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How to Start an Essay With a Quote

Last Updated: September 7, 2022 References

This article was co-authored by Jake Adams . Jake Adams is an academic tutor and the owner of Simplifi EDU, a Santa Monica, California based online tutoring business offering learning resources and online tutors for academic subjects K-College, SAT & ACT prep, and college admissions applications. With over 14 years of professional tutoring experience, Jake is dedicated to providing his clients the very best online tutoring experience and access to a network of excellent undergraduate and graduate-level tutors from top colleges all over the nation. Jake holds a BS in International Business and Marketing from Pepperdine University. There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 410,196 times.

Writing an effective introduction can be one of the most intimidating aspects of writing an essay. While there are many different approaches to writing introductory paragraphs, you may want to consider beginning your essay with a quotation. Finding the right quotation and using it well within the framework of your own words can ensure that your essay is off to a great start.

Finding the Perfect Quotation

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Quoting Correctly

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Incorporating the Quotation into Your Introduction

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About This Article

Jake Adams

To start an essay with a quote, introduce the quote by including the name of the author, such as, “John Keats once said…” When you include the quote, put quotation marks around it and make sure to put any punctuation inside the quotation marks. If the quote is long, you can use only part of it or remove sections as long as you insert an ellipses. Once you’ve introduced the quote and the author, provide some context for the quotation and how it ties into the thesis of your essay. For tips from our English reviewer on how to find the perfect quotation to start your essay, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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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:

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

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.

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.

Our experts are ready to help you 24/7. Don’t hesitate to contact us whether you face a need to complete your paper urgently or just want us to review your work! Our team of professionals will wait for your order for assignment writing being ready to provide a helping hand and expert advice, which you may lack.

Entrust us to write your paper and enjoy your free time, which can be spent on things that really matter to you now. You won’t regret choosing us as your reliable academic helper! Want to check if this is true? Read what our loyal customers say about our top quality services! Join them and pass your paper with flying colors!

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.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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How to Start an Essay with a Quote? Learn with Examples

Table of Contents

One of the most intimidating aspects of essay writing is crafting an effective introduction. Basically, for writing the introductory paragraph in an essay, there are different approaches available. But the most considerable approach is beginning the essay with a quotation. When you start the essay with a catchy quote, possibilities are there to grab the attention of the readers and make them read the entire essay.

Usually, the best essays open with a hook to draw the readers in and generate interest in the topic. More predominantly, using a quotation that is relevant to the topic in an appropriate manner acts as a strong hook.

Do you know how to start an essay with a quote? If you are unsure, then continue reading this blog post. Here, we have explained the most effective ways to begin an essay with a quote. Also, from this blog post, learn in detail how to find a perfect quote and include that in the introductory paragraph of your essay.

How to Start an Essay with a Quote

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.

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.

How to Start an Essay with a Quote

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.

Consider 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.

Research and find 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.

Select a quote matching 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 the 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.

Suggested Ways to Introduce Quotes 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.

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).

Advantages and Disadvantages of Starting Essays with a Quote

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


Here are some common disadvantages of starting an essay with a quote.

Get Professional Help to Begin an Essay with a Quote

We hope you are now clear about how to begin an essay with a quote. In general, choosing a quote for introducing an essay is a time-consuming process. To find the right quote matching the purpose of your essay, you should either refer to printed books or online websites. 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.

Although there are multiple methods, using a quote as a hook in the introductory paragraph is one of the best ways to hold the attention of the readers and make them read the entire essay. But if you use a quote irrelevant to the essay topic, then you can’t impress the readers. Therefore, you should invest more time and effort to search and find the perfect quote to connect with your main point.

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. 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.

Need the best online essay writing service ? Looking for plagiarism-free, cheap assignment writing help online? Just share your requirement with us through the order form. As per your requirements, a professional writer from our team will provide extraordinary academic support and will help you in preparing a customized essay or thesis without skipping the deadlines.

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How to Start an Essay with a Quote: Recommendations, Examples, Pros & Cons

Updated 16 Sep 2022

Quotations are phrases or short passages borrowed from texts or speeches of other authors. Oftentimes, these are famous remarks of various celebrities either from the present or from humanity’s distant past. Most famous quotes are highly valuable since they represent concentrated pieces of wisdom, knowledge, life experience, wit, all of which can be magnified by circumstances in which these have been made or by the life and contribution of people they belong to. This explains why they represent powerful tools in essay writing.

