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How to Cite Something in MLA Format
MLA formatting refers to the writing style guide produced by the Modern Language Association. If you’re taking a class in the liberal arts, you usually have to follow this format when writing papers. In addition to looking at MLA examples, it helps to know the basics of the style guide.
MLA requires parenthetical citations within the document. This means you must include source information inside parentheses placed after a quotation or paraphrase from a source. Each parenthetical citation must have the page number where you found the information you used. It may also have the author’s or creator’s name. Do not use a comma to separate the name and the date.
The format for in-text citations depends on the format of the source material. For print material like books and journals, you need the author’s name and publication date. If the source has two authors, use and to join them and the term “et al.” if it has more than two authors. You can also reference the authors in the document and include only the page number in parentheses.
Citations for Nonprint Material
If you use nonprint materials as sources, you have to cite them. However, you don’t have to include page numbers with the in-text citations. You do have to include information like the name of the work, the creator’s name and the year of publication on the Works Cited page.
When you complete the Work Cited page, each source requires additional information. For images, you need to include contributors, the reproduction number and URL where you located the image online. Movies must list the director’s name and distributor. A TV series needs the episode title and number, series title, season number and network. Pieces of music should include the title of the track and album and the record label.
Works Cited List
When you use MLA format, you must have a Works Cited page that lists all of the sources you used for the paper. This page goes at the end of the document on a separate page. You list all of the sources in alphabetical order according to the author’s last name. Make sure the page is double-spaced and that you follow the specific guidelines for formatting each entry.
If you don’t have access to printed MLA style guides or don’t understand how to format your sources, you can turn to a citation generator. There are several citation generators available online for free or as part of a subscription service. You can also find them in word processing programs.
To use a citation generator, you enter information about each source. The program automatically formats the sources for the works cited page. You can also select the places in the document to add in-text citations.
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How to Start an Essay With a Quote
Last Updated: September 7, 2022 Fact Checked
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 fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 431,072 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
- Quote a person saying something that someone would not expect them to say.
- Quote someone who is not universally famous.
- Use a well-known quote but contradict it.
- Determine whether the audience will be familiar with the person who you are quoting. If it is someone obscure or you think they will not be familiar, consider providing additional (brief) details.
- Do not use a quote that could be offensive to the audience unless you plan to contradict the quotation.
- Strike a balance between assuming your audience knows everything and assuming they know nothing. You should be clear and informative but not insulting to the intelligence of your reader.
- Use the quote as a sentence predicate. The subject of the sentence will be the person who said the quote, and the verb will most likely be a synonym of “said.” For example, "Jane Smith said, 'blah blah blah.'"
- Preview the content of the quote. Use your own (grammatically correct) sentence to preview or paraphrase what the quote will say, then insert a colon or comma, then the (grammatically correct) sentence-length quotation. For example: "Once Jane Smith said something completely awesome: 'the awesome thing she said.'"
- Begin with the quote. If you begin with the quote, be sure to place a comma after the quote and then provide a verb and attribute the quotation to the source. For example: "'Blah blah blah,' said Jane Smith."
- The quote only needs to be capitalized if it begins the sentence or if the first word of the quote is a proper noun, like the name of a person or a place.
- In American usage, end punctuation should be placed inside the quotation marks. For example, “this is the quote.”
- 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.
- If you introduce the quote with the speaker’s name and a verb, provide a comma before the beginning of the quotation. For example: "Jane Smith said, 'blah blah blah.'"
- Be particularly aware of quotations found on social media such as Pinterest, or on quote aggregators such as Brainyquote. These sources are notorious for mis-attributing and even making up famous quotes.
- You may also need to substitute a word (like a name rather than a pronoun) for clarity. If you need to substitute a word, place square brackets around the word to indicate that you made a change. For example: "Jane Smith said, 'blah [blady] blah.'"
- Be sure to keep the original intent of the quotation when making changes. Changes should be made only to preserve clarity or to change length, not to manipulate the content of the quotation.
Incorporating the Quotation into Your Introduction
- In your introduction, you need to be clear about what you're going to talk about and how you're going to talk about it.
