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How to Write an Essay About a Quote

Quotations (also known as quotes) are short passages or phrases from the speeches or texts of a person – whether an author, celebrities, or other people. These pieces of information represent life experience, knowledge, wisdom, and humor. Oftentimes, students are given the assignment to write an essay about a quote to get them to think deeply regarding the concepts that quotations cover.

However, writing a paper about a certain quote is not as easy as what some students might be thinking. You will have to dig deeper into what the quote truly means as well as what it unwraps about the world.

Here are some tips for you to get started!

Choose The Quotation Wisely

Sometimes, students are given the liberty to choose a quote which they think would best fit their interests. If this is your case, then good for you! Though with so many quotations written by our awesome authors or personalities, which should you go for?

A rule of thumb indicates you should prioritize content over authority. This means selecting a quote based on the quality, message, idea, and thought contained within. One that could relate to your life experiences or goals will actually aid you further in framing the essay.

Moreover, only choose a quote if you know its source. So, if you’re planning to go directly to Google and type in popular quotes, think again! You’ll just make your work more complicated and time-consuming. This is because most of the quotations you can find here are random generic sites. You won’t be able to identify what page number or book the quotation is from.

Your quest for finding the perfect quotation must not be too difficult since there are lots of resources available. We’re talking about good books and even online sources (though make sure it is a reliable website with lots of information about the quote and its author). Formulate your queries so you won’t end up getting random quotations. You can search the websites by topic or name.

Long Quotes Might Be Tempting, But Be Wary…

One important thing that students should keep in mind when writing a paper is that long quotes are red flags for teachers, regardless of how amazing or inspiring they are. So, why is avoiding them the best course of action? Mainly because they tend to soak up your word count. A four-word quote in your essay is enough. You can then proceed and explain the hidden story or message behind that quotation.

Consider Your Audience

Ensure that you’re highly familiar with your audience to choose a quotation that will go with them. It must tune with them perfectly. Consider their age, gender, experience, interests, etc. For instance, a quote from Warren Harding might not be suitable for millennials. Opt for someone more relevant instead, such as Barack Obama.

Cite The Quote and Its Author In The Introduction

Any essay about a quote requires students to show a vivid understanding of the quotation they’re discussing, including some of its details in the introduction paragraph. Here, you should say something interesting about the quote, explain where it comes from, and detail your interpretation in one or two sentences. Though, remember that this is not the place to go into depth about the topic. You’ll just have to grab the reader’s interest and notify them of background information.

Don’t Forget To Identify Your Sources

You must make it clear when you are quoting from someone else. You have to define its sources too. There are three reasons behind this: (1) pure honesty; (2) make the sources easily available to the readers; (3) (last but the most important thing) might be convicted of plagiarism. The latter is a very serious offense, so take note of that. When citing, you need an in-text citation and a  page (for APA format) or works cited (for MLA format). For example in MLA citation, it must contain the last name of the author and the page number in which quote appears (e.g., Jackson, 250) While in APA citation, it should compose of the last name of the author, year of publication, and page number (e.g., Jackson, 2016, p. 250).

Talk About The Relevance of The Quote

What is the quote’s relevance to you or society? Make sure to explain it well. Paraphrase your viewpoints about the quote’s author and so on. The analysis is the basic and important thing in your essay. Hence, you need to accomplish it. You can discuss questions like, “Has the quotation prompted you to act otherwise in the future or has changed your mind on something?”

There you have it! Hopefully, these tips would be of utmost help in writing your next essay about a quote.


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