Hence, knowing how to start an essay with a quote is an important skill that allows students to make the best of their written assignments or speeches.

Simple Tips for Starting Essay with Quotes

how to start an essay with a quote

When considering how to start with a quote, there are some tips that would certainly prove useful:

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Key Things You Should Know When Picking the Right Quote

When searching for a suitable quote at beginning of essay, always prioritize content over authority. In other words, a quote’s quality, contained idea, thought, message should always be more important than the figure behind it. Besides giving more freedom, this would spare you from the risk of not being original by citing the same famous personalities as everyone else.

Note that it might be often opportune to describe the context in which these quotes were made, i.e. circumstances that made authors say or write these words. This helps readers better imagine what internal struggles authors faced when formulating these. Describing context should be effective if quotes come from authors that confronted extreme events, phenomena, life circumstances, dilemmas, etc.

Although searching fore quotes might be time-consuming, student should know that there are multiple methods that facilitate this process. Thus, there are good books containing collections of quotes split into different categories listed in alphabetical order – this should be efficient for general topics. Alternatively, employ online search engines with carefully formulated queries, which are much more flexible tools. Yet another approach is picking relevant sources directly and looking for quotable passages in them.

Our academic assistance service Edubirdie helps with finding quotes or with any other writing issue experienced by you. Whether you wonder how to write an editorial , research paper, speech, lab report, doing coursework, or how to write about yourself , we handle anything you can imagine – just check out with our operators and place your order.

Pros And Cons of Starting Essays with Quotes

Starting an essay with a quote comes with a number of advantages and disadvantages as presented below.

How to Begin an Essay with a Quote Example

Example 1 – an essay on the environmental “legacy” of current generations

“If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace; and this single reflection, well applied, is sufficient to awaken every man to duty.” (Paine, The American Crisis, 1776). This quote by our Founding Father Thomas Paine serves as a constant reminder that this Earth belongs to our descendants just as well. One implication of these words is that it is our duty to do everything for addressing current problems if we want our generations to live in a normal world. This is relevant for current environmental problems which represent a civilizational threat.

Example 2 – an essay on self-sufficiency, both humor and depth are employed

“The best definition of man is: a being that goes on two legs and is ungrateful” (Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes from Underground, 1864). Seems like human nature is a constant. What if Dostoyevsky had the chance to witness the abundance in our societies as compared to the one he lived in and regardless of this abundance, so much unhappiness and so many ungrateful people.

To conclude, a quotation is a powerful instrument that greatly enhances your essay if used appropriately, and now you know how to start a paper with a quote. If you want to integrate quotes in your paper, just let our academic assistants know and they would consider this along other listed instructions. 

Keep in mind that with Edubirdie, you can transparently select your preferred online essay writer  by reviewing their performance stats and continuously communicate with them in order to obtain essay outlines, drafts, provide feedback. Besides, clients benefit from unlimited free revisions in case original instructions have not been met but also from a money-back guarantee if revision attempts fail. Your risks are minimized here so why not give it a try?

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quotes in introduction of essay

help for assessment

Can You Start An Essay With A Quote? (What You Should Know)

antony w

by  Antony W

February 28, 2023

start essay with quote

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.

Key Takeaways

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.

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.

Get Essay Writing Help 

Writing an essay when you have tons of additional assignments to complete can be tough. That’s the case especially when you’re short on time but have a tight deadline to beat. You can simply reach out to us and we’ll help you get your essay assignment completed in good time.

At Help of Assessment, we have an established team of writers who dedicate their time and effort to writing high quality essays that will pique your instructor’s interest and earn you the marks you deserve. Plus, we’re far more affordable than many academic writing services online, and we put more effort in writing high quality essays for all our clients.

quotes in introduction of essay

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.

How to Start an Essay With a Quote With Examples

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 its 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.

Types of Quotes

Using a quote as a hook.

