How to Start an Essay with a Quote

How to Start an Essay with a Quote

Using a memorable quote is one of the greatest ways to introduce your work to the target audience, so if you don't know how to start your paper, pay attention to this simple trick.

A blank sheet of paper is like a nightmare for many young people who have got an assignment to write an essay. It is always difficult to start, especially when you have nothing to say about the topic. However, nobody cares how much you struggle to write a decent paper. You must meet academic expectations if you want to stay on track. Thus, you should do everything possible to impress your professors and get high grades for your paper. Every part of your work affects the outcome, so you should devote special attention to each of them to achieve the desired result. For instance, an introduction determines whether a reader will continue to examine your paper or put it aside because it is too boring to waste time on it. A quote comes to the rescue in such a case and helps hold the attention of the audience.

What Is a Quote?

Even though it seems everyone who has something to do with an academic environment knows the definition of a quote, it is better to discuss it to avoid misunderstandings. A quotation represents a phrase said by someone else or a short passage from a book or a speech of another person. Usually, it is about expressions and remarks of famous people who have ever lived on the Earth. Well-known quotes are considered more valuable on the one hand since their meanings resonate with a huge audience. However, on the other hand, some of such expressions have already become a sort of cliché, so they don't evoke the required emotions. Thus, not every quote can turn into a magic wand and powerful tool of influence in essay writing. Therefore, knowing how to open an essay with a quote properly is a crucial hard skill that can help become a guru of written tasks.

Types of Quotes

You can feel free to use different types of quotes in your writing. Most often, students paraphrase, summarize sayings, or resort to direct quotes. In the first case, you reword a statement saving its original essence, so all the facts should remain unchanged. In the second case, you unify the key points of the original quotation. As you might have guessed, in the third case, you share an initial phrase said, changing nothing in it. In other words, it doesn't matter what type of quote you decide to use, but you should take care of the preservation of its core. Otherwise, it will have nothing to do with a quotation.

How to Begin an Essay with a Quote?

Many students consider academic essays as a punishment, even though it is a great tool for learning how to communicate ideas and research. The success of the whole work may depend on its initial part since it determines whether a person will be ready to spend their precious time reading it. It is a reason why writers resort to various tricks to hold the attention of their readers. Beginning a paper with a quote is on the list of the most effective ways to interest a target audience. A proper quotation serves as an icebreaker and attention grabber, so a person keeps up reading your paper. So, if you decide on starting a research paper with a quote, pay attention to a range of key moments.

Pick Up a Quote That Matches Your Purpose

Using a quotation is justified if you have come across one that can become a perfect match for your essay topic. Thus, when you are searching for a suitable option, keep your purpose in mind. What do you want to achieve with your paper? Do you want to draw attention to the complexity of the question, inspire your readers, provide a call to action, prove something or bring some positive vibes? It can be challenging to find a perfect match, but it will hardly work out in another case.

Define Your Target Audience

To reach out to your readers with a quote, you should know who you are dealing with. It is a slippery slope to share information about a narrow discipline with people who have nothing to do with the field. The type of your essay should provide you with a grasp on whether your readers are aware of the topic researched. Thus, sometimes it is worth opting for quotations that are neither too sophisticated nor too obvious. In other words, you should look for the middle ground.

Find a Common Background

One of the most crucial moments when using quotations is the ability to explain its connection with your argument or thesis statement. It should somehow relate to the subject of your essay, highlighting the issue or illustrating the situation that occurred. If you have chosen a great quote, but, unfortunately, it doesn't fit in the context of your paper, there is no sense to use it. Moreover, you will do yourself a disservice and decrease the likelihood of getting a high grade.

Specify the Source

When you start an essay and do research, don't forget to specify all the sources you use in your paper. As we have already found out, quotations are the intellectual property of other people, so you cannot just 'borrow' them for a while. You should necessarily follow all the requirements that go along with a specific citation format. Otherwise, you can be blamed for plagiarism and face all its dreadful consequences.

