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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.

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.

Types of Quotes

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.

Using a Quote as a Hook

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:

  • added;
  • remark;
  • exclaim;
  • announce;
  • reply;
  • state;
  • respond;
  • estimate.

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.

1. Hooking

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

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:

  • MLA 8 parenthetical citation – One should use “(Author Page)” for quotes obtained from scholarly sources and “(Author Paragraph No.)” for phrases obtained from a website. In this case, the phrase “par.,” followed by a period, should precede the actual number of the paragraph containing the quote.
  • Actual parenthetical citation example for a quote in MLA 8 – President Kennedy argued that “in a time of domestic crisis, men of goodwill and generosity should be able to unite regardless of party or politics” (Iodice 3).
  • Narrative citations in MLA 8 – Students should use the phrase “According to…,” to introduce a quote. In this case, page or paragraph numbers should appear in brackets at the end of the sentence containing the citation.
  • An actual example of a narrative citation for a direct quote in MLA 8 – According to Iodice, President Kennedy stated that “we are committed to a worldwide struggle to promote and protect the rights of all who wish to be free” (3).  

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:

  • APA 7 parenthetical citations scheme – In-text citations should appear as (Author, Year, p. or para. No).
  • Actual example for a quote cited in APA 7 – President Kennedy stated that “we are committed to a worldwide struggle to promote and protect all who wish to be free” to show the primary objective of the federal leadership (Iodice, 2017, p. 3).
  • APA 7 narrative citations – Students should use the phrase “According to…,” to introduce a quote.
  • An actual example of a narrative citation for a quote in APA 7 – According to Iodice (2017), President Kennedy stated that “we are committed to a worldwide struggle to promote and protect the rights of all who wish to be free” (p. 3).  

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:

  • Harvard parenthetical citations scheme – In-text citations should appear as (Author Year, page or paragraph number).
  • Actual example for a quote in Harvard – President Kennedy specified that “we are committed to a worldwide struggle to promote and protect all who wish to be free” to show the primary objective of the federal leadership (Iodice 2017, p. 3).
  • Harvard narrative citations for a quote – Essayists should use the phrase “According to…,” to introduce a quote.
  • An actual example of a narrative citation for a quote in Harvard – According to Iodice (2017), President Kennedy stated that “we are committed to a worldwide struggle to promote and protect the rights of all who wish to be free” (p. 3).  

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:

  • A quote that has a footnote callout in Chicago/Turabian – President Kennedy stated that “we are committed to a worldwide struggle to promote and protect the rights of all who wish to be free.”1
  • A footnote example for a quote in Chicago/Turabian, which corresponds to this callout – 1. Emilio Iodice, “The Courage to Lead: The Leadership Legacies of American Presidents John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Theodore Roosevelt,” Journal of Values-Based Leadership 10, no. 1 (January 2017), 3. https://doi.org/10.22543/0733.101.1176.

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

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:

  • President Kennedy stated that “…” . On the other hand, President Roosevelt believed that “…” .
  • Author X contradicts himself in stating that. At the same time, he argues that “…” . In turn, he also implies that “…” .
  • I agree that “…” .
  • She argues that … , and I agree with her statement because “…” .
  • I have always believed that “…” .
  • As the prominent philosopher X puts it, “…” .

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.

Connecting a Particular Quote to a Thesis Statement

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:

  • Writers drop their quotes without considering their significance in supporting written pieces. In this case, successful authors should avoid this mistake by selecting quotes that relate to the essay’s topic.
  • Scholars fail to support quotes by using their words. In turn, outstanding writers should avoid this mistake by introducing citations with their words. As a result, the strategy helps to link a particular quote to other details provided in an essay.
  • Authors fail to show the connection between their quotes and a thesis statement. Basically, a copied and pasted quote must be related to a thesis statement. In turn, prudent essayists ensure that their quotes support central arguments in academic essays. 

Summing Up on How to Start an Essay With a Quote

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:

  • avoid using clichés for quotations;
  • use unique and credible quotes;
  • provide the context for the quote;
  • ensure that a quote relates to a thesis statement;
  • include correct in-text citations, following the rules of MLA 8, APA 7, Harvard, or Chicago/Turabian formats where applicable;
  • follow the necessary guidelines when using block quotes.