Peer Review

Using “They Say, I Say” Format When Starting an Essay With a Quote

Connecting a Particular Quote to a Thesis Statement

Summing up on how to start an essay with a quote, useful articles, general guidelines of 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 .

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 copies and pastes direct quotes without altering any expression. Hence, authors must use these three forms effectively to avoid interfering with the original citation’s actual meaning.

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.

How to start an essay with a quote in MLA 8, APA 7, Harvard, and Chicago/Turabian

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 interests. 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 its 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.

2. Uniqueness

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 to 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 where scholars decide to write an essay with a quote on real democracy in the United States. Then, writers should use a quote by 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 critics. 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:

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:

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:

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:

Academic writing requires presenting sources and ideas effectively to readers. For example, “they say, I say” forms allow a 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:

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.

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:

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:

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How to Start an Essay with a Quote

Many students are interested in the question: Can I start an essay with a quote? Our answer: of course, you can! The main thing that you should pay attention to is the expediency of this quote. It should be intriguing, catchy, and involving. Below you will find many useful tips that will help you attract the attention of your audience from the very first phrase of your essay.

When Would You Want to Start with Quote?

Relevance is a very important quality. Sometimes the same method can be successful and unsuccessful at the same time. For example, you certainly cannot imagine a research essay that begins with a quote about love. Such stories are boring and old-fashioned. Students think that quotes will help make their essays interesting and compelling. But not the phrase itself is important, but its meaning, context, your interpretation. You can’t just start the paper with a quote and forget about it. Each sentence of your essay should respond to the first of them.

This means that you can use a quote if your essay is devoted to reflective, artistic, literary topics. It can be a paper of comparison and opposition, a literature review. An appropriate quote can be selected for an analytical or critical essay. Many students use quotes for their admission essays, so this is often perceived as a cliché.

Use the quote to start the essay when you realize that you do not have another hook. The reader will see a familiar or intriguing phrase and will want to know what your paper is about. In addition, this will automatically add you a score. After all, if you quote Nietzsche or Dostoevsky, you are probably very smart and have done solid work on your essay.

The Pros and Cons of Starting with a Quote

It cannot be denied that the decision to begin essay with a quote has its advantages and disadvantages. There is no universal rule that will be the same for all papers. Check out the list below to understand your situation and make the right choice.

The Key Points of Selecting the Right Quote

In order to start an essay with a quote, you need to choose a good phrase. Some students consider this task to be pretty challenging. Here are some tips to help you with this:

Do not think that your first sentence should be written as soon as you decide on the topic of the essay. We recommend that you come up with a quote after your paper is ready. Then you will have a full understanding of this text: what idea it conveys, what arguments you use, how exactly you transmit your ideas to readers. Use the brainstorming method and write out all the quotes that seem suitable for you. And then answer the questions above. This will help you get rid of bad options and find the best solution.

5 Steps to Begin an Essay with a Quote:

Actually, starting a paper with a quote it’s not at all difficult. Here are five steps to help you do this:

Mistakes You Should Avoid Starting an Essay With Quote

The first mistake you can make is banality. Quotes such as “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” or “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” very boring. They have been used hundreds of times and do not carry any new meaning.

The second mistake is the lack of context. Readers cannot always understand why you used this particular phrase. This will make them feel stupid. People do not like to feel stupid. Write essays in plain language and explain such things.

The third mistake is a too loose interpretation of the context. Make sure you understand the quote correctly and don’t use it for your own purposes. If you did it on purpose, explain it to readers.

Examples of Quote Introductions

Examples are what help students get the big picture. You can read the theory for a long time, but you still cannot understand what actions you should take in practice. Therefore, we have selected some good examples for you. Use them to come up with your own quote for your introduction:

Now you know how to start an essay with a quote. We recommend that you do not procrastinate or put off writing a paper until the last day. Make sure you have enough time. But this does not mean at all that you are obliged to write an essay and look for a good quote-hook for it. We understand that students want to have fun in their free time. Perhaps you work, and your head is busy with more important things than selecting quotes. Fortunately, we know how to help you. Place your order on our website, and we will select a professional author for you. Your essay with an attractive quote will be ready on time and at a very competitive price!