- Be sure that the quotation you use supports your thesis.
- Be sure that using the quotation enhances, rather than distracting from, your argument.  X Research source
- Find a quote that is meaningful to you, not just one you found in a list on the internet. If the context and wording of the quote speak to you, you’re more likely to connect it to your essay effectively. Thanks Helpful 3 Not Helpful 0
- Some college professors never want to see a quotation begin an essay. Because the method is often overused, there is some bias against it. You can overcome this by doing it very well. Thanks Helpful 4 Not Helpful 1
You Might Also Like
- ↑ http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/cliches/
- ↑ https://www.esu.edu/writing-studio/guides/hook.cfm
- ↑ https://www.ccis.edu/student-life/advising-tutoring/writing-math-tutoring/introduce-quotations
- ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/punctuation/quotation_marks/index.html
- ↑ https://www.ursinus.edu/live/files/1160-integrating-quotespdf
- ↑ http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/quotations/
- ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/quotations/
- ↑ http://www.otago.ac.nz/classics/otago055219.pdf
About This Article
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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- 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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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.
- 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.
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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.
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.
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.
Learn 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.
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.
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 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.
Points to Remember for Choosing the Right Quote
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 Incorporate 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.
Suggested 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 matching 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 in completing all your essay assignments in advance of the deadline and achieve top grades.
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Q. How do you format a free standing quotation (epigraph) at the beginning of a paper in APA or MLA?
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Answer Last Updated: Aug 23, 2023 Views: 64191
A short quotation at the beginning of a chapter or article is called an epigraph. The quote is treated like an extract and indented from the left margin. Only the author’s name (and only the author’s last name if he or she is well-known) and the book’s title should be given in italics. The credit line should be on the line beneath the epigraph, flush right, preceded by an em dash; if it is very short, it can be run on the same line as the last line of the epigraph. An epigraph’s source is not listed in the References section.
I envy people who drink—at least they know what to blame everything on.
— Oscar Levant, The Portable Curmudgeon
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- How to format an epigraph from the APA Style Experts
- How do I format an epigraph in MLA?
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MLA Citation Guide (9th Edition): In-Text Citation
- What Kind of Source Is This?
- Books, eBooks & Pamphlets
- Book Reviews
- Class Handouts, Presentations, and Readings
- Encyclopedias & Dictionaries
- Government Documents
- Images, Artwork, Charts, Graphs & Tables
- Interviews and Emails (Personal Communications)
- Journal Articles
- Magazine Articles
- Newspaper Articles
- Primary Sources
- Religious Texts
- Social Media
- Videos & DVDs
- In-Text Citation
Works Quoted in Another Source
- No Author, No Date etc.
- Works Cited List & Sample Paper
- Annotated Bibliography
- Powerpoint Presentations
On This Page
About in-text citations, no known author, quoting directly, paraphrasing, no page numbers, repeated use of sources, in-text citation for more than one source, long quotations, quoting and paraphrasing: what's the difference, signal phrases, avoiding plagiarism when using sources.
T here are two ways to integrate others' research into your assignment: you can paraphrase or you can quote.
Paraphrasing is used to show that you understand what the author wrote. You must restate the meaning of the passage, expressing the ideas in your own words and voice, and not just change a few words here and there. Make sure to also include an in-text citation.
Quoting is copying the wording from someone else's work, keeping it exactly as it was originally written. When quoting, place quotation marks (" ") around the selected passage to show where the quote begins and where it ends. Make sure to include an in-text citation.
If you refer to the author's name in a sentence you do not have to include the name again as part of your in-text citation. Instead include the page number (if there is one) at the end of the quotation or paraphrased section.
Hunt explains that mother-infant attachment has been a leading topic of developmental research since John Bowlby found that "children raised in institutions were deficient in emotional and personality development" (358).
In MLA, in-text citations are inserted in the body of your research paper to briefly document the source of your information. Brief in-text citations point the reader to more complete information in the Works Cited list at the end of the paper.
When a source has no known author, use the first one, two, or three words from the title instead of the author's last name. Don't count initial articles like "A", "An" or "The". You should provide enough words to make it clear which work you're referring to from your Works Cited list.
