How to Use Quotes in Essays

How to Use Quotes in Essays

Commonly, students add quotes to their essays. It’s a great method to emphasize the importance of certain issues or pay attention to something meaningful. However, it’s very important to understand the right way of using quotes in academic writing. We’ll explain how to use quotes in essays to reach the desired effect.

Define the Purpose of Your Quotation

Firstly, identify the purpose of your quotation(s). You should understand the role it plays in your essay. A quotation is commonly used to fulfill one or several functions. These are as follows:

  • Serve as the attention grabber for your readers;
  • Add credibility to your essay;
  • Add some humor;
  • Make it more interesting;
  • Finish the essay with an exclusive viewpoint.

Blend Quotations Naturally In

Secondly, implement quotes adequately in the text. You cannot abruptly state the quotation with no prelude. You should prepare your readers for that. It can be done writing some general facts on the issue you disclose and add a quotation, which plainly illustrates them. It should fully fit the contents and be natural.

Know the Rules and Formats

It’s of huge importance to know what writing format you’re assigned and how to complete its rules. There are various writing formats. The most typical ones are:

  • APA;
  • MLA;
  • Chicago;
  • Turabian;
  • Harvard, etc.

They have a lot in common, as well as some differences. For example, their fonts and margins differ. In the meanwhile, each format demands to use quotation marks for the quoted line, and so on. Therefore, your task is to find out all the demands of a concrete format. Make sure you understand them to avoid mistakes. You can likewise use smart citation generators. These are smart apps, which make references and quotations instead of you. It’s only necessary to provide the name of the author and the piece you quote, add the year of publication, and similar data. Afterward, a smart app will settle according to the format you select.

Support and Explain Your Quotes


Quotes are supposed to be supported and explained just like your theses and sub-arguments. Your quotes may have a hidden symbolism, which isn’t obvious to all. Therefore, provide clear explanations and examples. Besides, you may have to explain why the selected quote is suitable for the current text.

Make Sure Your Quotes Are Clear

It’s likewise essential to add clear quotes. Always put some control-questions to your quotes. These may be:

  • Is it comprehensive?
  • Does it suit the topic?
  • Is it relevant for readers?
  • Can it explain my idea?

This issue creates another one. Many students argue about the length of quotes. Most people will say that quotes should be short because lengthy quotes are hard to comprehend. A quote should quickly underline a certain point and make your story catchier. However, it is not forbidden to use lengthy quotes. However, you should be careful. Lengthy quotes may create the feeling as if it’s your own idea and so becomes the issue to plagiarism.

A Few Things to Consider

There are also several things you should never forget. Some things must be avoided and some must be completed. Please, make allowances for the next points offered by essay writers from Custom Writings service:


  • Avoid long quotes;
  • Paraphrase long quotes if you’ve decided to use them;
  • Use not more than 2 quotes for 1500 words;
  • Use page numbers when citing quotes;
  • Don’t italicize the quotes;
  • Avoid quotes inside quotes.