Use a Quote As a Hook

Can you start an introduction with a quote? If you want to catch your readers' attention and make them stay with you till the last sentence, then you can use quotation since it serves as a hook. This trick prevents the audience from getting bored when examining students' essays. You skillfully capture their attention and involve them in reading. Just make sure to refresh your memory about the rules on how to start an essay with a quote.

Features of an Eligible Quotation

If you have no idea how to start an essay with a quote format, it is worth finding out what features make it suitable for your paper and revise general quotation rules, of course. It should be a prudent choice that will enhance your paper's value. Talking about fundamentals, an eligible quote must relate to the subject and the thesis statement. So, when your reader runs into it, they will not feel it is an irrelevant thing that has got in here by mistake. A quotation shouldn't distract people from the essence of your paper but serve as another piece of the jigsaw puzzle that fills in the gaps. Hence, it is crucial to choose eligible quotes not to confuse your target audience.

Memorable Quotations

When it comes to academic papers, memorable quotes can become a good option, so you can search for some outstanding sayings within your topic to impress your readers. It will draw attention and increase the interest in your work, so your paper will stand out from the rest. Besides, it may help evoke the required feelings and set the right tone from the very beginning.

Short and Clear Quotations

They say that brevity is the soul of wit, so you can adhere to this approach when working on your essay. A short yet powerful quotation will help promote your paper's quality and eliminate the likelihood of conflicting interpretations. When a quote is too long, it may distract readers from the key ideas and the general concept of the paper. Thus, if you come upon a short, comprehensible quotation within the topic of your research, pay special attention to it.

Credible Quotations

Everyone who has something to do with the academic environment knows how important it is to use only credible and trustworthy sources. Quotations are no exception, in this case, so you should double-check the robustness of every statement and saying you use in your paper. You have to specify the author of the quote to eliminate conviction for plagiarism. It doesn't matter whether this person was an expert in the field discussed, a historical figure, or a politician, you should mention their name, following citation rules. Such an approach will increase the quality of content provided and your authority in the eyes of readers.

How to Properly Incorporate Quotations

Can you start an introduction with a quote? Definitely yes, but when you start your paper with a quotation, you should be extremely attentive since the likelihood of confusing your readers is high. Don't forget to specify the author of the saying provided, so your reader will figure out where a quote starts. If you want to get an A-grade paper, your teacher shouldn't doubt the quality of your paper. To achieve such a result, you should eliminate usual quotation attributions, and instead of 'he said,' utilize alternative, more advanced verbs in your introduction. Pay attention to the following options:

  • remarked;
  • claimed;
  • added;
  • replied;
  • stated;
  • announced;
  • responded;
  • estimated.

Details play a crucial role when it comes to academic papers, so you should pay more attention to your vocabulary. If you provide several quotations, make sure to use different verbs for each case. Thus, your target audience will not get bored reading your paper. Monotony is one of your biggest enemies, so try to make your text brighter and juicier whenever you can. When you introduce synonyms, you enhance your writing level and look more proficient.

Value of Quotations

Young people who decide to include a quotation in their introduction should know how to explain its value. Readers should not guess what a writer tried to say with this or that quote. It is up to you to provide your target audience with its attribution and context. In other words, you should demonstrate the quotation's significance in a paper, so your readers get to the bottom line of it. When people cannot comprehend something from the text they have just read, they may get irritated.

Integration of Quotations

If you want your text to go smoothly and look holistic, you should integrate the chosen quotation into the paper. It is not a separate sentence but a piece of the puzzle. Thus, even if you have provided the context, make sure the quote doesn't stand alone. Otherwise, your paper will not look coherent, and the reader will not get a positive reading experience. All your thoughts should flow, so it is crucial to develop a way on how to integrate in-text citations properly. It will help your target audience get the connection between different concepts.

