Best Way To Introduce A Quote In An Essay

Remember that you are required to cite your sources for paraphrases and direct quotes. For more information on MLA Style, APA style, Chicago Style, ASA Style, CSE Style, and I-Search Format, refer to our Gallaudet TIP Citations and Referenceslink.

Words that introduce Quotes or Paraphrases are basically three keys verbs:

  • Neutral Verbs(here)
  • Stronger Verbs(here)
  • Inference Verbs(here)

Neutral Verbs: When used to introduce a quote, the following verbs basically mean "says"

Examples of Neutral Verbs

The authorsays. The authornotes. The authorbelieves. The authorobserves. The authorcomments. The authorrelates. The authordeclares. The authorremarks. The authordiscusses. The authorreports. The authorexplains. The authorreveals. The authorexpresses. The authorstates. The authormentions. The authoracknowledges. The authorsuggests. The authorthinks. The authorpoints out. The authorresponds. The authorshows. The authorconfirms.

Sample Sentences

MLA Style

    • Dr. Billowsaysthat being exposed to television violence at a young age desensitizes children to violence in real life (author's last name p.##).
    • As the authornotes, "In an ideal classroom, both gifted children and learning disabled children should feel challenged" (p.##).
    • Burdowbelievesthat being able to write using proper English grammar is an important skill (author's last name p.##).
    • Dr. Patelobservesthat "most people tend to respond well to hypnotherapy" (p. ##).
    • We see this self doubt again in the second scene, when Agatha comments, "Oh, times like this I just don't know whether I am right or wrong, good or bad" (p. ##).
    • Goeff then relatesthat his childhood was "the time he learned to live on less than bread alone" (p. ##).
    • The author declares, "All people, rich or poor, should pay the same taxes to the government" (p. ##).
    • Godfried remarks, "Ignorance is a skill learned by many of the greatest fools" (author's last name p.##).
    • The article discusses the qualities of a good American housewife in the 1950s (author's last name p.##).
    • After the war is over, the General reports that "It seemed a useless battle to fight even from the start" (p.##).
    • Danelli explains, "All mammals have hair" (p.##).

APA Style

      • The author reveals his true feelings with his ironic remark that we should "just resort to cannibalism to defeat world hunger" (p. ##).
      • Forton expresses disapproval of the American welfare system (author's last name, year, p. ##).
      • The author states that "More than fifty percent of all marriages end in divorce" (p. ##).
      • He also mentions, "Many children grow up feeling responsible for their parents' mistakes" (p. ##).
      • Jones acknowledges that although the divorce rate is increasing, most young children still dream of getting married (author's last name, year, p. ##).
      • The author suggests that we hone our English skills before venturing into the work force (author's last name, year, p. ##).
      • The author thinks that the recent weather has been too hot (author's last name, year, p. ##).
      • Folsh points out that there were hundreds of people from varying backgrounds at the convention (author's last name, year, p. ##).
      • Julia Hertz responded to allegations that her company was aware of the faulty tires on their cars (author's last name, year, p. ##).
      • His research shows that 7% of Americans suffer from Social Anxiety Disorder (author's last name, year, p. ##).
      • Jostin's research confirmed his earlier hypothesis: mice really are smarter than rats (author's last, year, name p. ##).

Stronger Verbs: These verbs indicate that there is some kind of argument, and that the quote shows either support of or disagreement with one side of the argument.

Examples of Stronger Verbs

The author agrees . . .The author rejects. The author argues. The author compares. (the two studies)The author asserts.The author admits.The author cautions.The author disputes. The author emphasizes. The author contends. The author insists. The author denies. The author maintains. The author refutes. The author claims. The author endorses.

Sample Sentences

MLA Style

        • Despite criticism, Johnston agrees that smoking should be banned in all public places (author's last name p.##).
        • The author argues that "subjecting non-smokers to toxic second-hand smoke is not only unfair, but a violation of their right to a safe environment" (p.##).
        • Vick asserts that "cigarette smoke is unpleasant, and dangerous" (p.##).
        • The author cautions that "people who subject themselves to smoky bars night after night could develop illnesses such as emphysema or lung cancer" (p.##).
        • Rosentrhaw emphasizes that "second-hand smoke can kill" (p.##).
        • Still, tobacco company executives insist that they "were not fully aware of the long term damages caused by smoking" when they launched their nationwide advertising campaign (author's last name p.##).
        • Though bar owners disagree, Johnston maintains that banning smoking in all public places will not negatively affect bar business (author's last name p.##).
        • Jefferson claims that banning smoking in public places will hurt America's economy (author's last name p.##).

