.
3. Summarize The Quote
After you have stated the quote, summarize it if it is not easily understandable. However, if the quote is straightforward, there is no need for a summary. You should skip this stage and move to the analysis stage.
4. Analyze The Quote
This is where you break the quote into its significant bits so that you can get the actual meaning. The different parts of the quote may give different meanings but create a singular meaning when brought together.
5. State The Relevance of the Quote to The Argument
Finally, ensure that you have stated the relevance of the quote to your essay’s arguments. You must connect the quote to the central argument so that it can add value to your paper.
Josh Jasen or JJ as we fondly call him, is a senior academic editor at Grade Bees in charge of the writing department. When not managing complex essays and academic writing tasks, Josh is busy advising students on how to pass assignments. In his spare time, he loves playing football or walking with his dog around the park.
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How to Start an Essay With a Quote Properly?
Have you ever thought of the following: You would like to include quotes in the body paragraphs, but there are times when a citation is needed at the very beginning of the paper? What's to be done about that? Why should I start an essay with a quote?
First of all, let's take a look at an example when such an opening is preferable. It is highly recommended to start an essay with a strong hook. A quote can often be perceived as such. It works particularly well with unexpected quotes, or quotes that express an unorthodox viewpoint on the matter discussed in your paper. Voila, a perfect attention getter!
Still, our readers ask: can you start any essays with a quote? In any given case, it really depends on the quote itself. It is not recommended to overload the very first paragraph with too much information. Should it happen, expose these details further, in the body of your essay.
Summed up Briefly: How to Begin an Essay with a Quote
When putting a quote at the beginning of an essay, remember the proper formatting for it. Use it to mark off explanatory or qualifying remarks in strict accordance with the chosen citation style. A sentence inserted in a written matter in such a way as to be independent of the surrounding text structure helps you avoid plagiarism in your paper. Also, to begin an essay with a quote right, and keep it short. Long quotes are not welcomed in the academic environment unless necessary. Generally speaking, to start your text with a lengthy quote is a sign of poor writing skills. Such a quote won't work as an attention getter, quite the contrary. It will only distract the attention of your readers and steer them in the wrong direction, away from your work and its central idea, which you should boil down to a few words in this section.
Here is another hint on how to start off an essay with a quote: write a few words about the importance and relevance of the quote before inserting the quote itself. Emphasize the authority of the source. Keep it snappy though, to stress the main thrust of the work a sentence would do just fine.
All in all, here is how you walk the line when starting an essay with a quote:
- Keep it short;
- Properly cite to avoid plagiarism;
- Introduce your quote added within quotation marks.
Using a quote to begin an essay is easier if you know how to compare your text against such an essay written by a competent person Take it as an example and read its introduction attentively, consider its benefits and drawbacks and what to do next based on what you see. Break things down into logical parts to learn what the tutors might require of you. Make sure you use the approaches you find very helpful. Finally, when the opening paragraph is finished, ask your friends to proofread your paper to tell you it is all square. Do they like your approach, the opening part in particular? Upon balance, implement their suggestions into your essay. Then let it sit for a day. After that, once again proofread it laying emphasis on the opening quote. After such a thorough check, your essay should be ready for submission.
However, if it is not enough and if, for all your trouble, you don't understand how to put a quote at the beginning of an essay, allow us to lend you a helping hand. Feel free to contact us and describe the problem you have. We are here to solve it once and for all. We are sure: once you have tried our services you will agree that it's the best way out of any academic dead ends!
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- How to Quote | Citing Quotes in APA, MLA & Chicago
How to Quote | Citing Quotes in APA, MLA & Chicago
Published on April 15, 2022 by Shona McCombes and Jack Caulfield. Revised on May 31, 2023.
Quoting means copying a passage of someone else’s words and crediting the source. To quote a source, you must ensure:
- The quoted text is enclosed in quotation marks or formatted as a block quote
- The original author is correctly cited
- The text is identical to the original
The exact format of a quote depends on its length and on which citation style you are using. Quoting and citing correctly is essential to avoid plagiarism which is easy to detect with a good plagiarism checker .
Table of contents
How to cite a quote in apa, mla and chicago, introducing quotes, quotes within quotes, shortening or altering a quote, block quotes, when should i use quotes, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about quoting sources.
Every time you quote, you must cite the source correctly . This looks slightly different depending on the citation style you’re using. Three of the most common styles are APA , MLA , and Chicago .
Citing a quote in APA Style
To cite a direct quote in APA , you must include the author’s last name, the year, and a page number, all separated by commas . If the quote appears on a single page, use “p.”; if it spans a page range, use “pp.”
An APA in-text citation can be parenthetical or narrative. In a parenthetical citation , you place all the information in parentheses after the quote. In a narrative citation , you name the author in your sentence (followed by the year), and place the page number after the quote.
Punctuation marks such as periods and commas are placed after the citation, not within the quotation marks .
- Evolution is a gradual process that “can act only by very short and slow steps” (Darwin, 1859, p. 510) .
- Darwin (1859) explains that evolution “can act only by very short and slow steps” (p. 510) .
Complete guide to APA
Citing a quote in mla style.
An MLA in-text citation includes only the author’s last name and a page number. As in APA, it can be parenthetical or narrative, and a period (or other punctuation mark) appears after the citation.
- Evolution is a gradual process that “can act only by very short and slow steps” (Darwin 510) .
- Darwin explains that evolution “can act only by very short and slow steps” (510) .
Complete guide to MLA
Citing a quote in chicago style.
Chicago style uses Chicago footnotes to cite sources. A note, indicated by a superscript number placed directly after the quote, specifies the author, title, and page number—or sometimes fuller information .
Unlike with parenthetical citations, in this style, the period or other punctuation mark should appear within the quotation marks, followed by the footnote number.
Complete guide to Chicago style
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Make sure you integrate quotes properly into your text by introducing them in your own words, showing the reader why you’re including the quote and providing any context necessary to understand it. Don’t present quotations as stand-alone sentences.
There are three main strategies you can use to introduce quotes in a grammatically correct way:
- Add an introductory sentence
- Use an introductory signal phrase
- Integrate the quote into your own sentence
The following examples use APA Style citations, but these strategies can be used in all styles.
Introduce the quote with a full sentence ending in a colon . Don’t use a colon if the text before the quote isn’t a full sentence.
If you name the author in your sentence, you may use present-tense verbs , such as “states,” “argues,” “explains,” “writes,” or “reports,” to describe the content of the quote.
- In Denmark, a recent poll shows that: “A membership referendum held today would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters” (Levring, 2018, p. 3).
- In Denmark, a recent poll shows that support for the EU has grown since the Brexit vote: “A membership referendum held today would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters” (Levring, 2018, p. 3).
- Levring (2018) reports that support for the EU has grown since the Brexit vote: “A membership referendum held today would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters” (p. 3).
Introductory signal phrase
You can also use a signal phrase that mentions the author or source, but doesn’t form a full sentence. In this case, you follow the phrase with a comma instead of a colon.
- According to a recent poll, “A membership referendum held today would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters” (Levring, 2018, p. 3).
- As Levring (2018) explains, “A membership referendum held today would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters” (p. 3).
Integrated into your own sentence
To quote a phrase that doesn’t form a full sentence, you can also integrate it as part of your sentence, without any extra punctuation .
