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Using Quotations in Essays

Quotations Can Add That Special Zing

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If you want to make an impact on your reader, you can draw on the potential of quotations. The effective use of quotations augments the power of your arguments and makes your essays more interesting.

But there is need for caution! Are you convinced that the quotation you have chosen is helping your essay and not hurting it? Here is a checklist to ensure that you are doing the right thing:

What Is This Quotation Doing in This Essay?
Let us begin at the beginning. You have a chosen a quotation for your essay. But, why that specific quotation?

A good quotation should do one or more of the following:

  • make an opening impact on the reader
  • build credibility for your essay
  • add humor
  • make the essay more interesting
  • close the essay with a point to ponder upon.
If the quotation does not meet a few of these objectives, then it is of little value. Merely stuffing a quotation into your essay can do more harm than good.

Your Essay Is Your Mouthpiece
Should the quotation speak for the essay or should the essay speak for the quotation? Quotations should add impact to the essay and not steal the show. If your quotation has more punch than your essay, then something is seriously wrong. Your essay should be able to stand on its own legs; the quotation should merely make this stand stronger.

How Many Quotations Should You Use in Your Essay?
Using too many quotations is like having several people shouting hoarse on your behalf. This will drown your voice. Refrain from overcrowding your essay with words of wisdom from famous people. You own the essay, so make sure that you are heard.

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  5. Using Quotations in Essays: Using Quotes in Essays and Other Writing

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