APA Style

        • Johnson refutes allegations that his personal finances have been in trouble for the past five years (author's last name, year, p. ##).
        • Whiley rejects the idea that the earth could have been formed by a massive explosion in space (author's last name, year, p. ##).
        • Lucci compares the house prices in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia (author's last name, year, p. ##).
        • Although they have stopped short of admitting that smoking causes cancer in humans, tobacco companies have admitted that "smoking causes cancer in laboratory rats" (p. ##).
        • For years, local residents have been disputing the plans to build a new highway right through the center of town (author's last name, year, p. ##).
        • Residents contend that the new highway will lower property values (author's last name, year, p. ##).
        • The Department of Transportation denies claims that the new bridge will damage the fragile ecosystem of the Potomac River (author's last name, year, p. ##).
        • Joley endorses the bridge, saying "our goal is to make this city more accessible to those who live outside of it" (p. ##).

Inference Verbs: These verbs indicate that there is some kind of argument, and that the quote shows either support of or disagreement with one side of the argument.

Examples of Inference Verbs

The author implies.The author suggests.The author thinks.

Sample Sentences

MLA Style

        • By calling them ignorant, the author implies that they were unschooled and narrow minded (author's last name p.##).
        • Her preoccupation with her looks suggests that she is too superficial to make her a believable character (author's last name p.##).
        • Based on his research, we can assume Hatfield thinks that our treatment of our environment has been careless (author's last name p.##).

One phrase that is often used to introduce a quotation is:

According to the author, . . .

      • According to the author, children with ADD have a shorter attention span than children without ADD (author's last name, year, p. ##).

SUMMARY:

  • A good introductory paragraph 1. gets your reader’s attention, 2. introduces your topic, and 3. presents your stance on the topic (thesis).

LINKS:

Right after your title is the introductory paragraph. Like an appetizer for a meal, the introductory paragraph sets up the reader’s palate and gives him a foretaste of what is to come. You want start your paper on a positive note by putting forth the best writing possible.

Like writing the title, you can wait to write your introductory paragraph until you are done with the body of the paper. Some people prefer to do it this way since they want to know exactly where their paper goes before they make an introduction to it. When you write your introductory paragraph is a matter of personal preference.

Your introductory paragraph needs to accomplish three main things: it must 1. grip your reader, 2. introduce your topic, and 3. present your stance on the topic (in the form of your thesis statement). If you’re writing a large academic paper, you’ll also want to contextualize your paper’s claim by discussing points other writers have made on the topic.

There are a variety of ways this can be achieved. Some writers find it useful to put a quote at the beginning of the introductory paragraph. This is often an effective way of getting the attention of your reader:

“Thomas Jefferson’s statement in the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal” seems contrary to the way he actually lived his life, bringing into question the difference between the man’s public and private lives…”

Hmm. Interesting…Tell me more. This introduction has set off the paper with an interesting quote and makes the reader want to continue reading. How has Jefferson’s public life differed from his private life? Notice how this introduction also helps frame the paper. Now the reader expects to learn about the duality of Thomas Jefferson’s life.

Another common method of opening a paper is to provide a startling statistic or fact. This approach is most useful in essays that relate to current issues, rather than English or scientific essays.

“The fact that one in every five teenagers between the ages of thirteen and fifteen smokes calls into question the efficacy of laws prohibiting advertising cigarettes to children…”

The reader is given an interesting statistic to chew on (the fact that so many children smoke) while you set up your paper. Now your reader is expecting to read an essay on cigarette advertising laws.

When writing English papers, introducing your topic includes introducing your author and the aspect of the text that you’ll be analyzing.

“Love is a widely felt emotion. In The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas uses the universality of love to develop a connection with his reader…”

Here, the reader is introduced to the piece of text that will be analyzed, the author, and the essay topic. Nice.

The previous sample introduction contains a general sentence at the beginning that bring up a very broad topic: love. From there, the introductory paragraph whittles down to something more specific:
how Dumas uses love in his novel to develop a connection with the reader. You’d expect this paragraph to march right on down to the thesis statement,
which belongs at the end of the introductory paragraph. Good introductory paragraphs often have this ‘funnel’ sort of format–going from something broad (such as love) to something more specific until the thesis is presented.

Try to avoid the some of the more hackneyed openers:

  • “Have you ever wondered why…”
  • “Webster’s dictionary defines…”
  • “X is a very important issue facing America today…”

 

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