Written by David Hoang

David Hoang works as a copywriter for WriteAnyPapers. He used to work in different spheres, from web development to psychology, but he decided to change his career. In this case, David has an opportunity to tell others how to behave in different situations.

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21 Killer GRE Essay Quotes You Should Be Using Right Now

quotes in introduction of essay

By Jitta Raghavender Rao • GRE Writing

“[A] quotation is a handy thing to have about, saving one the trouble of thinking for oneself, always a laborious business.” – A.A. Milne

Chances are you too know a few famous quotes, but you probably don’t use them. I know so, because I’m guilty of neglecting quotes on the GRE.

So, why should you use essay quotes on the GRE?  To start with, the right use of quotes in essays augments the power of your arguments and makes your essays appear more convincing. Plus, essays with quotes tend to score better than essays without them, because of the initial impact the use of quotes create on the reader, and help strengthen your point.

But we need to exercise prudence. Only use quotes as is, if you are convinced that paraphrasing would lower the impact or change the meaning of the original author’s words or when the argument could not be better expressed or said more succinctly.

Here is how you make sure you are doing it right.

How do I incorporate quotes into my essay?

At times, an essay can appear painfully discorded if the quotations are out of place or if the essay is too stuffed with quotes.

So, what should you do to avoid this?

A great quote plays one or more roles from the following:

If the quote doesn’t serve any of the above then you are forcing it into the essay and this could do more harm than good.

You should start writing your essay with a quote that lays foundation to the main idea behind the essay. This can have a major impact on the evaluator. You can also comment on the quotation in this introductory paragraph if you wish. Either way, to get a perfect score on the GRE essay, use a relevant quote strategically but don’t force it into the essay.

Can I alter the structure of the quotation?

Using the exact words from the original source is called quoting. You should quote when you believe that the way the original author expresses an idea is the most effective way to communicate the point you wish to make. If you want to borrow an idea from the author but don’t put the idea in their exact words, then it’s called paraphrasing. (but remember that you still have to cite the original author even when you are paraphrasing)

For example, Ronald Reagan said, “Trust, but verify.” You can alter the quotation on your own according to the passage, by saying: ‘To paraphrase Ronald Reagan’s famous quote, “It is easier to trust when you can verify.”‘ By doing this, you are not only citing the original author, but also gaining extra points for using your own version of the quote.

How many quotes should I use?

If you deploy a lot of quotations in your essay, it appears as though several people are talking about the topic apart from yourself. This would downplay your own voice and leaves little room for your own ideas. It is your essay and it should be your voice that needs to be heard, not some notable/famous person’s. Quote as infrequently as possible. So, don’t cram every quote you know into the essay. As a rule of thumb, refrain from using more than 2 quotes in any essay. (One in the introductory paragraph and the other if necessary in the conclusion)

How do I introduce the quote in my own words?

The last thing you would want is get your score cancelled on account of plagiarism. It’s highly recommended that you cite the author of the quotation. If you don’t cite, you may give the impression that you claim to be the original author and that could result in plagiarism. You should place the quote in double quotation marks. Here is an example usage citing the author:

Thomas Jefferson once said “The will of the people is the only legitimate foundation of any government, and to protect its free expression should be our first object.”

Categorization of GRE Essay Topics

The fascinating thing about the GRE essay topics is that they’re already published on the official ETS website. This may sound crazy because giving out the questions in advance is not normal. Now, use this to your advantage. You can find all the GRE essay topics on the official ETS website .

But there’s a catch! You were expecting a few, right?

Well, there are close to 200 topics in all – far too many to practice responses in advance. Also, practicing each of these topics is not advisable as it is going to take a lot of time and effort and there is no point in mugging them up. You could as well spend this time on learning some math. However, there’s a good news. Just scanning through these two lists will give you an excellent idea of the types of issues and arguments that show up on test day.

I just made things a bit easy for you, though. Most of the topics that show up on the GRE essay section can be broadly grouped into five categories.

So, next time when you practice writing an essay response, make sure you write at least one essay from each of these categories. And memorize a few quotes related to each one of these topics, as they will be handy.

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List of most useful essay quotes

I’ve compiled a list of easy-to-digest quotes that should help you write the perfect essay. Bookmark this page NOW for future reference.

