Changes should be made only to preserve clarity or to change length, not to manipulate the content of the quotation. If the quotation is long, or you only need part of it to make your how to start a quote point, you can leave sections out by using an ellipses (…). Note that in the second example below, a slash with a space on either side ( / ) marks a line break in the original poem.

how to start a quote in an essay

Some students choose a cute quotation first and then try to plug it into their essay. As a consequence, such quotations usually drag the reader away from the essay. It is usually better to have short and crisp quotations in your essay. Generally, long quotations must be used sparingly as they tend to weigh down the reader. However, there are times when your essay has more impact with a longer quotation.

Using Quotes for an Effective Essay Introduction

Otherwise, you are just randomly throwing a quote up there, and no one will care. AI KW Clustering Create topical hubs with a single click. If you wanted to begin a sentence with an excerpt from the middle of this quotation, there would be no need to bracket your capitalization changes. Interrupt the quote with an attribution to the speaker. Again, you will need to use a comma after the verb, as well as a comma leading into the attribution.

Oftentimes, these are famous remarks of various celebrities either from the present or from humanity’s distant past. This explains why they represent powerful tools in essay writing. Embedding long quotations will make your writing swamped with the statements of other people and show a lack of your own word count. If you find a quote that perfectly matches your paper, don’t just “copy-paste” it. It’s much better to select the most striking part of the quote than to paraphrase and analyze the rest. Such an approach will show both that you have read some literature on the topic and that you have your own thoughts and understanding. 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.

Can Turnitin Detect Essays Bought Online?

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. 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. The quote you choose to start an essay with should come from a credible scholarly source. If you include any quote in your essay, you must show how it fits into your work so that your readers understand its relevance. Start with a hook and you stand the chance to grab your reader’s attention.

Can we start with a quote in an essay?

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.

An overused quotation like “Nothing is impossible” will make your piece look generic. And if you use clichés, you are likely to evoke a stereotypical response. It could make you appear lazy or unmindful of your audience. You can use a quote to state example of an outline for an essay an opinion and explain why you do or do not agree with it. It can present a case in favor of a general opinion, prove an idea, or make a particular argument. If it fits in the overall picture of your essay and doesn’t sound too cliché, then yes.

Examples of How to Start an Essay with a Quote

This article is a quick guide to help you use quotes in your essay introduction effectively. While quotes are an important aspect of a persuasive essay, they are not the piece that makes the essay persuasive. Find a quotation that surprises the audience in some manner. You could use different strategies to surprise the reader. Quote a person saying something which the audience would not expect.

  1. Make sure that the quote is relevant to the point you are trying to make.
  2. Otherwise, you are just randomly throwing a quote up there, and no one will care.
  3. The Gladneys are DeLillo’s depiction of the typical American consumerist family.
  4. It will also help you determine whether the quote is an appropriate means of introducing your essay.
  5. Most importantly, explain how the quote supports your argument or opinion about a certain essay topic.
  6. The neglection of indicating the original source can lead to accusing you of committing plagiarism.

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. 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. It is also crucial to contribute your own thoughts, not just the author’s. Choose quotes that are related to the topic or theme of your essay. Like I said previously, different citation styles have their own way of referencing a quote. Now let us transform the previous examples from APA to MLA. And notably, the name and page number are not separated by a comma.

Writing Guide Navigation

Consequently, there aren’t many other means that help engage readers into a deep discussion so suddenly. Paraphrased material (someone else’s idea put into your own words) need not have quotation marks around it, but should be attributed to the original speaker. Quotations should always appear with quotation marks around them. Failing to use quotation marks may result in plagiarism.

  1. In the first example, the division calls attention to the two parts of Hamlet’s claim.
  2. There may be times when you need to quote long passages.
  3. You can use a full sentence followed by a colon to introduce a quotation.
  4. The statements of a brilliant thinker within your field are considered a way to make your essay stand out from the piles of other writings.
  5. To recap, it’s crucial that citations in the text must be accompanied by your personal thoughts, arguments, and examples.
  6. These is true even if each part of the paragraph has fewer than four typed lines.

Time-consuming to search and find an ideal quotation matching the purpose of the essay. 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.

How to Start an Essay with a 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. Typically, you can use a quote from a pop culture celebrity or popular personality to attract the general types of writing hooks audience. But to connect with more specific audiences, you should choose a source that is fitting your target audience. Listed below are the most popular examples of quotations. Under the MLA citation guidelines, you will add the page number after the name of the author. You can also use square brackets to show that you changed or added some words.

  1. If it fits in the overall picture of your essay and doesn’t sound too cliché, then yes.
  2. A maximum of one quote per paragraph is the unspoken rule you must remember here.
  3. The Monroe College Guide to Essay Writing presents the information necessary to write effective essays.
  4. However, in reality, there is no more worn-out way to start an essay.
  5. Never use a quote that is offensive to the readers unless you plan to contradict the quote.
  6. As Smith explains, “you can introduce your quotes with a number of different phrases” .
  7. Include an introductory phrase naming the source, followed by a comma to quote the author.

If you are quoting a poem translated into prose, cite line numbers if possible; otherwise cite page numbers. If you aren’t sure about the difference between poetry and prose, click here. Shows that you know how to credit the sources of your information. When quoting poetry, indicate line breaks with a slash mark.

Correctly attribute the quote

Through our online academic paper writing service, we will assist you in finding the right quote to start an essay. Also, we will offer you instant assignment writing help for all the academic paper writing issues that you experience. 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. A quote is a short passage or phrase taken from the text or speech of other authors.

how to start a quote in an essay

You can use a lead-in naming the author or character, followed by a comma. Make sure to use a quote that relates to your essay and contributes to clarifying your point better. There’s no point in a catchy quote that doesn’t contribute to the development of your subject. If the quote is unrelated to your essay, it will distract from the essay’s main points without adding value to your writing. You can begin a sentence with your own words, then insert a quotation to complete it.


Not all the information that is present on the internet is legitimate. So, when including a quote, you should confirm whether the person who you are quoting actually said the quote. 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.

  1. Our academic assistance service Edubirdie helps with finding quotes or with any other writing issue experienced by you.
  2. That is necessary if you need some previous context to understand the meaning of the quote or if you want to make sure that pronouns agree with their antecedents.
  3. Single space or double space within the block quotation, depending on the style guidelines of your discipline (MLA, CSE, APA, Chicago, etc.).
  4. When you include a quotation to illustrate a point you have made, the quotation should be followed by an explanation of how the material in the quotation illustrates your point.
  5. If the speaker is important, give that person’s name in a signal phrase.

Below you can find some popular questions that also bother those who are in the process of writing their paper. Similarly, if a quotation referenced an event with which the reader might be unfamiliar, you could identify that event in brackets. For example, if you were quoting someone’s nickname, you might want to let your reader know the full name of that person in brackets.

Final Thoughts on Starting an Essay with a Quote

However, it is still desirable to avoid such things as it was already done a thousand times how to cite something in an essay before. In reality, it’s pretty tricky and takes a lot of details into consideration.

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