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How to use quotations and examples in your essay

A strong essay is one that can convey its message clearly and convincingly. Quotations and examples are integral parts of these essays because they can support your arguments with evidence. 

However, using quotations and examples is tricky – especially if we’re talking about quotes from books. If you can choose a good quote and integrate it well, your essay will stand out! But choose an irrelevant quote and incorporate it poorly, and the quality of your work will fall. 

If you’re confused about how to introduce a quote or example in your work, don’t worry! We’ve made this short guide to tell you how to write a quote in an essay.

How to Choose A Quote? 

The first step is choosing the quote or example you want to use. This part is quite easy. When you’re looking for something to support your argument, make sure it:

  •       Is relevant to your topic
  •       Comes from a credible source
  •       Is direct
  •       Is short 

If you don’t know whether or not to add a quote to your essay, check to see if it follows this list. 

It may be annoying to use short quotes, but long quotes are more challenging to use. They may also increase the chances that your essay gets flagged for plagiarism if you don’t cite them properly. Many checkers, including are also free to use. So, if you’re using long quotes, use a good essay plagiarism checker. 

How to integrate a quote in your work?

There are many different ways to integrate a quote into your essay effectively. For seamless integration, use one of the following methods:

  1.   Direct quotes with a brief introduction 

This method works great for short quotes in particular. Start your sentence with a short introduction and follow it up with the quote. For example,

Freedom of speech is a fundamental right of every American. George Washington himself stated, “if the freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.” 

In the example above, we used two different sentences to introduce the quote. You could also add a quote in the same sentence by starting with an introductory phrase. This would look something like:

George Washington highlighted the importance of freedom of speech as a fundamental right of every American when he said, “if the freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.” 

  1.   Direct quotes at the start

 If you’re wondering how to quote in an essay, consider starting your sentence off with a quote. This is an easy way to input a quote and can be quite impactful, as well. For example:

Education isn’t preparation for life; education is life itself,” were the powerful words of John Dewey that echo the foundation of educational institutions today. 

If you’re using a direct quotation at the start of a sentence, just remember to follow it up with the argument you’re trying to make. Don’t make the whole sentence just the quote. 

  1.   Shortening quotations

This method is particularly useful if you don’t know how to quote a book in an essay. Students tend to pick up long quotes from books, which could get them penalized for plagerism. To avoid this, you can shorten your quotes. A great way to do that is by using ellipses to take away a few words. Using the same example from above:

George Washington himself stated, “if the freedom of speech is taken away, …we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

How to Cite A Quote in An Essay

 The most critical part of using a quotation or an essay is citing it. It’s imperative to acknowledge where you’re getting your arguments or ideas from. If you don’t, you’re passing them off as your own, which constitutes plagiarism.

The method of citing a quote differs according to the citation format your school or university follows. But don’t worry, you can find plenty of guides on how to cite a quote in an essay online – no matter what format you need to follow.


Using quotations is a great way to make any essay stronger. Choose the right quotes and integrate them well with the methods we mentioned above. Just remember to use a free plagiarism checker to make sure your essay won’t get flagged. Plagerism is a serious offense in any educational institute, so always be extra careful!

Categories: LifeSchools