How to Avoid Hackneyed Quotations

When you decide to use a quotation in your paper to support your statement and catch readers' attention, it is crucial to eliminate cliches. The latter is about well-known sayings that are used by every third person every now and then. No matter what a great meaning a phrase involves, but it may become annoying when you run into it at every corner. You turn a blind eye to its essence and see only a worn-out thing. Usually, such sayings leave an unpleasant aftertaste and spoil the whole impression from work. Your professor may believe that you haven't done quality research but decided to use the first phrase you come upon on the internet. Thus, it is worth opting for less popular yet powerful quotes if you want to evoke positive emotions.


Students resort to quotes in the introduction to hook their readers. For instance, a chosen quotation can involve an exciting concept or a question, so a reader has a desire to find the answer and sort things out. They will read your paper till the last period in such a case. Such a statement should draw attention, meet needs, and evoke interest. The latter is the main driving force that makes you postpone some other tasks and focus on reading a paper. Thus, young people should make sure that an opening quotation can meet this challenge.  


If you want to stand out from the rest with your paper, you should bring more individuality into it. A unique opening statement can become your feature that helps introduce the subject from an appealing perspective. Proper research will make it possible to find something completely outstanding within your essay topic. Just make sure to use only credible and robust sources to write your essay and pick up an eligible quotation. Check out how often this or that saying has been used to define whether it is a cliché or not. It may seem a time-consuming task, but modern technologies will help you cope with the task in seconds.

Various Types of Quotations

If you want your introduction to look outstanding, it is worth utilizing various types of quotations. For example, you can use illustrative words, questions, or a statement that evokes interest. Illustrative words help readers imagine what a writer is talking about and get to the subject's core faster. Questions can make your target audience focus on the topic and stay interested till the end. Besides, there is a separate category of quotations that evoke curiosity in readers, so they cannot resist a temptation to keep up reading. Thus, if you want your paper to sound outstanding to readers, resort to one of these types.

How to Connect a Quote to a Thesis Statement

Everyone who has ever worked on writing a college paper knows that everything revolves around the thesis statement and arguments specified in an essay. If you are going to use a quotation, make sure it enhances the credibility and soundness of the key elements. Accurate quotes represent substantiated evidence that supports the thesis statement. When you know how to utilize in-text citations, you make your paper look more well-tailored and credible. If you want to get the best out of using quotations, you should avoid the following mistakes not to decrease your paper's quality:

  1. Students use quotations in their papers, but they don't explain why they are important for supporting the arguments provided. If you want to succeed with your citation, you should choose quotes within your subject and highlight their significance.
  2. Young people don't support quotations with their words. If it is not about a direct citation, you should introduce quotes with your thoughts. Such an approach makes it possible to properly integrate a certain quote into the essay's context and connect with other details specified in the paper.
  3. Students turn a blind eye to the importance of showing the connection between their quotations and the thesis statement. Even if you just copy-paste a quote, you should still demonstrate that it relates to the subject and supports arguments mentioned in the body paragraphs of your paper.

Fundamentals of Using Quotes in an Essay

Whatever academic institution you choose to get a degree in the desired specialty, you will inevitably face the necessity to write essays. It is one of the most common college assignments in the USA and all over the world. Thus, you should sharpen your writing skills and develop attentiveness to meet all academic requirements and become a straight-A student. When it comes to writing papers, the way you introduce the topic is of great importance since it sets the tone of the whole work. That's why it is crucial to incorporate something catchy and appealing to your readers, so they will have a desire to read your essay. Using quotations is one of the most common yet effective ways to make your paper outstanding. However, you should follow certain guidelines to achieve the desired result. Here are some useful tips on how to use quotations in your paper:

  • eliminate worn-out phrases even if they have great meaning;
  • trustworthy and non-trivial quotations are preferable;
  • empower your quotes with the context;
  • connect a quotation with the thesis statement;
  • ensure that all in-text citations are correct and follow the rules of main quote formats;
  • check the rules on how to use block quotations if you plan to use them.