The following quotes from great thinkers have been selected based on their relevance to common GRE essay topics and for their ease of usage.

Now, these are a handful of quotes. The goal is to memorize 5 or 6 of your favorite quotes so you’ll be able to contextually fit one into the essay on the test day. While practicing, you may look at the list of quotes found above however, if you can remember a specific quote apposite to your essay topic, try to use it – one quote for every essay.

For those avid writers, who believe the number of quotes above are too low, we have the right tool for you. Ellipsoid created a random quote generator tool that draws 5 famous quotes from Goodreads every time you reload the page. The good news is these 5 quotes are always theme based so you know where to use them.

Writing essays isn’t all about the substance. It’s the basics that many of us forget. If you are going to put in the time to practice writing essays, might as well maximize the score you could get by deploying a quote in your essays.

So, what’s your favorite quote?

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20 Comments to “21 Killer GRE Essay Quotes You Should Be Using Right Now”

quotes in introduction of essay

i think it is difficult to remember even these 21 quotes in the exam. any tips to remember them will be helpful. thanks

quotes in introduction of essay

Yes, it is rather difficult to remember all the 21 quotes, which is why we asked you to pick a few of your favorite ones from the list. Plus, the only way you can remember these quotes is by using them while you practice AWA essays.

Happy Studying! 🙂

quotes in introduction of essay

I personally memorize the ones that can be useful in more than one topic, and as said learn the ones you like most.

quotes in introduction of essay

Quote number 5… oh, Albert. You make my bricks fall off. As to you, Mr. Kaundinya, I might win a brand spankin’ new tablet thanks to your quotes. I’m sure my D.A.R.E essay will be awesome.

quotes in introduction of essay

I found that they are advantageous,but i don’t think that i can get used of them in a short time.

quotes in introduction of essay

thnx for these awesome quotes guys.i’m damn sure that the’ll help a looooooooot in improving my skills.

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Super glad to know they helped you, Bhavya! Hope you’ll kill some essays with these quotes now. 🙂

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It is really helpful

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Wow! This is the fantastic technique to use quotes in essay, because this think bring something new in essay writing. I’m big fan of your after reading this article.

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Very helpful

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I liked those quotes

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Those quotes are amazing….. I’m sure that it it will help in writting essays

Glad it helped, Merin! Feel free to message us if you have any questions! 🙂

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  4. How to Start an Essay With a Quote: 14 Steps (with Pictures)

    Introduce the quotation. The quotation needs to be introduced in your own words. This can come either

  5. How to Start an Essay with a Quote

    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

  6. Suggested Ways to Introduce Quotations

    How to quote in an essay? · 1. Use a full sentence followed by a colon to introduce a quotation. · 2. Begin a sentence with your own words, then complete it with

  7. How to Start an Essay with a Quote? Learn with Examples

    Suggested Ways to Introduce Quotes in an Essay · While introducing a quotation, use a full sentence followed by a colon. · Start the sentence with

  8. How to Start an Essay With a Quote: Basic Tips&Samples

    Simple Tips for Starting Essay with Quotes · choose quotations that fit your purpose. · consider your audience. · connect to your point. Be certain to explain how


    Think of a quotation as a miniscule essay in itself—it provides an argument and needs an introduction and conclusion to give it clarity. The following general

  10. Can You Start An Essay With A Quote? (What You Should Know)

    Key Takeaways You can use direct, summary, or paraphrase quotes in the introduction of your essay. · 1. Choose a Quote Relevant to the Topic · 2. Get Your Quote

  11. How to Start an Essay With a Quote With Examples

    One can use various types of quotes to begin an essay. Basically, the most common examples of quotations include paraphrase, summary, or direct

  12. How to Start an Essay with a Quote (w/ Examples)

    Examples of Quote Introductions · 'It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles.' This quote of Buddha is pretty relevant

  13. Quote Introductions & Conclusions Grab the Reader's Attention

    The concluding paragraph of an essay should be the opposite of the introduction. • Begins with the restatement of thesis in two sentences. • Refers back to the

  14. 21 Killer GRE Essay Quotes You Should Be Using Right Now

    List of most useful essay quotes · The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance – Socrates · A people that value its privileges above its principles