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How to Put a Quote in an Essay: Simple Tips to Follow


A quote is something that has been said by a well-known person. This is a sentence or paragraph that you insert in your text to develop the idea and illustrate it better. This article will uncover basic rules on how to do it correctly and without breaking the rules. 

Writing a Quote: How to Do It Correctly

Why do you need quotes in your academic writing? When you manage your writing assignment, you need to sound professional. In most cases, to convince the reader and keep him believing your words, you need to provide evidence. Sometimes you can choose a situation from personal experience, and that would be enough. But it often happens that personal experience isn’t the most convincing evidence for the readers. In such cases, you must use more relevant information. These could be scientific data or some info from prolific experts. But what can be more crucial than quotes from credible resources? 

Quotes are a perfect way to make your words sound more soiled and persuasive. This is also a perfect idea to expand your train of thought and support your writing. Furthermore, you can use quotes to enhance the actual writing paragraphs. Your thesis statement will look much better if you complement it with an appropriate quote. This is also an excellent thought to add some quotations when introducing arguments. This way, your evidence will look more complete and polished. 

When you cite quotes, you not only work on the context. You also save your paper from being accused of plagiarism. It often happens that papers are of good quality but do not pass the plagiarism detector. If you learn how to cite quotes properly, you can minimize such risks and achieve a great result. The style of writing doesn’t matter a lot. Whichever you choose, the paper will need the proper use of citations. 

Citations are words or ideas previously created by other people. Thus, if you insert them into your work, you should follow the rules. You cannot ignore the use of quotes in your writing. If you forget about it or choose a wrong approach to include it into the writing, you fail the credibility of the work. Do you want to plagiarize? 

In some institutions, plagiarism can be taken as a simple mistake. And thus you will have no trouble with it. But in some institutions, the use of plagiarized materials is strictly forbidden. If you don’t create a reference or insert no authors, you will fail. 

What if You’d Like to Start Your Writing With a Quote?

There are so many ways to start an essay. You can choose a descriptive method or ask your reader a question. Frankly speaking, writing the introduction to the paper is a real challenge. This is an arduous process that requires creativity. From a whole lot of options, starting an essay with a quote is a nice variant. 

When you start the essay with a quote, you can do it perfectly. All you need is to choose the topic of your essay and then find an appropriate quotation that will speak up your writing idea. 

To start your essay with a quote is a great idea. But keep in mind that you aren’t the only person to act this way. Other students decided to resort to this undertaking. Thus, here you should be careful. If you want to be special and show a particular originality level, you have to think beforehand. 

Look through your Facebook newsfeed and read the quotes. Remember them, and make sure never to use them in your writing tasks. These are cliches. They are everywhere. Even if you like some of the spam quotes, don’t use them in your texts. Try to find less known phrases pronouncing the same idea. This will do no good for your essay. The reader is tired of reading the same things over and over again. 

Here are some tips that will help you if you want to incorporate a quote into your writing: 

  • use a quote from the author who hasn’t been known for saying such quotes. This would make the impression of an innovative saying;
  • try to look for the quotations once said not by global celebrities. People are fed with the quotes said by world-wide well-known people;
  • analyze the direct quote or contradict it. You have to be original. Try to present a usual quote in a different context. This way, the reader will like the approach, even if you use a well-known phrase;
  • don’t include the quote if you know little about the context. Before including the quote into the text, make sure to learn its background. It may sound appropriate at first. But when you learn more about it, you may want to leave it alone;
  • always think about the reader. Are you sure your reader is familiar with the context? Take this aspect into account. If it sounds great for you, it might be awkward for your target audience;
  • do you offend someone with the quote? It is impossible to know everyone from your target audience. But you can analyze its main groups and find out what is offensive for this or that category of people. 

Why is using quotes is beneficial? This is a perfect way to hook the reader and start your essay with an interesting twist. By using a quote, you can interact with the reader from the very beginning. This is also another way to make the reader continue with the text. But using a quote must be a well-thought decision. You cannot simply take a weird quote from a celebrity. You need to ensure that it adds to the essay and makes it more understandable. If the quote hardly relates to the essay, its topic, or the main idea, it will contradict your initial plan. 

How to Insert a Quote in the Text?

Using quotes has become regular for students. This is a common practice for everyone who is trying to master an assignment. But does everyone know how to do it correctly without breaking the rules? If you are a meticulous writer, you will have to pay a bit more attention to this part of your essay. 

Are you familiar with such a term as a secondary source? This is a paper or work where you take your quote from. This should necessarily be included in the text. 

When you decide to use a secondary source in your text, you may want to use only a part of the material. If you don’t need the whole quote but only the most relevant part of it, you can use it. There are different ways to introduce secondary quotes into the text. 

You can write it in italics. You take a part of the text and write the words italicized. This way, you show the reader that this part of the text relates to the secondary source. 

Since there is a difference between a quote itself and a secondary source, you should pay attention to how these two subjects are identified in the text. Double quotation marks usually indicate secondary source material, while single quotation marks refer directly to the quote. 

There are also some specific features that you should keep in mind when dealing with all these citation requirements:

  • if you have an APA format, you should put the year of publication after the writer’s name. Thus, the number of pages will come after the author’s name;
  • if you follow MLA requirements, you have to place the page number after the author’s name. 

There’s one important thing to remember when you are dealing with the reference list. When you are writing an essay or any other academic writing type, you get information from different sources. If you want to receive the information coherently and follow all the necessary guidelines, you have to point out every source in the reference list. If you place a citation but don’t refer to it in the references, your paper can be considered a plagiarized one. In the case of indirect quotes, all you need is to mention the secondary source. 

Proper Ways to Cite a Quote

Fortunately or not, there’s no single option on how one can correctly cite a quote in any text. There are so many text types and citation methods so that you won’t find a single variant for correct citation. If you are working with the MLA’s citations style, you will have to do the following steps: first, you need to mention the full writer’s name, and then the number of the page related to your quote. There is also an APA citation style, which is also popular in the world of academic writing. Here you should first mention the year of publication in the text and repeat the same thing in the reference list. 

How do you manage to cite shorter quotes? First, let’s find out what is a shorter quote. This is a quote that is smaller than a typed line. If you are dealing with this quote type, you have 3 basic rules to follow. You should use a double quotation, put down the author’s surname, and include the page number. 

You can play with the author’s name and put it either before the quote or at the end of it. When you deal with the page number, you don’t need to specify it somehow. You just put the number of the page, and that’s it. Another piece of advice would be to introduce the quote in the text smoothly. You can also get your reader familiar with the author before you put his or her name in the reference list. 

What are the ways to deal with long quotes? 

Let’s learn what a long quote is and how to cite it properly. A long quote is a quote that is more than 4 typed lines. If this is your case, you should write it without any quotation marks. You can use the double-spacing, and the reader will still understand that you are performing a quotation. In the end, there will be parentheses with the author’s surname and the number of the page. 

What if you add or remove the words? There are cases when you need to change the quote somehow. If it doesn’t correspond to your context in the way it is, you can alter it, add or remove the words. If such changes help the reader better understand your arguments, you can do it adhering to the following steps:

  • if you include the information on your own, you should use brackets;
  • include ellipses to indicate the place where the initial information is missing. 

What if there’s more than one author? If you work with a quote that has multiple authors, your task would be to operate with commas. You should also put the word ‘and’ between the names. 

Inspirational Quotations

Inspirational quotes are everywhere. You constantly see them on social media, on different ad banners and posters. You can even buy calendars to read quotes for your daily inspiration. These quotes are popular among people nowadays. Thus, you can use such quotations in your texts. This could help you keep all the elements of your text together. 

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