- A recent poll suggests that EU membership “would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters” in a referendum (Levring, 2018, p. 3).
- Levring (2018) reports that EU membership “would be backed by 55 percent of Danish voters” in a referendum (p. 3).
When you quote text that itself contains another quote, this is called a nested quotation or a quote within a quote. It may occur, for example, when quoting dialogue from a novel.
To distinguish this quote from the surrounding quote, you enclose it in single (instead of double) quotation marks (even if this involves changing the punctuation from the original text). Make sure to close both sets of quotation marks at the appropriate moments.
Note that if you only quote the nested quotation itself, and not the surrounding text, you can just use double quotation marks.
- Carraway introduces his narrative by quoting his father: “ “ Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone, ” he told me, “ just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had ” ” (Fitzgerald 1).
- Carraway introduces his narrative by quoting his father: “‘Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone,’ he told me, ‘just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had ” (Fitzgerald 1).
- Carraway introduces his narrative by quoting his father: “‘Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone,’ he told me, ‘just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had’” (Fitzgerald 1).
- Carraway begins by quoting his father’s invocation to “remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had” (Fitzgerald 1).
Note: When the quoted text in the source comes from another source, it’s best to just find that original source in order to quote it directly. If you can’t find the original source, you can instead cite it indirectly .
Often, incorporating a quote smoothly into your text requires you to make some changes to the original text. It’s fine to do this, as long as you clearly mark the changes you’ve made to the quote.
Shortening a quote
If some parts of a passage are redundant or irrelevant, you can shorten the quote by removing words, phrases, or sentences and replacing them with an ellipsis (…). Put a space before and after the ellipsis.
Be careful that removing the words doesn’t change the meaning. The ellipsis indicates that some text has been removed, but the shortened quote should still accurately represent the author’s point.
Altering a quote
You can add or replace words in a quote when necessary. This might be because the original text doesn’t fit grammatically with your sentence (e.g., it’s in a different verb tense), or because extra information is needed to clarify the quote’s meaning.
Use brackets to distinguish words that you have added from words that were present in the original text.
The Latin term “ sic ” is used to indicate a (factual or grammatical) mistake in a quotation. It shows the reader that the mistake is from the quoted material, not a typo of your own.
In some cases, it can be useful to italicize part of a quotation to add emphasis, showing the reader that this is the key part to pay attention to. Use the phrase “emphasis added” to show that the italics were not part of the original text.
You usually don’t need to use brackets to indicate minor changes to punctuation or capitalization made to ensure the quote fits the style of your text.
If you quote more than a few lines from a source, you must format it as a block quote . Instead of using quotation marks, you set the quote on a new line and indent it so that it forms a separate block of text.
Block quotes are cited just like regular quotes, except that if the quote ends with a period, the citation appears after the period.
To the end of his days Bilbo could never remember how he found himself outside, without a hat, a walking-stick or any money, or anything that he usually took when he went out; leaving his second breakfast half-finished and quite unwashed-up, pushing his keys into Gandalf’s hands, and running as fast as his furry feet could carry him down the lane, past the great Mill, across The Water, and then on for a mile or more. (16)
Avoid relying too heavily on quotes in academic writing . To integrate a source , it’s often best to paraphrase , which means putting the passage in your own words. This helps you integrate information smoothly and keeps your own voice dominant.
However, there are some situations in which quoting is more appropriate.
When focusing on language
If you want to comment on how the author uses language (for example, in literary analysis ), it’s necessary to quote so that the reader can see the exact passage you are referring to.
When giving evidence
To convince the reader of your argument, interpretation or position on a topic, it’s often helpful to include quotes that support your point. Quotes from primary sources (for example, interview transcripts or historical documents) are especially credible as evidence.
When presenting an author’s position or definition
When you’re referring to secondary sources such as scholarly books and journal articles, try to put others’ ideas in your own words when possible.
But if a passage does a great job at expressing, explaining, or defining something, and it would be very difficult to paraphrase without changing the meaning or losing the weakening the idea’s impact, it’s worth quoting directly.
If you want to know more about ChatGPT, AI tools , citation , and plagiarism , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.
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- Using ChatGPT for your studies
- What is ChatGPT?
- Chicago style
- Critical thinking
- Types of plagiarism
- Avoiding plagiarism
- Academic integrity
- Consequences of plagiarism
- Common knowledge
A quote is an exact copy of someone else’s words, usually enclosed in quotation marks and credited to the original author or speaker.
In academic writing , there are three main situations where quoting is the best choice:
- To analyze the author’s language (e.g., in a literary analysis essay )
- To give evidence from primary sources
- To accurately present a precise definition or argument
Don’t overuse quotes; your own voice should be dominant. If you just want to provide information from a source, it’s usually better to paraphrase or summarize .
Every time you quote a source , you must include a correctly formatted in-text citation . This looks slightly different depending on the citation style .
For example, a direct quote in APA is cited like this: “This is a quote” (Streefkerk, 2020, p. 5).
Every in-text citation should also correspond to a full reference at the end of your paper.
A block quote is a long quote formatted as a separate “block” of text. Instead of using quotation marks , you place the quote on a new line, and indent the entire quote to mark it apart from your own words.
The rules for when to apply block quote formatting depend on the citation style:
- APA block quotes are 40 words or longer.
- MLA block quotes are more than 4 lines of prose or 3 lines of poetry.
- Chicago block quotes are longer than 100 words.
If you’re quoting from a text that paraphrases or summarizes other sources and cites them in parentheses , APA and Chicago both recommend retaining the citations as part of the quote. However, MLA recommends omitting citations within a quote:
- APA: Smith states that “the literature on this topic (Jones, 2015; Sill, 2019; Paulson, 2020) shows no clear consensus” (Smith, 2019, p. 4).
- MLA: Smith states that “the literature on this topic shows no clear consensus” (Smith, 2019, p. 4).
Footnote or endnote numbers that appear within quoted text should be omitted in all styles.
If you want to cite an indirect source (one you’ve only seen quoted in another source), either locate the original source or use the phrase “as cited in” in your citation.
In scientific subjects, the information itself is more important than how it was expressed, so quoting should generally be kept to a minimum. In the arts and humanities, however, well-chosen quotes are often essential to a good paper.
In social sciences, it varies. If your research is mainly quantitative , you won’t include many quotes, but if it’s more qualitative , you may need to quote from the data you collected .
As a general guideline, quotes should take up no more than 5–10% of your paper. If in doubt, check with your instructor or supervisor how much quoting is appropriate in your field.
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McCombes, S. & Caulfield, J. (2023, May 31). How to Quote | Citing Quotes in APA, MLA & Chicago. Scribbr. Retrieved November 28, 2023, from https://www.scribbr.com/working-with-sources/how-to-quote/
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How to Use a Quote in an Essay
Table of Contents
MLA in-text citation how-to
You can take a quote from different sources of information, such as books, magazines, websites or printed journals. Using quotes in an essay serves three goals:
- Present additional evidence to support your point of view or oppose a claim or idea;
- Help a reader better understand a topic under analysis;
- Strengthen your argumentation on a topic using another writer’s eloquence.
