How to Incorporate Quotes in an Essay - 7 Rules

Quotations is a tricky thing. They can either add flavor to an essay you are writing, or if you are not careful, the quotation used can detract from everything that you are trying to establish. Below, there are some rules on how to incorporate quotes in an essay.

Rule #1

The first rule of thumb when making a decision whether to incorporate a quotation into your essay or not is to ensure that you do not drown out your own voice, opinion or message with the voice of others. 

Rule #2

You should also make every effort to ensure that the quotation is inserted at the correct point in your writings in order to enhance or back up specific arguments. It is illogical to insert quotations randomly into your essay if there is no context for the quotation to be there. If the quotation is especially long, then you may want to consider paraphrasing it rather than quoting it in full, as this can be misleading or even distracting from the work that you are trying to present.

Rule #3

Choose your quotations wisely. When making the choice, consider it in the context of what the quotation says and whether it is relevant to your essay; who said this phrase and whether you want to be associated with this person; and the context in which the quotation was made.

Rule #4

Also, always remember to provide the correct attributes for the quotation. This will obviously include the name of the person making the quotation, if possible the year and the source i.e. when he said it. Even if you opt to paraphrase a particular quotation, you should stick to this rule of providing attribution so that the quality of your essay is not called into question.

Rule #5

If you are not sure how to cite quotations, the Internet provides a powerful means of discovery. Just type, for example, “quotations on education” and you will gain access to an endless stream of sites that you can explore, that provide literally thousands of choices. Sieving through them will be difficult but if you already have a good idea about what you are looking for, this process can be fairly straightforward. You can even source for quotations by the name of person, for example, “quotations by John F Kennedy” and you will be inundated with a variety of choices.

Rule #6

To place a quote properly into your paper, you will have to prepare for the quotation to be inserted and you will have to evaluate how you are going to come out of the quotation. Ideally, you should write one sentence introducing the quote and the context in which you are bringing it in. Once you have provided the quotation, then you should complete the structure by commenting on how the quotation is important to the context of your essay.

Rule #7

If you are choosing to present an edited version of the quotation, use what are known as ellipses. These indicate that words have been left out .

If you need some credible resources to find a specific quotation for your essay, please check out the following:

Bartleby (
ThinkExist (
EssayTask (

Have you used quotations when writing essays? Did you find this difficult to do? Go ahead and share your both positive as well as negative experience, and even tips on how to do this better. 

Categories: Writing Tips   Tags: how to incorporate quotes in an essay