Quotes About Essays

10 Inspirational Quotes for Strong Essays and How to Use Them

A quote is an important tool in life. When you feel like you need some inspiration in life or a voice of reason from someone else other than you, quotes will always be your one-stop shop for encouragement. Besides offering solace during our low moments, quotes are pertinent for essays. Proper use of quotes for essays solidifies your talking
points, making your piece more compelling.

Well-thought quotes bring a different vibe and positive energy to our lives, the same way they add flavor to your essays. This makes the reader appreciate the essay more than without the quotes, and the individual will also find your talk points more believable especially if the quote belongs to a prominent figure.

How to Use Quotes

Although the use of quotes is a huge boost, it’s only commendable when it is used properly. Most importantly, never alter a quote in any form or manner- whether paraphrasing or its tense form.

By changing the quote, you risk losing the impact that it offers, besides its original meaning. In addition, do not use too many quotes in your essay. The length and number of pages for your essay should determine the number of quotes you need to use.

Also, exercise prudence on the best places to fix your quotes. When your quote is in the right place and number, it will definitely offer these benefits:

  • Bolster authenticity of your talk points
  • Spice up your essay making it appealing to the reader
  • Offer a good first impression to the person grading the essay
  • Offer a solid conclusion to your viewpoint

However, if your essay does not have this impact even after using influential quotes from famous personalities, then it is succinct that you have gone against the cardinal rules of utilizing and positioning quotes.

The best way to get past this challenge is by reading widely. In so doing, you will find out that most essay writers use topic-related quotes at the beginning of their essays to strengthen their discussion. You can also comment on the quote in the first paragraph to make your point clearer and to get a hold of the reader’s mind from the start.

To alter your quote or not to alter your quote?

Well, this is the question, and the response is quite clear. From the term itself, quoting is the act of stating what someone else has said before in their exact words. In that case, by manipulating a quote, what you are simply doing is removing the person behind the quote from the picture and erasing the impact that the quotation has had on people.

However, if you believe that the words used by the original author are necessary for your essay but cannot be included in their original form, the next best thing to do would be to paraphrase everything. This should then be followed by a citation to recognize the original author of the idea.

In so doing, you will gain some points for being authentic and for the research done.

How many quotes should your include in your essay?

When you stuff your essay with so many quotes, it tends to lose its effect on the reader. To some graders, it comes off as a lazy ploy to reduce your explanations for your talk points. In that case, most graders will not hesitate to give you a low grade for making this mistake.

The best inspirational quotes for essays

With all; the talk about quotes, it would only be wise to sum it all up by highlighting some of the timeless quotations from influential personalities.

  • To gain your own voice, you have to forget about having it heard. –Allen Ginsberg, WD
  • Making people believe the unbelievable is no trick; its work… Belief and reader absorption come in the details: An overturned tricycle in the gutter of an abandoned neighbourhood can stand for everything. – Stephen King, WD
  • If it sounds like writing, I write it. Or, if proper usage gets in the way, it may have to go. I can’t allow what we learned in English composition to disrupt the sound and rhythm of the narrative.-Elmore Leonard
  • Rewrite. When not writing or rewriting, read. I know no shortcuts.- Larry L. King, WD
  • The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance – Socrates
  • A little inaccuracy can sometimes save a ton of explanation – H.H Munro
  • It’s none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way. – Ernest Hemingway
  • Non-cooperation with evil is as much a duty as is cooperation with good. – Mohandas Gandhi
  • The world is full of educated derelicts. – Calvin Coolidge
  • Style means the right word. The rest matters little. – Jules Reynard

Writing essays traverses offering comprehensive content. If you have to write an essay make it reader-worthy by including the necessary facets that will boost your scores.

Ask a question

Are your high schoolers ready for college-level writing?

One test is whether they know how to use direct quotesin essays and term papers. I’m not talking about tossing one or two overused, ancient proverbs or a boring dictionary definition in the intro paragraph. I’m talking about the big “R” – research!

Providing Evidence through Direct Quotes

As elementary children, we learn to write summaries. We absorb information and spill it back on paper in our own words. In high school, we meet new expectations. Now we must study source texts and create our own unique opinion (a thesis statement). Every point in a thesis statement must be defended by evidence.

Consider a headline news article. A journalist may make strong assertions, such as:

The police department will take drastic measures to prevent future incidents.

We are much more likely to believe this statement if it is followed by a quote from someone with authority:

Police Chief Jason Roberts says, “I will not allow anyone in my department to wear their uniform off duty until further notice.”

Now the writer has offered evidence.

High school and college essays require evidence. If your daughter is writing about Jane Austen’s heroine Elizabeth Bennet, she must include words from the author’s (or the character’s) own mouth. If your son is writing about Northern attitudes toward slavery during the Civil War, he should avoid generalizations by including quotes from key figures of that era.

Punctuating a Quote: Comma or Colon?

The following sentences are punctuated correctly. Can your student guess why?

  • Elizabeth calmly replies, “Indeed, sir, I have not the least intention of dancing.”
  • “Indeed, sir, I have not the least intention of dancing,” Elizabeth replies.
  • Elizabeth Bennet holds her tongue about her awkward suitor: “Mr. Collins might never make the offer, and, till he did, it was useless to quarrel about him.”
  • Elizabeth wisely understands that her cousin “might never make the offer, and, till he did, it was useless to quarrel about him.”

In the first two examples, the quotation is set off by a comma. Grammar rules tell us to always use a comma after a verb such as said, asked, or replied when it appears just before a quote.

In the third example, the sentence would convey a complete thought even without the quotation.

In the fourth example, the quote needs no commas or colons to set it off because of the little word that. When you use that, you can start the quotation mid-sentence, without ellipses or a capital letter.

Rule of Thumb

Don’t use a colon unless there are at least seven words before the quotation.

A Note about Tense

Using the Block Quote

A block quotation is set apart with a special indent and no quotation marks. Use the block-quotation format to quote several consecutive sentences – or one especially long and complex sentence.

Rule of Thumb

Use a block quote when the quotation is five lines or longer.

In the blogosphere, block quotes often appear in political or religious commentaries. In high school English essays, block quotes are effectively used to write about drama and poetry. Block quotes are like dessert; they should be used carefully. Too many can give the impression that a writer is lazy, trying to fill the page with words that are not his own.

Consider this block quotation from Robert Frost’s poem “Birches”:

It’s when I’m weary of considerations,
And life is too much like a pathless wood
Where your face burns and tickles with the cobwebs
Broken across it, and one eye is weeping
From a twig’s having lashed across it open.

Block Quote or Quotation Marks?

If ellipses were used to shorten the above poem, it would work nicely with quotation marks: “It’s when I’m weary of considerations, / And life is too much like a pathless wood / Where your face burns and tickles with the cobwebs / Broken across it . . . .”

Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due

Plagiarism is a growing concern in colleges and universities across the nation. Prepare your high school student by teaching him to be above board as a writer. If he uses someone else’s idea, he must quote their words or mention their name to avoid plagiarizing. If he references someone else’s book, article, or webpage, he must include that source in a “Bibliography” or “Works Cited” page.

Every teacher and professor may have slightly different guidelines, but MLA citation format is a good place to start. A good reference can be found here: MLA Citation Examples.

Teach your high schoolers how to use direct quotes in essays. With thoughtful research, well-chosen quotations and careful citations, their writing will be ready for the college campus … and beyond.

Daniella Dautrich is a WriteShop alumna and a graduate of Hillsdale College. She and her husband fill their home with books on writing, literature, and computer science. Daniella blogs at www.waterlilywriter.wordpress.com.

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