Guide: How to Start an Essay with a Quote


A quote is a specific text written in a written assignment with an accurate construction of words to argue your point of view or explain some theory. Most often, people use the statements of famous people – both past centuries and present. Such passages from authoritative people contain a lot of life experience, useful information, wisdom, and knowledge. All these statements can be applied to any written work, provided that you quote correctly. A quote is a powerful tool for writing essays because many readers believe such statements, and your text automatically becomes reliable. Therefore, every student should know how to start an essay with a quote.

Useful Tips for Starting Essay with Quotes

Have you thought about starting the text with a quote in an original way, but you don’t know what to start with first? Put the alarm aside and heed the advice of the experts:

  • Choose statements that support your goal. Once you start looking for quotes, decide what purpose you want to achieve. The goals can be as follows: to inspire the reader, to prove their point of view, to alert the reader not to share certain actions, to call for action, to tell how to solve a particular problem, to motivate, to amuse. Choose only those quotes that will successfully convey the meaning of the composition;
  • Get to know your target audience. When choosing a quote, you must understand who it is intended for. Therefore, find out who your readers are. For example, if you discuss some scientific topic, then, accordingly, only scientists who have been working in this field for a long time will understand it. Don’t choose too trivial or hard-to-read quotes. Look for the intriguing ones. We understand that not everyone knows how to define their target audience, so we will give you a few tips: find out the age of potential readers, find out the gender and make up the percentage, find out the interests, find out how readers understand the topic;
  • Choose a quote that will support your point. Having a quote, explain how it relates to the topic or how it supports the thesis, argument, problem, and situation. This stage is essential because if you write a statement that does not help your point in any way, then it will look ridiculous. The essay should unite one topic, and it is not worth taking individual phrases out of context;
  • Indicate the source. When writing an essay that contains quotations, be sure to add a link or note where the quote was taken from. If you don’t tag the author, you could be accused of plagiarism. Regarding formatting, it all depends on the citation style. Sometimes you need to include the specific book pages, paragraphs, or even phrases you are quoting. Sometimes just the name of the source and the year of publication is enough. If you are writing an article for a large audience, then be sure to consider the concept of plagiarism. Academic institutions take this very seriously, so you have no margin for error.

Key Points to Consider When Choosing a Quote

If you have decided that you want to write a text and insert a quote initially, we recommend that you pay attention not to the person who wrote the phrase but to the essence of the statement. We want to convey to you that it is not necessary to turn to famous personalities to quote them. Your goal is to convey your thoughts using other statements successfully. If you use a not very well-known quote, you do not risk being unoriginal and repeating the text’s structure after previous writers.

Sometimes readers want to see the story behind the writing of sayings. That is, to find out under what circumstances such a thought occurred to a person. By writing a little background story, you can help readers find out what obstacles people faced when formulating statements or how they felt the statements. Describing the story behind the creation of a quote should be dynamic and effective. This is especially true of those statements related to life and vivid events, extraordinary disputes, strange phenomena. No one will remember a boring story.

Let us warn you right away that it can take a long time to find suitable quotes, so please be patient and strong. However, to simplify finding quotes, we have prepared some good methods that you can put into practice. We recommend starting your search for a quote in the relevant books. Certain editions have been publishing books for a long time that contain quotations in various directions, starting from scientists and ending with art critics. The list of quotes is arranged in alphabetical order. You do not need to study the statements for a long time since experts have already done this before you and have divided the topics into categories. The experts did it for you. We also recommend using Internet search engines. However, you must be clear about your search terms. You can adjust the publication date yourself and keywords – it is the most flexible tool. The last method, which is particularly effective, is selecting appropriate sources that contain known passages.

Pros And Cons Start Essay With Quote

If you want to start your text with a quote, you should know both the positives and the disadvantages.


  • With a quote, you can create your own writing style. Sometimes quotes contain a lot of meaning. After reading the statements, people will have different emotions, and from the first words, your text will respond in the reader’s memory. We believe that this is the most successful hook for which the reader will remember you;
  • With a quote, you will grab attention. Strong and meaningful quotes are an excellent technique to grab the reader’s attention. We recommend writing quotes that are shocking, humorous, controversial, or revealing deep truths for maximum impact. We assure you that you can smoothly redirect the reader to the article’s primary content with this technique, where you will continue the topic. Also, by applying a quote, there is a chance that people will read your text to the end;
  • Thanks to the quote, your text will become more authoritative. If your essays include Newton, Shakespeare, Leonardo da Vinci’s statements, people will respect your text. That is, no one will challenge your words, which are also confirmed by other authoritative people.


  • Quotations are often perceived as cliché. Usually, if the quote is strong, meaningful, then it will only benefit the writer. However, if you use quotes, you will not add some shocking data or numbers because your introduction will be filled with difficult information. That is, if you use a quotation, then you need to develop your thought further and not grab onto other data that is well known;
  • Finding compelling and containing quotes can be time-consuming. When composing a quote, the student is forbidden to change its words since it is already inaccurate. Accordingly, if some words do not suit you, you need to look for other quotes, leading to a loss of time.
  • Quotes are very often similar to culmination. If you find a fascinating quote that fits perfectly into the article’s context, then it’s better to keep it to the end. At the beginning of the article, you will provide the owl with an opinion on the topic. Then in the central part, you will prove your beliefs based on the statements of scientists, historians, art historians, etc. If you understand that quotation is best suited as an element of argumentation, then it is best to leave it for the climax, but you cannot insert a quotation at the beginning of the text.

FAQ About How To Start An Essay With A Quote

Is it okay to start an essay with a quote?

You can, of course, start your essay with a quote. A persuasive and robust quote can grab the reader’s attention.

How do you write a quote at the beginning of an essay?

To correctly quote the beginning of the text, you must adhere to the citation rules. The main citation styles are MLA, APA, ASA. All the citation rules are described in detail in the manuals.

How do you start a college essay with a quote?

If you’re writing an essay for college, we recommend that you pick a quote that fits your direction. If you are a future doctor, then find the statements of a doctor who is known throughout the world.

How do you start an essay with a quote in MLA format?

MLA is excellent for the humanities. In the MLA format, the reference to the author of the quotation in the document itself is brief and clear so that the reader can easily find him in the bibliography. The source of information is indicated in parentheses in the “author-page” format.