Easy guide to start an essay with a quote

The essay is without a doubt the non-fiction genre par excellence. Writing an essay is, in essence, expressing an author’s way of thinking and position on a topic. The essay gives the person who writes it the freedom of form to express their position; its pillar is made up of arguments. From these, the reader decides whether or not to support what is expressed in the essay. 

Starting an essay can be the hardest part, but once you start, you will surely find that your ideas and arguments flow without a hitch. When you start an essay or rhetorical analysis, the most important thing to keep in mind is to start it with something that immediately grabs the reader’s attention and really makes them want to keep reading.

Use a quote

Using a relevant quote is a good way to start an essay. If you are writing an essay about a novel or play, you can cite a significant moment in the text that relates in some way to your thesis. Alternatively, you can quote a famous text that is not the basis for your essay but is relevant nonetheless. For an essay on history, you can quote a famous politician or a world or historical leader. No matter where your quote comes from, it doesn’t have to be familiar to most people, like “to be or not to be,” the question posed in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.” The reason for this is that it is difficult to grab the reader’s attention with something they have heard quite often already, since the quote may seem somewhat hackneyed.


An anecdote is a fairly good way to start an essay, since it should tell the reader some interesting information that you may not have noticed before. For example, for a writing on literature or history you can tell Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” or quote F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famous observation to Hemingway about the rich. The key to an anecdote is that it should do more than just entertain and attract the reader, it should connect directly with the thesis you are looking to prove. You should be able to use a good anecdote as a stepping stone to your main argument, regardless of whether the anecdote proves or disproves your thesis.

Make a firm statement

Making a strong affirmation is a suitable tactic for someone who has very clearly defined their thesis, knows exactly how they are going to argue it, and, most importantly, is very confident. A strong statement heading the first paragraph of your essay is a good idea, as it will definitely grab the reader’s attention. However, you need to make absolutely sure that your arguments and the paragraphs that support them maintain your claim. Otherwise, you are likely to annoy your reader. For example, you may totally disagree with the point of view of the essay question or discard a common belief about a character in a literary text or play.

Tips before writing an essay

Before sitting down to write, you must be clear on the following points: 
The topic to be discussed, hopefully a topic of interest since the essay always reflects the position of the editor and the more interest there is in this regard, the more public it will attract and the more controversy it will arouse. 

The phrases to choose to start the writing can refer to a concept, an anecdote, or a reflection. Perhaps a quote from another author on the subject. The important thing is that the first paragraph of the essay is eye-catching and clearly states the central theme and vital position of thought. 
The language to use: It must be natural, direct and above all, personal. The editor’s own voice must be reflected in his work.

How to write an essay in 5 keys?

    Do not lose sight that it is an academic work of importance, so you must use a formal tone, avoiding humor, colloquial vocabulary and sarcasm. When your teachers correct you, they will take into account that the writing of your essay is neat and up to the circumstances.
    All the ideas that you capture in your essay must be supported by the corresponding documentation. If you are citing an author, use quotation marks and footnotes to name the bibliographic source of which the citation is part.
    All good writers do a rough draft before starting to write their works. An essay is a complicated text that requires a lot of order at the mental level , so you should make sure to make an outline with the main ideas that you will capture at work, before writing anything.
    An essay consists of three fundamental parts: introduction, body or knot and conclusion. The introduction consists of indicating to the reader the purpose of the investigation, the topic and the organization that the text will have. The body is the development of the points that were pointed out during the introduction. The organization of it will depend on the argumentation strategies you choose. In the conclusion, you should briefly review the ideas that were presented in the previous two parts and provide a personal view of the author on the exposed topic.
    Do not submit your essay without making sure you have reread it carefully and correct any spelling, grammar or typographical errors that may exist in the text.

You should have a basic idea of ​​why that person is important, their social or political position in relation to the issue, and the context in which the appointment was made. If you don’t get the quote, make sure the one you want to use is powerful, original, or witty, not too long, and relates directly to the main idea of ​​your essay. Patricia Kain with the Center for Writing at Harvard University notes that even the most concise quote will only confuse the reader and blur the focus if it doesn’t contribute strongly to your topic.

Place the quote either at the top of the page before the essay text or, if it is a short quote (less than four lines), it can be placed at the beginning of your introduction. The Purdue University Center for Online Writing refers to both the Modern Language Association and the American Psychological Associaton styles of making single long citations as intended for five spaces from both margins. Short quotes are enclosed in quotation marks. Long quotes are not put in quotes. In both cases, the citation information (author, publication date, page number) is placed in parentheses at the end of the citation and after the final quotation mark.