Since quotes are mostly used in Humanities, you’ll have to follow MLA citation referencing guidelines. The Modern Language Association citation manual implies two types of quotes – short and long.
- Short quote – Is less than 4 lines of typed text and can be embedded directly into a sentence;
- Long quote – Is more than 4 lines of typed text and requires a separate content block in an essay without quotation marks.
Writing college essays, the recommendation is to use short quotes.
Referring to the works of other authors in-text is done using a parenthetical citation . Such a method implies the author-page style of quoting. For example:
When it comes to writing, King suggests: “Write. Rewrite. When not writing or rewriting, read. I know of no shortcuts.” (5)
Given the MLA in-text citation already contains King’s last name, you shouldn’t mention it in the parenthesis. If the author’s name isn’t mentioned in-text, it has to be specified in a parenthetical citation.
When it comes to writing, there’s a quote I like the most: “Write. Rewrite. When not writing or rewriting, read. I know of no shortcuts.” (King 5)
According to MLA guidelines, at the end of the essay, there has to be the Works Cited page . It contains the full reference featuring author’s full name, the full title of the source, the volume, the issue number, the date of publishing, and the URL (if the source was found online). Here’s an example of the full referencing in the Works Cited:
King, Larry L. “The Collection of Best Works.” Oxford University Press, vol. 2, no. 3, Jan.-Feb. 2017, http://www.prowritersdigest.com/editor-blogs/inspirational-quotes/72-of-the-best-quotes-about-writing.
How to start an essay with a quote?
Starting an essay with a quote is a matter of controversy. Experts in the pro camp suggest that a quote at the beginning of an essay helps make a powerful statement right from the start. Moreover, an interesting, captivating quote grabs the reader’s attention right from the start.
Experts from the against camp suggest that when you begin an essay with a quote, you miss on the opportunity to present your own take on the subject matter. In their opinion, when writing the introduction, you have to rely only on your words. Whereas quotes are most useful in the main body, serving as an additional argumentation. In conclusion, a quote can be placed, too.
How to use quotes in the middle of an essay?
Main Body is the place you’re meant to state a quote or two, depending on the length of a paper. A standard 5-paragraph essay will imply you to use 2-3 quotes in the main body. More quotes aren’t necessary for such a short assignment. Two quotes in the main body will do just fine.
In the main body paragraph, a quote is placed in the middle of the passage . First, you introduce a focal sentence of a paragraph highlighting your point of view regarding a topic. After that, you provide the evidence data and argumentation, among which is a relevant quote. And finally, you smoothly transit to the next body paragraph or the conclusion. Here’re three examples of how to present a quote in one of the main body paragraphs.
Accurate integration of a citation in a text is key. Or the whole passage will sound off.
People who want to become a writer don’t really need any piece of advice. “Those (…) who know that they really want to do this and are cut out for it, they know it.”
College essay quotes have to be naturally embedded in a text .
People who want to become a writer don’t really need any piece of advice: “Those (…) who know that they really want to do this and are cut out for it, they know it.”
There’s also the way to write an essay with quotes in the smoothest way possible.
People who want to become a writer don’t really need any piece of advice. They simply “know that they really want to do this and are cut out for it, they know it.”
See how organically a quote is inserted in a sentence? That’s the best-case scenario of using a quote in a sentence.
How to end an essay with a quote?
Sometimes, ending an essay with a quote is better than merely restating your thesis statement. Citations can be taken from both primary and secondary sources. Good quotes to end an essay might be of your course professor’s. According to essay writing websites , quotations taken from the words of subject authorities and thought leaders will do great, too.
A quote ending an essay helps meet 5 objectives:
- Provide a solid closure to your essay;
- Fortify your point of view;
- Give one final argument in favor of your thesis statement;
- Establish your authority on a topic;
- Helps your essay stand out.
Having a quotation at the end of an essay gives a good chance to score an “A”.
15 tips for using quotations in an essay
- Look up quotes in academic sources in the first place;
- Rely on the printed matter rather than internet sources;
- Avoid citing information from Wikipedia;
- Give context to every quotation you use;
- Always use quotation marks to avoid plagiarism-related troubles;
- Explain why the quote you’re about to use in a text is important;
- Seek to integrate quotes smoothly in a sentence for the best effect;
- Each quotation has to be attributed to the original source using parenthesis;
- Gather 10-15 quotes relevant to your topic and then sift through 5 quotes that will serve you best;
- Use the exact wording, punctuation, capitalization and sentence structure as in the original;
- Watch your punctuation when using quotes in a sentence;
- Avoid misquotations, as it’s a sign of a careless attitude towards the assignment;
- Use an ellipsis (…) to withdraw a part of a quote you don’t actually need;
- Try to use short quotes rather than long;
- Avoid quoting quotes, as it’s where students make mistakes most often.
5 motivational quotes for essay writing
Inspiration is a staple in every great writer’s routine. As a student, you might find drawing inspiration a bit too difficult. Here’re a couple of inspiring essay motivation quotes to help you break through the writer’s block. Or you can buy argumentative essay if doing the task yourself isn’t an option.
“I don’t need an alarm clock. My ideas wake me.”
“It’s none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way.”
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“Making people believe the unbelievable is no trick; it’s work . … Belief and reader absorption come in the details: An overturned tricycle in the gutter of an abandoned neighborhood can stand for everything.”
“To defend what you’ve written is a sign that you are alive.”
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Know How to Start an Essay with a Quote
Table of Contents
Essay writing is one of the most challenging tasks students will have to face during their academic life. Especially, to pull the readers into the essay and make them read it completely, an effective introduction is needed. In general, there are several approaches available for writing an essay introduction but the most popular one is using a quotation relevant to the topic to hook the readers. Do you know how to start an essay with a quote? In case, you have no idea about it, continue reading this blog post. Here, we have explained the most effective ways to begin an essay with a quote. In addition to that, we have also discussed how to find a perfect quote and include that in the introductory paragraph of your essay.
Before getting to know about the essay introduction writing with a quote, first, let us learn about quotes and their types.
What is a Quote?
A quote is a short passage or phrase taken from the text or speech of other authors. In general, a quotation is a powerful tool in essay writing. There are many famous quotes available on almost all the topics like life, wisdom, knowledge, experience, etc. Relevant to your topic, you can pick the most popular quotes from any celebrities of the past or present and use them in your written assignments or speeches.
Various Types of Quotes
To begin an essay, you can use any type of quote. Listed below are the most popular examples of quotations.
Paraphrase: Reworded statements that contain the same meaning as original phrases.
Summary: Provides a brief account of the main points in the initial quote.
Direct Quotes: Includes all the spoken or written words.
Often, when writing academic essays, students use direct quotes without changing any expression. But you can use any of the above-mentioned forms effectively to avoid interfering with the original citation’s actual meaning.
Learn How to Start an Essay with a Quote
Discussed below are the important tips that would be helpful for you when you wonder how to start an essay with a quote.
Know your target audience
When searching for a quote, give more importance to the quote that is easy for your readers to understand and relate to. If you use a less popular or unfamiliar quote as a hook, then no big impact will be created in your audience when they read the introductory paragraph of your essay.
Typically, you can use a quote from a pop culture celebrity or popular personality to attract the general audience. But to connect with more specific audiences, you should choose a source that is fitting your target audience.
