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How to Start a College Essay With a Quote

You can use a full sentence followed by a colon to introduce a quotation.

❶You should provide an explicit connection between the quotation and your thesis, or the central argument of your paper.

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You can also begin a sentence with your own words, then complete it with quoted words.

Be true to the meaning and context of the quote. This is tied to academic honesty. Do not manipulate a quotation to fit your purposes by leaving out words or misleading the audience about the context of the quotation. Use a fragment of a long quote. If the quotation is long, or you only need part of it to make your point, you can leave sections out by using an ellipses …. If you need to substitute a word, place square brackets around the word to indicate that you made a change.

Changes should be made only to preserve clarity or to change length, not to manipulate the content of the quotation. The quotation needs to be introduced in your own words. This can come either before or after the quote itself. You should identify the speaker of the quotation. Provide context for the quotation.

Particularly if your quote is the first sentence in your paper, be sure to provide sentences of explanation and context. There should be a clear sense of why you are choosing to use the quotation and why it is important to the rest of your paper.

Connect the quotation to your thesis. You should provide an explicit connection between the quotation and your thesis, or the central argument of your paper. Be sure that using the quotation enhances, rather than distracting from, your argument. I have students put a quote by itself at the beginning of the paper.

How should this be formatted in MLA? If it's a free standing quote to begin the essay, you don't need to reference it through MLA format. Just put it in quotation marks, italicize it, and give credit to whoever said it. Not Helpful 6 Helpful That will depend on what type of formatting you're using. If you're writing your essay using MLA formatting, there are numerous ways you could cite a quote, including putting the author's name and the relevant page number in parentheses behind the quote.

For example, you could say, "According to some, dreams express 'profound aspects of personality' Foulkes , though others disagree. Not Helpful 1 Helpful 6. It depends on the class and on the essay, your teacher would be better equipped to answer that one. Not Helpful 1 Helpful 3. How do you use an introductory quote in APA?

Do you place the epigraph before or after your title? Answer this question Flag as Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Already answered Not a question Bad question Other. Did this summary help you? Tips Find a quote that is meaningful to you, not just one you found in a list on the internet. Warnings 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. Essay Introductions In other languages: Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read , times.

Did this article help you? Cookies make wikiHow better. By continuing to use our site, you agree to our cookie policy. When you quote another writer's words, it's best to introduce or contextualize the quote.

Shown below are some possible ways to introduce quotations. The examples use MLA format. 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. Avoid using says unless the words were originally spoken aloud, for instance, during an interview. Suggested ways to introduce quotations When you quote another writer's words, it's best to introduce or contextualize the quote.

You can use a full sentence followed by a colon to introduce a quotation. The setting emphasizes deception: Piercy ends the poem on an ironic note: You can also begin a sentence with your own words, then complete it with quoted words.

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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. Don't forget to include author's last name and page number (MLA) or author, date, and page number (APA) in your citation.

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Just as a good movie, novel or advertisement with a catchy start makes you want to continue watching or reading, good essays grab the audience's attention at the beginning. The best essays often open with a hook, an idea that draws the reader in and generates interest about the topic. An appropriate quotation.

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I think that if done correctly, than an essay can start with a quotation, so long as the author is introduced properly, the quote has an in-text citation, and it ties to the thesis. Writing is an art form, especially when it comes to essay writing. Read this article and start an essay with a quote like a guru. Also, check our blog for more tips on writing techniques.

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