Start the discussion from the quote and use it to help shape the content of the essay. For example, if you used the quote in the introduction to your article, you may wonder if this is a true statement as a means of getting the discussion going. Your main points might be to explore why people have a tendency to believe witty phrases, give some examples of witty phrases that are widely believed, and discuss why they don’t prove anything. In your conclusion, you can decide if Voltaire was right or wrong.


The quotes at the beginning have power only if they play a central role in the context of the essay.

Read books related to your essay before you even think about starting your essay. Research any information about the author and other outside topics that will help you build your understanding of the text. If you have enough time, reread meaningful passages to advance your understanding of the quote.

Plan your essay to include three distinct parts; use the introduction to establish your work, the body to support your argument, and the conclusion to summarize it.

Use the introduction to frame the argument in favor of your essay. Start by creating a thesis or main argument, which you will support throughout the essay. For example: “The novel Catch-22 presents the hypocrisy of military policies during World War II.” Keep the thesis direct and simple, so that your reader has a clear idea of ​​what they are supposed to understand from reading your essay.

Put an interesting quote from relevant texts at the beginning of the introduction to grab the reader’s attention and draw them into the essay. Put the thesis at the end of the introduction, to configure the rest of your work.

Write body paragraphs to support your thesis argument. Include direct quotes from the texts, and explain how these quotes refer to your plot. Use additional resources written in or about the literature l to further support your argument.

Finish your essay with the conclusion section. Tell the reader how the data included in the body paragraphs supports your main argument. Consider reaffirming your thesis in a different way, to remind the reader of your argument, most importantly, include the reasons why the reader should agree with you. Avoid using clichéd phrases like “In summary” or “To conclude.”

Writing an essay is similar to being in a romantic relationship. What happens in between is important, but what people remember is how it ends. A sloppy closing paragraph can make the reader wonder why you wasted your time. Short tip: Be consistent. Don’t say in the introduction that you’ll talk about three topics and then only summarize two in the concluding paragraph. Readers hate that.

Determine the end goal: 

Ask yourself what information you want to leave the reader when summarizing and underlining the importance of the main topic you have raised in the work.

Dig deeper: 

Your conclusion should support the main idea without specifically repeating the words of the introductory paragraph. Within the conclusion, refer to the additional topics that you have covered throughout the work to prove the claim of the thesis.

Make it interesting. Write the concluding paragraph in a way that is interesting to the reader. If you wrote a paper on how good eating carrots is for your eyesight, don’t just end with: “In conclusion, eating carrots will help you see better.” Write something like this: “You can spend all the money you will save on glasses by buying more carrots.” You can ask provocative questions, use a quote, describe a vivid image, ask for something to be done, give a warning, suggest the results, or compare your topic with other situations.

Use your intellect, not your emotions. If you are writing an analytical paper, use logic to present the final topic. Don’t resort to emotion, statements about revolutionary changes, or an all-or-nothing stance in your closing paragraph. Be smart and informative, not dramatic.

Defend your arguments. Don’t write an entire essay arguing a research topic only to drop it down in the final paragraph undermining your expertise. Don’t say, “This is just my opinion,” or “What do I know?” Even if you are not an expert on the subject, you have done some research and you know what you are talking about.

Focus on the topic. The final paragraph is not the place to include information that you couldn’t include elsewhere. If there’s something you haven’t touched on before the closing paragraph, do so in another essay.

How to find the perfect quote?

  • Avoid hackneyed and overused quotes.

Using a quote that is very famous in the same way that everyone uses it will bore the reader. It could also make you look lazy or like you haven’t considered your audience.

  • Use a surprising comment.

Find a quote that is surprising in some way. Consider one of the following approaches:

  • Quote a person saying something that no one would expect them to say.
  • Date someone who is not universally famous.
  • Use a well-known quote, but contradict it.
  • Research the context of the quote

Knowing the context in which the quote was originally used is important in order to use it accurately. It will also help you determine if the quote is an appropriate means of introducing your essay.

In conclusion, writing an essay with a quote shows you did a thorough research on that essay, and well-researched essays are necessary for academic essay writing, and that your essay was written to continue a long line of research thesis and to solve an academic problem.

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