Never use a quote that is offensive to the readers unless you plan to contradict the quote. In case, the quote you use is obscure or if you think it would be unfamiliar to your readers, provide additional details on that quote. Remember, the quote you prefer should be clear and informative but it shouldn’t insult your reader’s intelligence.
Identify the context of the quote
Before using a quote in your essay, research and get to know the original context of a quotation. If you have a prior idea about the quotation, then you can easily determine whether you can use that quote in the beginning section of your essay.
Choose a quote relevant to your purpose
The quote you use in your essay must sync with the purpose of your topic appropriately. If you use any quote that is irrelevant to the topic, then it may distract your target readers instead of drawing them into your essay. So, when choosing a quote, give preference to the tone and purpose of the essay. For instance, a humorous quote will not gel well in an essay on sensitive topics.
Avoid Cliches and frequently used quotations
If you use a popular quotation in the same way as every other person, then the quotation will bore your readers. Also, it would make your readers think that you haven’t considered your target audience. So, avoid using clichéd quotes or frequently used quotations in your essay.
Connect your quote and point
Never pick a random quote and begin your essay. The quote you use should be relevant to your essay topic or thesis. Make sure to establish a connection between the quotation and the topic of your essay. Most importantly, explain how the quote supports your argument or opinion about a certain essay topic.
Say, for example, when writing an essay on topics like gender equality or feminism, to emphasize your main point, you can pick any quote from a feminist author.
Acknowledge the source
All the quotes you use in your essay require proper acknowledgment. If you use any quote in your essay, then be certain to mention from where you took that quote because acknowledging the source will enhance the credibility of your essay. When you include quotes in your essay, remember to follow a proper citation essay format .
Especially to help your readers easily find the source, we recommend you follow proper documentation formats like Modern Language Association (MLA), American Psychological Association (APA) style, etc.
Considering all these tips on how to start an essay with a quote will help you to select the right quote. No matter what quote you choose to begin the essay, before incorporating it, check whether it is related to the focus of your essay. Usually, the opening of your essay should be clear, concise, and specific. So, avoid choosing too wide or general openings that give a boring effect to your essay.
Tips for Choosing the Right Quote for an Essay Introduction
While you are in the process of selecting a quote for your essay introduction, keep these things in your mind.
- Always give high priority to content over authority i.e. a quote’s message or thought is more important when compared to the figures behind it. This would help you to escape from the risk of not being unique by citing famous personalities like everyone else.
- Try to find out the context in which the quotes were created i.e. the situation that made an author write the quote. Describing this would give a clear idea to the readers about the internal struggles faced by the authors.
- Searching for quotes is a time-consuming process. Basically, there are multiple methods available to search for quotes. Some common methods include checking good books that contain a collection of quotes and using online search engines to formulate queries. Yet another approach is choosing relevant sources directly and searching for quotable passages in them.
Know How to Include a Quote in Essay Introduction
When writing the quotation in your essay introduction, make sure to follow these things.
- Introduce the quotation in your own words. Also, you should find out the speaker of the quotation.
- If your quote is the first sentence of your essay, then remember to provide the explanation of the quote in 2-3 sentences. In addition to that, explain why you chose that quotation and why it is important for your essay.
- Thirdly, you should give an explicit association between the quotation you used and your thesis statement. Note that the quotation should not distract from your argument.
Effective Ways to Introduce a Quote in an Essay
When you include a quote in your essay, according to your citation style, remember to include the last name of the author, page number, and date. Listed below are some possible ways through which you can introduce a quotation in your essay, as per the MLA format.
- While introducing a quotation, use a full sentence followed by a colon.
- Start the sentence with your own words and then finish it with quoted words.
- Include an introductory phrase naming the source, followed by a comma to quote the author.
- To introduce the words of an author, use a descriptive verb followed by a comma.
- If your lead-in to the quotation ends, never include a comma after that.
Examples of How to Start an Essay with a Quote
The quote you use for the introduction should not stand alone in the essay. Also, while mentioning the quote, you should punctuate it appropriately by using quotation marks around them. Failing to cite the sources of the quote may lead to plagiarism issues.
As said above, whenever you write a quote, make sure to cite the original source and the name of the authors in a standard reference format.
Here are some examples of how to acknowledge the source of a quote using a proper citation style or format.
Nelson Mandela once said, “A winner is a dreamer who never gives up”. The witch regrets leaving his cave in the forest: “This is not a quote; this is a formatting example” (Shelley 10). In progress report 12, Steven explains “This is not a real quote; this is a formatting example” (Keyes 402). Mark Twain (1940) once wrote, “Give every day the chance to become the most beautiful of your life” (p. 235).
Starting Essays with a Quote- Pros and Cons
Beginning an essay with a quote contains a lot of pros and cons. Listed below are some advantages and disadvantages of opening an essay with a quote.
Using a quote at the start of your essay would help you to
- Set a proper tone.
- Grab the attention of the readers at an easy go.
- Recruit the original authors’ authority in the essay.
Here are some common disadvantages of starting an essay with a quote.
- Time-consuming to search and find an ideal quotation that matches the purpose of the essay.
- Rush the culmination.
- They are cliche.
We hope you are now clear about how to start an essay with a quote. In case, you are not sure what quote to use in your essay or how to begin an essay with a quote, reach out to us for essay writing help. We have numerous skilled essay writers online to offer you cheap assignment writing help for all types of academic essays. Moreover, availing of our essay writing service will aid you in submitting high-quality and plagiarism-free essays in accordance with your requirements. Also, taking our academic paper writing service will help you complete all your essay assignments in advance of the deadline and achieve top grades.
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- How to Start an Essay
- A Guide to Starting an Essay with a Quote: The Best Ways!
How to Start an Essay: Easy Tips to Help You Get Started
Key things you should know when picking the right quote for your essay, need professional help to understand how to begin an essay, how to begin an essay with a quote examples.
How to start an essay with a quote ? Have no idea how to start narrative essays for high school? Are you looking for good essay samples to follow when composing your paper? Don’t know how to start an analytical essay? Writing an effective opening paragraph that will inform, motivate your reader can be challenging for schoolchildren/college students. It is an important step in the writing process everyone should take.
What strategy can help avoid mistakes? Remember that the most important purpose of your academic piece of writing is to persuade readers of your point of view based on evidence from in-depth research. Consider including the following key points in order to succeed:
- At the essay’s beginning, tell the public about the main idea your paper covers. Introduce your essay’s subject in a clear manner
- Focus on your paper explaining your audience the central issue of your discussion. You can do it in various ways. Pose a question, immediately suggesting answers that will be argued; state a thesis; it is possible to combine these two approaches. It’s up to you to choose the most effective way
Can you start an essay with a quote? Definitely, yes! This is one of the killer ways to hook the reader. Bear in mind that when you are thinking how to begin an essay, you should take steps to make your readers fully understand why they might want to continue reading. This is the key
- You have to catch your reader’s attention with a hook - encourage him/her to read the entire paper. Your goal is to persuade the audience that your text is worth reading
- You should orient your readers. You need to provide necessary information and explanations to help your audience follow your arguments. You can do it by answering basic questions of who, where, what, how, when, and why or by providing a short overview of the sources you’ll be analyzing
Do you wonder how these strategies work? Order a model paper on your topic that will be written according to your specific requirements. It will serve you as an example to help you learn how to start essay with quote and other effective ways capable of attracting the reader. You can get the helping list of the best argumentative essay topics online easily.