If the title in the Works Cited list is in italics, italicize the words from the title in the in-text citation.
( Cell Biology 12)
If the title in the Works Cited list is in quotation marks, put quotation marks around the words from the title in the in-text citation.
When you quote directly from a source, enclose the quoted section in quotation marks. Add an in-text citation at the end of the quote with the author name and page number, like this:
"Here's a direct quote" (Smith 8).
"Here's a direct quote" ("Trouble" 22).
Note: The period goes outside the brackets, at the end of your in-text citation.
Mother-infant attachment has been a leading topic of developmental research since John Bowlby found that "children raised in institutions were deficient in emotional and personality development" (Hunt 358).
When you write information or ideas from a source in your own words, cite the source by adding an in-text citation at the end of the paraphrased portion, like this:
This is a paraphrase (Smith 8).
This is a paraphrase ("Trouble" 22).
Mother-infant attachment became a leading topic of developmental research following the publication of John Bowlby's studies (Hunt 65).
Note: If the paraphrased information/idea summarizes several pages, include all of the page numbers.
Mother-infant attachment became a leading topic of developmental research following the publication of John Bowlby's studies (Hunt 50, 55, 65-71).
When you quote from electronic sources that do not provide page numbers (like webpages), cite the author name only. If there is no author, cite the first word or words from the title only.
"Three phases of the separation response: protest, despair, and detachment" (Garelli).
"Nutrition is a critical part of health and development" ("Nutrition").
Sources that are paraphrased or quoted in other sources are called indirect sources. MLA recommends you take information from the original source whenever possible.
If you must cite information from an indirect source, mention the author of the original source in the body of your text and place the name of the author of the source you actually consulted in your in-text citation. Begin your in-text citation with 'qtd. in.'
Kumashiro notes that lesbian and bisexual women of colour are often excluded from both queer communities and communities of colour (qtd. in Dua 188).
(You are reading an article by Dua that cites information from Kumashiro (the original source))
Note: In your Works Cited list, you only include a citation for the source you consulted, NOT the original source.
In the above example, your Works Cited list would include a citation for Dua's article, and NOT Kumashiro's.
If you're using information from a single source more than once in a row (with no other sources referred to in between), you can use a simplified in-text citation. The first time you use information from the source, use a full in-text citation. The second time, you only need to give the page number.
Cell biology is an area of science that focuses on the structure and function of cells (Smith 15). It revolves around the idea that the cell is a "fundamental unit of life" (17). Many important scientists have contributed to the evolution of cell biology. Mattias Jakob Schleiden and Theodor Schwann, for example, were scientists who formulated cell theory in 1838 (20).
Note: If using this simplified in-text citation creates ambiguity regarding the source being referred to, use the full in-text citation format.
If you would like to cite more than one source within the same in-text citation, simply record the in-text citations as normal and separate them with a semi-colon.
(Smith 42; Bennett 71).
( It Takes Two ; Brock 43).
Note: The sources within the in-text citation do not need to be in alphabetical order for MLA style.
What Is a Long Quotation?
If your quotation is longer than four lines, it is a considered a long quotation. This can also be referred to as a block quotation.
Rules for Long Quotations
There are 4 rules that apply to long quotations that are different from regular quotations:
- Place a colon at the end of the line that you write to introduce your long quotation.
- Indent the long quotation 0.5 inches from the rest of the text, so it looks like a block of text.
- Do not put quotation marks around the quotation.
- Place the period at the end of the quotation before your in-text citation instead of after , as with regular quotations.
Example of a Long Quotation
Vivian Gornick describes the process of maturing as a reader as a reckoning with human limitations:
Suddenly, literature, politics, and analysis came together, and I began to think more inclusively about the emotional
imprisonment of mind and spirit to which all human beings are heir. In the course of analytic time, it became apparent
that—with or without the burden of social justice—the effort required to attain any semblance of inner freedom was
extraordinary. Great literature, I then realized, is a record not of the achievement, but of the effort.
With this insight as my guiding light, I began to interpret the lives and work of women and men alike who had
spent their years making literature. (x-xi)
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