College essays are long projects. Sometimes, many people find them overwhelming but if you break the writing process into small parts and try to complete your draft step by step, you can expect you will feel more confident and work more productively. Let’s discuss how to start a paper with a quote, taking manageable steps.
First, choose a topic that you find intriguing. Define the purpose of your project and evaluate your options. The most successful strategy is to write about a subject that you are passionate about. Conduct research and study the available sources of information. Before you get started with your piece of writing, make a detailed outline to organize your thoughts, sort your ideas into certain categories, and determine natural links between your thoughts. Now, you are ready to write an introduction.
Follow the tips below to create an impressive introduction. There are 4 simple tips that will help you to cope with this task quickly and easily. Let’s get started!
1. How to start an essay introduction? To attract your readers’ attention, begin with the killer language means. Brainstorm ideas on an attention grabber and add a couple of sentences that lead to your thesis. Use one of the strategies that we’ve already discussed.
Beginning an essay with a quote is a good idea. Finally, use the outline or a mind map of your ideas and create a thesis statement – a sentence or a couple of sentences, the aim of which is to tell your audience about the point you will be arguing about in your paper. A thesis is the last sentence of your introduction.
You may need to return to your introduction after you’ve finished the final draft to clarify the focus, change, and rewrite the beginning of your paper several times to ensure that you are able to engage your readers and establish your authority.
2. How to start essay with quote? Do you wonder “ Can I start an essay with a quote?” Definitely, yes! It’s a rather popular way to begin an essay. You should find the right quote that fits your purpose and use it within the framework of your own words. How to begin an essay with a quote? Check the list with the most effective tips on how to put a quote in the beginning of an essay.
- Avoid the frequently used quotations and clichés that are familiar to everyone because they will bore your target audience making them think that you have been lazy to search for the original quotes
- Explain how the quote connects to your point
- Select a quotation that your audience can understand and relate to
- Make sure the quote exactly fits the tone of your academic paper
- When introducing a quote , always acknowledge the source. Follow the requirements of a specific citation sty le
These tips on how to start an essay with a quote will help you pick the right quote that will impress your reader. No matter what sort of opening you choose, make sure it is related to the focus of your paper and serves a good tool for establishing the context, or plays a significant part in your thinking and analysis. Your opening should be clear, direct, and specific. Try to avoid too broad and general openings because they can make your paper look boring
3. How to start a paragraph in an essay? The next step is writing the body paragraphs. Talking about how to start a paragraph in an essay, we should say that all body paragraphs will have the similar basic structure. Write one of your main ideas in the outline as a topic sentence in a paragraph. Then, add supporting ideas. Back each supporting idea with relevant examples, statistics, and other details and make sure you provide enough information to link these smaller ideas together. You will have to write as many body paragraphs as you have main ideas in your outline.
4. How to start a conclusion for an essay? We’ve come to your paper’s final part. Let’s discuss how to start a conclusion for an essay. The length of a conclusion depends on the length of your paper and its complexity. There is no set formula for how to do this the right way.
Your task is to review the key points and provide a final perspective on your subject. Write 3 to 5 strong sentences. Make sure they reinforce your thesis statement and briefly remind your readers about the significance of your topic, and the research you have conducted. After writing your conclusion, check your paper’s organization and logical flow of ideas, paying attention to the smallest details. Fix grammar, punctuation, and spelling mistakes.
As you see, writing high-scoring essays can be complicated and time-consuming but we hope that our simple tips on how to start a good essay will help you succeed in creating impressive beginnings for your admissions, argumentative, persuasive and other types of essays.
Some students think that it is as easy as ABC to start with a quote. However, it is a misconception as you need to learn how to do this the right way. There are certain things you should take into account when looking for the best quote. You should be patient as the search may take you more than one day. You should look through a number of sources to find a saying of a person that will be exactly what you need. Most students give preference to the sayings of famous people. It may sound surprising but this is not the best way to impress the reader.
It is better to find a quote of a person who isn’t well-known. You can use a part of a long quote not to bore your reader in the very beginning of your paper. If you have found an interesting saying, don’t rush to use it for your piece of writing. You need to conduct research on the history of the quote and create a successful methodology . Learn more about its origin to know what context it was first used in. Choose those sayings that were unexpected and creative.
Lack great ideas for a powerful introductory paragraph? Looking for the answer to the question “Can you start a paper with a quote?” Order a custom paper written by an experienced writer on our site and forget about your worries concerning academic writing. If you face a problem with completing a difficult task assigned to you by your college teacher or university professor, take advantage of the well-written professional examples that we offer to students of all academic levels, regardless of the complexity of the topic.
Do you wonder how they can be helpful? Simply using them, you will get a perfect understanding of how to start an essay on your topic, write a good introduction , organize your argument in the three body paragraphs, create an impressive conclusion, back your points with appropriate evidence and quotes from the relevant sources. We will provide you with the perfectly written model papers that can help you in creating your own pieces of writing.
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If you do use a quote, you must introduce it correctly so that the reader understands why it is there and who said it. Don’t just shove it in and hope the reader knows why you have included it. So say something like:
Regarding survival rates for gladiators, Johnstone states: “Gladiator shows were hardly the bloodbaths we see in modern films and TV programs. If there were five fights in a day, on average only one would end in death.” This shows that the risk of death may have been low enough to entice free men to become gladiators.
You must also explain how the quote helps to answer the essay question (here the question would be: ‘Why would free men become gladiators in ancient Rome?’). Be explicit: don’t leave it up to your reader to work it out.
Karl Marx, writer of the pamphlet The Communist Manifesto, proclaims, “Communism abolishes all eternal truths…instead of constituting them on a new basis” (Marx 81). In other words, communism throws out all beliefs, not only ones that counter the ideas of communism. Marx’s insistence on “abolishment” reflects the greater implication that communism not only represents a change in a political system or a belief, but also negates all previously accepted aspects of life. This would require a radical change of heart for all people. Marx’s call for the abolishment of truths requires too much change in people’s lives; his ideas are not ideal to change society.
How to Start an Essay With a Quote With Examples
31 July 2023
Students must prepare outstanding essays to meet their academic expectations. Basically, the way that learners introduce their work plays a crucial role in determining the grades they achieve. In this case, direct quotes provide an appropriate way that learners can present their work. Then, successful essayists must rely on proper guidelines when using quotes in their work. Also, this guide on how to start an essay with a quote provides practical steps that one must follow. In turn, students should avoid using clichés by obtaining unique quotes from credible scholarly sources. Besides, authors should provide the context for quotes, which helps readers to understand their importance in academic essays. Further on, successful scholars focus on ensuring that direct quotes relate to a thesis statement. Moreover, essayists should provide correct in-text citations, following the MLA 8, APA 7, Harvard, or Chicago/Turabian referencing formats. Finally, students should follow the necessary guidelines when using block quotes to avoid unnecessary plagiarism cases.
General Guidelines for Starting an Essay With a Quote
Academic essays are practical tools that learners use to communicate specific ideas. Basically, the essay’s introduction determines if the targeted audience reads through the entire work. For example, there are different methods that writers can use to begin an essay to impress targeted readers. In this case, using a quote is one of the ways that scholars apply when beginning their essays. Such quotes, attention grabbers, capture the reader’s mind. Also, one may use quotes made by famous leaders, politicians, academicians, or individuals they know. In turn, one must introduce all forms of quotes effectively to enhance clarity in a research paper .
Types of Quotes
One can use various types of quotes to begin an essay. Basically, the most common examples of quotations include paraphrase, summary, or direct quotes. Firstly, paraphrases refer to reworded statements that bear the same meaning as original phrases. In this case, writers ensure that facts remain intact. Secondly, a summary gives a brief account of the main points in the initial quote. Thirdly, a direct quote contains all the spoken words. In turn, students copy and paste direct quotes without altering any expression. Hence, authors must use these three forms effectively to avoid interfering with the original citation’s actual meaning.
Using a Quote as a Hook
Quotations, at the beginning of an essay, act as a hook. For instance, outstanding writers use appropriate quotes and phrases to capture the reader’s attention. Basically, the approach prevents readers from getting bored when reading through academic essays. In practice, a hook refers to one or two sentences in an article that helps readers decide if they will understand the content. Moreover, a prudent author must make an appropriate decision when selecting necessary phrases to include in the introduction by considering the rules on how to start an essay with a quote. In turn, quotes must lure the audience into reading the entire work. Hence, quotes used to start an essay must act as a hook by capturing the reader’s attention.
Starting an Essay With a Perfect Quote
1. qualities of a suitable quote.
Quotations record the exact language used by a different person in writing or speech. For example, writers should make wise decisions when selecting correct quotes for their essays. Basically, appropriate quotes enhance the essay’s meaning. In this case, students must select a quote that relates to the central theme and the chosen topic. Also, making the right selection prevents a possible distraction when reading an essay. Hence, one should select a quote related to the chosen subject to avoid potential distractions when reading written papers.
A. Memorable Quotes
Memorable quotes are suitable for use in academic papers. For example, authors should find short and unforgettable quotes that relate to the topic in question. In this case, the strategy attracts the reader’s attention and interest. Besides, the audience can recall a specific quote when reading the content. In turn, the approach ensures that readers relate the content to the opening quote. Therefore, one should choose a memorable quote to capture the reader’s attention.
B. Clear and Short Quotes
Clear and short quotes play a crucial role in promoting the essay’s quality. For instance, the writer should select comprehensible quotes. The choice prevents possible interference with the intended meaning of details provided to support arguments. In practice, short quotes play a crucial role in enhancing the quote’s clarity. Readers can grasp the meaning of short quotes with a lot of ease. Long quotes may distract the intended conception of basic ideas. Therefore, readers should identify concise and comprehensible quotes that relate to the topic directly.
C. Credible Quotes
Credible quotes help prudent writers to start their essays. For instance, students should obtain quotes from reliable sources . Basically, one should provide definitive evidence concerning quotes used in starting an essay. In practice, one should identify a particular person who spoke quoted words to avoid plagiarism. Also, the most appropriate strategy is to obtain a quote from an acceptable academic source. Then, an outstanding writer should quote experts, artistic and historical figures, and prominent political leaders. In turn, the approach elevates the content’s quality since notable individuals provide reliable details in their speeches. Moreover, credible quotes enhance the essay’s authority on a particular topic. Therefore, outstanding essays begin with accurate quotes.
2. The Essay’s Context
The essay’s context determines quotes that students choose when starting an essay. Basically, prudent writers do not rely on quotes to tell their stories. Instead, they provide a context that allows readers to understand used quotations. For example, one should provide a setting that reveals the basic scene for when, where, and under what circumstances an excerpt appears. Moreover, writers should explain when a prominent person spoke quoted words and their intended meaning. Hence, scholars should provide the context for quotes used at the beginning of an essay.
3. Incorporating Quotes
Writers should take the necessary caution when starting an essay with a quote to avoid misguiding the targeted audience. Basically, students should identify a person who spoke quoted words. For example, this approach helps readers to determine where a quotation begins. In this case, prudent writers avoid ordinary quote attributions like “he or she said” to enhance their work quality. Instead, one should use alternative verbs to introduce a specific quote in the introduction. Hence, some of the verbs that students should use are:
Scholars should use different verbs to show a high ingenuity level in presenting quotes. For instance, one should apply specific verbs accordingly to avoid monotony when reading academic essays. In this case, the practical choice of introducing verbs makes one’s work outstanding. Hence, learners should select appropriate verbs to submit selected quotes.
A. Significance of Quotes
Students should explain the significance of used quotations. Basically, after inserting quotes, writers should explain their context and attribution. In this case, readers require an adequate assessment of the quote’s importance in a paper. Then, this approach helps readers to understand the significance of quotes in strengthening essays. Besides, a satisfactory explanation enhances the clarity and comprehensibility of the content presented. In turn, it shows the writer’s ingenuity in presenting facts that provides an adequate account of the topic. Therefore, one should give a clear description of the quotation’s significance.
B. Connecting Quotes
Authors should not leave quotes as independent sentences. For instance, one should avoid leaving quotes as stand-alone sentences, even after providing the context. For example, a stand-alone quote disrupts the flow of ideas in an academic paper. In practice, one should incorporate in-text citations in a way that enhances the fluency of ideas. Basically, the process ensures that readers can understand how various concepts connect throughout an essay structure . Hence, writers should not leave quotes as independent clauses in the essay’s body to avoid possible interruptions.
Avoiding a Cliché When Starting an Essay With a Quote
Prudent students avoid using clichés when including quotes in their essays. Basically, a cliché refers to a famous quotation similarly used by many individuals. For example, popular phrases tend to bore and distract readers. In most cases, readers come across popular phrases in various essays and articles. Moreover, clichés make such readers feel that authors do not carry out adequate research before writing. In turn, using popular phrases as opening statements may motivate readers to consider essays as substandard texts. Hence, a writer must avoid using clichés as opening statements in written pieces.
Outstanding essays begin with a phrase that hooks readers. Basically, opening statements should grab the reader’s attention and satisfy their interest. In this case, students should ensure that opening quotes follow a format that creates a desire to read essays. For example, quotes must involve a question, a surprise, or an exciting concept. Then, one should not assume that the entire work is a reliable essay. Instead, writers should identify a quote that gets readers to the main point of the article with a good attention grabber. Besides, the strategy ensures that the intended audience goes through the entire essay. Hence, an outstanding writer uses a phrase that hooks the reader’s attention.
Exceptional essays contain unique opening statements. For instance, students must identify a unique phrase to introduce their subjects. Basically, adequate research enables authors to identify outstanding quotes that relate to their essay topics . Moreover, scholars must find credible sources and essays related to essay topics before choosing appropriate quotes. In turn, useful research enables one to determine if a selected passage is unique or a cliché. Besides, one may rely on peers to choose an appropriate quote for starting an essay. Hence, adequate research helps one to identify an exceptional quote to introduce a written piece.
3. Using Different Types of Quotes
Writers should use different types of quotes to make introductions appear exceptional. For instance, one may use a question, descriptive words, or a statement that enhances curiosity. Basically, a question motivates readers to think about the topic and read the entire essay. Then, descriptive words create an image in the reader’s mind that connects to the whole purpose of writing. Besides, writers should use quotes that make readers curious to know the whole story. In turn, these three forms of quotes make an essay look outstanding to readers. Hence, one must consider using different types of quotes when introducing pieces.
4. Considering Readers
Prudent writers consider their target audience when selecting necessary quotes. For instance, one must ensure that the audience understands quotes used in introducing an essay. Basically, students should examine the intended audience and understand their interests. In this case, a good example is when scholars decide to write an essay with a quote on real democracy in the United States. Then, writers should use a quote from a famous politician in the United States. Besides, such citations must relate to democracy. In turn, using a quote from a religious leader, a poet, or an ordinary citizen may not suit the targeted audience because readers may have a specific political interest. Hence, authors must consider the audience’s needs when selecting an appropriate quote for starting an essay.
Making a Quote Relevant When Starting an Essay
Quotes used in a paper must relate to the essay’s topic. Basically, prudent writers rely on effective planning strategies to ensure that they obtain necessary quotes for their articles. In this case, adequate background research enables essayists to identify the most effective quotes to enhance the quality of their work. Moreover, the approach allows writers to compare various quotes and identify the one that supports their essays effectively. Hence, one must rely on adequate preparation to ensure that quotes relate to compositions.
Peer review is a crucial process in ensuring that quotes relate to the essay’s topic. For example, essayists should consider giving their colleagues their pieces to read and give critiques. Basically, the process helps them to identify common flaws in written articles. Then, one of the mistakes that peers can help determine is the absence of a relevant quote in an essay. In turn, authors should ensure that readers understand the meaning and importance of quotes in their work. Hence, peer review is an essential process in ensuring that quotes relate to the content presented.
MLA 8, APA 7, Harvard, and Chicago/Turabian: Formatting a Quote Correctly in Starting an Essay
Learning institutions require students to follow specific guidelines when preparing their essays. Basically, the most common forms include MLA 8, APA 7, Harvard, and Chicago/Turabian styles. In turn, these formatting styles rely on different quoting rules. In this case, students must provide accurate in-text citations for each quote used in an essay. Hence, possible guidelines that one should follow when quoting are:
1. Formatting a Quote in MLA 8
Essayists should provide adequate details when starting an essay with a quote. As a rule, the MLA referencing style requires giving the author’s name and the page containing the quote. Sometimes, writers may obtain a quote from a website. In such cases, in-text citations should include paragraph numbers. Moreover, one should use a space to separate the author and the page or paragraph number in quotations. Hence, citation schemes that one should use for quotes in MLA 8 are:
- MLA 8 parenthetical citation – One should use “(Author Page)” for quotes obtained from scholarly sources and “(Author Paragraph No.)” for phrases obtained from a website. In this case, the phrase “par.,” followed by a period, should precede the actual number of the paragraph containing the quote.
- Actual parenthetical citation example for a quote in MLA 8 – President Kennedy argued that “in a time of domestic crisis, men of goodwill and generosity should be able to unite regardless of party or politics” (Iodice 3).
- Narrative citations in MLA 8 – Students should use the phrase “According to…,” to introduce a quote. In this case, page or paragraph numbers should appear in brackets at the end of the sentence containing the citation.
- An actual example of a narrative citation for a direct quote in MLA 8 – According to Iodice, President Kennedy stated that “we are committed to a worldwide struggle to promote and protect the rights of all who wish to be free” (3).
2. Formatting a Quote in APA 7
Students should identify the source’s author, publication date of the source containing the quote, and its page or paragraph number from where it is copied and pasted. Basically, the APA referencing style requires essayists to obtain quotes from credible sources. In this case, writers must identify academic sources providing quotes. Also, an actual in-text citation should contain the author’s name, publication year, and page or paragraph number. In turn, one should separate these three details with a comma. Hence, guidelines that a scholar should follow when formatting quotes in APA 7 are:
- APA 7 parenthetical citations scheme – In-text citations should appear as (Author, Year, p. or para. No).
- Actual example of a quote cited in APA 7 – President Kennedy stated that “we are committed to a worldwide struggle to promote and protect all who wish to be free” to show the primary objective of the federal leadership (Iodice, 2017, p. 3).
- APA 7 narrative citations – Students should use the phrase “According to…,” to introduce a quote.
- An actual example of a narrative citation for a quote in APA 7 – According to Iodice (2017), President Kennedy stated that “we are committed to a worldwide struggle to promote and protect the rights of all who wish to be free” (p. 3).
3. Formatting a Quote in Harvard
Essayists should avoid all forms of plagiarism when providing quotes in Harvard. As a rule, in-text citations should identify the author and publication date. In this case, authors should give the page number containing the quote. Hence, examples that one should follow when formatting quotes in Harvard style are:
- Harvard parenthetical citations scheme – In-text citations should appear as (Author Year, page or paragraph number).
- Actual example for a quote in Harvard – President Kennedy specified that “we are committed to a worldwide struggle to promote and protect all who wish to be free” to show the primary objective of the federal leadership (Iodice 2017, p. 3).
- Harvard narrative citations for a quote – Essayists should use the phrase “According to…,” to introduce a quote.
- An actual example of a narrative citation for a quote in Harvard – According to Iodice (2017), President Kennedy stated that “we are committed to a worldwide struggle to promote and protect the rights of all who wish to be free” (p. 3).
4. Formatting a Quote in Chicago/Turabian
Writers should provide in-text citations as footnotes. In this case, each quote should have a footnote callout. Besides, one should give the page number containing the quote. Hence, an example of an in-text citation for a quote in Chicago/Turabian is:
- A quote that has a footnote callout in Chicago/Turabian – President Kennedy stated that “we are committed to a worldwide struggle to promote and protect the rights of all who wish to be free.” 1
- A footnote example for a quote in Chicago/Turabian, which corresponds to this callout – 1. Emilio Iodice, “The Courage to Lead: The Leadership Legacies of American Presidents John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Theodore Roosevelt,” Journal of Values-Based Leadership 10, no. 1 (January 2017), 3. https://doi.org/10.22543/0733.101.1176.
Using “They Say, I Say” Format When Starting an Essay With a Quote
Academic writing requires presenting sources and ideas effectively to readers. For example, “they say, I say” forms allow one to enter into a conversation about ideas between the content, reader, and sources. Also, this style reflects the writer’s level of critical thinking. In turn, the set-up helps essayists to organize ideas in relationship to the main theme. Hence, some templates for starting an essay with a quote that one can use are:
- President Kennedy stated that “…” . On the other hand, President Roosevelt believed that “…” .
- Author X contradicts himself in stating that. At the same time, he argues that “…” . In turn, he also implies that “…” .
- I agree that “…” .
- She argues that … , and I agree with her statement because “…” .
- I have always believed that “…” .
- As the prominent philosopher X puts it, “…” .
Using Block Quotes When Starting an Essay
Writers may decide to use block quotes for starting their essays. Basically, specific referencing styles have different rules for including block quotes. Hence, citation guidelines that essayists can use to format their quotes are:
1. Citing Block Quotes in MLA 8:
One should place a quotation, which is more than four lines, as a free-standing block. As a rule, students should omit curved quotation marks in MLA 8. In this case, quotes should start at 0.5 inches from the left margin. Moreover, parenthetical citations should appear at the end of the quote, after the closing punctuation marks.
2. Citing Block Quotes in APA 7
Block quotes in APA 7th edition contain more than forty words. Basically, writers should omit double quotation marks and indent quotes at 0.5 inches from the left margin. In turn, parenthetical citations, which contain page numbers, should follow closing punctuation marks.
3. Citing Block Quotes in Harvard
Long quotes in Harvard referencing should contain between forty and fifty words. In this case, block quotes should begin on a separate line after a colon. Besides, one should indent essays at 0.5 inches from the left margin. Finally, parenthetical citations should follow closing punctuation marks in block quotes.
4. Citing Block Quotes in Chicago/Turabian
Blockquotes in Chicago/Turabian contain five or more lines. As a rule, one should indent quotations at 0.5 inches from the left margin. Basically, scholars should offset block quotations by using different or smaller fonts used in the rest body sections. In turn, a sentence preceding a long quote should identify the source and the author. Besides, it should end with a colon. As a result, writers should include the page containing the citation, inside rounded brackets.
Connecting a Particular Quote to a Thesis Statement
Quotes play an instrumental role in enhancing the credibility and validity of arguments presented in essays. In this case, suitable quotes show that arguments depend on facts. Besides, quotes make academic essay writing appear more professional and thoughtful. However, students make the following mistakes that lower their essay’s quality:
- Writers drop their quotes without considering their significance in supporting written pieces. In this case, successful authors should avoid this mistake by selecting quotes that relate to the essay’s topic.
- Scholars fail to support quotes by using their words. In turn, outstanding writers should avoid this mistake by introducing citations with their words. As a result, the strategy helps to link a particular quote to other details provided in an essay.
- Authors fail to show the connection between their quotes and a thesis statement . Basically, a copied and pasted quote must be related to a thesis statement. In turn, prudent essayists ensure that their quotes support central arguments in academic essays.
Summing Up on How to Start an Essay With a Quote
Learning institutions require scholars to write essays to meet the necessary academic requirements. Basically, the way in which learners introduce their work plays a crucial role in determining the grades they achieve. In this case, direct quotes provide an appropriate way that authors can present in their works. However, an essayist must rely on proper guidelines on how to start an essay with a quote. Hence, some tips that one must remember when using quotes are:
- avoid using clichés for quotations;
- use unique and credible quotes;
- provide the context for the quote;
- ensure that a quote relates to a thesis statement;
- include correct in-text citations, following the rules of MLA 8, APA 7, Harvard, or Chicago/Turabian formats where applicable;
- follow the necessary guidelines when using block quotes.
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Can You Start An Essay With A Quote? (What You Should Know)
by Antony W
February 28, 2023
The opening paragraph can make or break your essay. Start with a hook and you stand the chance to grab your reader’s attention.
Implement some guesswork and write the introduction haphazardly, and you could lose them completely. But can you start an essay with a quote?
You can start an essay with a quote, but you must do so with caution. Accompany the quote with a clear explanation to help a reader understand how and why it fits in your work. More importantly, ensure the quote you include in your essay is from a credible scholarly source.
Understand that relevant, helpful, and equally credible quotes can capture the attention of a reader, not to mention easily related the thesis statement of your essay.
- Quotes can help to spike readers’ interest, making it a powerful writing technique that gets them to read the rest of the essay.
- If you include any quote in your essay, you must show how it fits into your work so that your readers understand its relevance.
Our custom essay writing service can help you get an essay on any topic completed on time. Whether you struggle with introducing your work or you’re not good at choosing the best quote to start the essay with, you can hire one of our expert writers for assistance.
What Types of Quotes Can You Include in an Essay?
You can use direct, summary, or paraphrase quotes in the introduction of your essay.
- A direct quote contains all the words of a speaker. You should write it exactly as it is.
- Paraphrased quotes are reworded statements written in your own words without changing the intended meaning.
- A summary quote is one written in brief, and it retains the message of the original quote.
You can use any type of quote in your essay. Just make sure you don’t interfere with its original meaning as intended by its author.
How to Choose a Good Quote to Start an Essay
Here’s how you can find the best quote to start any type of essay :
1. Choose a Quote Relevant to the Topic
Read the essay prompt to understand the nature of the assignment.
The first few minutes of going through the assignment brief should make it easy to choose a quote that’s relevant to the central theme of the topic.
Also, ensure that the quote is memorable because it will retain readers’ attention and give them the interest to read the rest of the essay.
2. Get Your Quote from a Credible Source
It’s easy to brainstorm and make up your own quotes.
Such quotes can be interesting enough to draw attention, but they won’t fit in an academic essay because they’re your own thoughts.
The quote you choose to start an essay with should come from a credible scholarly source.
If your teacher asks you where you got the quote from and you tell them you made it up, they’ll more than likely not read the essay past the introduction.
3. Use Clear, Short Quotes
It doesn’t make sense to start an essay with a long quote that a reader will struggle to remember.
Even if a quote is interesting enough to fit the central theme of the essay prompt, you should avoid it in favor of a short, clear quote.
If a reader can memorize the quote within the first 30 seconds of reading, go for it.
Such a quote is good for your essay because it enhances clarity, making it easy for the reader to understand the meaning and support for your argument.
4. You Should Explain the Significance of the Quote
If you choose to start your essay with a quote, don’t explain to explain its significance in the paper.
There are two advantages to doing this.
First, explaining a quote further helps to strengthen your essay. Second, more explanation enables you to present the clarity so you don’t lose a reader, not to mention make your content easy to understand.
5. You Should Provide Relevant Reference to the Quote
Since a quote is someone else’s thoughts, you need to attribute it to the right author.
Besides, your readers will want to know where you got the quote from, and you must make it easy for them to find it.
When Not to Start an Essay with a Quote
Some students prefer to start their essays with quotes because they find the phrases engaging, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
But purpose-written opening sentences tend to have a broader latitude than quotes, and therefore more powerful than the latter.
Again, quotes communicate someone else’s thoughts so much so that they tend to undermine your creativity. So it’s best to shy away from them if you have something more engaging and enlightening to share with your readers.
There’s also the problem of limited range of expression, as you don’t have the room to expand on another author’s quotations besides summarizing or paraphrasing it.
Because quotes require attribution, they can cause a reader to look aside, so you risk losing their attention during that first moment with your writing.
Final Thoughts on Starting an Essay with a Quote
If one thing is for sure, it’s that’s you can start a great essay with a quote relevant to the theme of the topic. As long as you can find and attribute great quotes, you’ll be set and ready to write an essay that your instructor will find interesting to read.
However, if you want more freedom to express your thoughts and share something more enlightening with your target readers, then there’s no point starting your essay with a quote.
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About the author
Antony W is a professional writer and coach at Help for Assessment. He spends countless hours every day researching and writing great content filled with expert advice on how to write engaging essays, research papers, and assignments.
Is it acceptable to begin an essay with a block quotation?
Note: This post relates to content in the eighth edition of the MLA Handbook . For up-to-date guidance, see the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook .
Yes, an essay may start with a block quotation. The quotation should be important to your discussion and referred to in your prose. This distinguishes it from an epigraph, which is ornamental in nature.