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10 Great Essay Writing Tips

good quotes to write an essay on

Knowing how to write a college essay is a useful skill for anyone who plans to go to college. Most colleges and universities ask you to submit a writing sample with your application. As a student, you’ll also write essays in your courses. Impress your professors with your knowledge and skill by using these great essay writing tips.

Prepare to Answer the Question

Most college essays ask you to answer a question or synthesize information you learned in class. Review notes you have from lectures, read the recommended texts and make sure you understand the topic. You should refer to these sources in your essay.

good quotes to write an essay on

Plan Your Essay

Many students see planning as a waste of time, but it actually saves you time. Take a few minutes to think about the topic and what you want to say about it. You can write an outline, draw a chart or use a graphic organizer to arrange your ideas. This gives you a chance to spot problems in your ideas before you spend time writing out the paragraphs.

Choose a Writing Method That Feels Comfortable

You might have to type your essay before turning it in, but that doesn’t mean you have to write it that way. Some people find it easy to write out their ideas by hand. Others prefer typing in a word processor where they can erase and rewrite as needed. Find the one that works best for you and stick with it.

good quotes to write an essay on

View It as a Conversation

Writing is a form of communication, so think of your essay as a conversation between you and the reader. Think about your response to the source material and the topic. Decide what you want to tell the reader about the topic. Then, stay focused on your response as you write.

good quotes to write an essay on

Provide the Context in the Introduction

If you look at an example of an essay introduction, you’ll see that the best essays give the reader a context. Think of how you introduce two people to each other. You share the details you think they will find most interesting. Do this in your essay by stating what it’s about and then telling readers what the issue is.

good quotes to write an essay on

Explain What Needs to be Explained

Sometimes you have to explain concepts or define words to help the reader understand your viewpoint. You also have to explain the reasoning behind your ideas. For example, it’s not enough to write that your greatest achievement is running an ultra marathon. You might need to define ultra marathon and explain why finishing the race is such an accomplishment.

good quotes to write an essay on

Answer All the Questions

After you finish writing the first draft of your essay, make sure you’ve answered all the questions you were supposed to answer. For example, essays in compare and contrast format should show the similarities and differences between ideas, objects or events. If you’re writing about a significant achievement, describe what you did and how it affected you.

good quotes to write an essay on

Stay Focused as You Write

Writing requires concentration. Find a place where you have few distractions and give yourself time to write without interruptions. Don’t wait until the night before the essay is due to start working on it.

good quotes to write an essay on

Read the Essay Aloud to Proofread

When you finish writing your essay, read it aloud. You can do this by yourself or ask someone to listen to you read it. You’ll notice places where the ideas don’t make sense, and your listener can give you feedback about your ideas.

good quotes to write an essay on

Avoid Filling the Page with Words

A great essay does more than follow an essay layout. It has something to say. Sometimes students panic and write everything they know about a topic or summarize everything in the source material. Your job as a writer is to show why this information is important.


good quotes to write an essay on

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21 Killer GRE Essay Quotes You Should Be Using Right Now

good quotes to write an essay on

By Jitta Raghavender Rao • GRE Writing

“[A] quotation is a handy thing to have about, saving one the trouble of thinking for oneself, always a laborious business.” – A.A. Milne

Chances are you too know a few famous quotes, but you probably don’t use them. I know so, because I’m guilty of neglecting quotes on the GRE.

So, why should you use essay quotes on the GRE?  To start with, the right use of quotes in essays augments the power of your arguments and makes your essays appear more convincing. Plus, essays with quotes tend to score better than essays without them, because of the initial impact the use of quotes create on the reader, and help strengthen your point.

But we need to exercise prudence. Only use quotes as is, if you are convinced that paraphrasing would lower the impact or change the meaning of the original author’s words or when the argument could not be better expressed or said more succinctly.

Here is how you make sure you are doing it right.

How do I incorporate quotes into my essay?

At times, an essay can appear painfully discorded if the quotations are out of place or if the essay is too stuffed with quotes.

So, what should you do to avoid this?

A great quote plays one or more roles from the following:

If the quote doesn’t serve any of the above then you are forcing it into the essay and this could do more harm than good.

You should start writing your essay with a quote that lays foundation to the main idea behind the essay. This can have a major impact on the evaluator. You can also comment on the quotation in this introductory paragraph if you wish. Either way, to get a perfect score on the GRE essay, use a relevant quote strategically but don’t force it into the essay.

Can I alter the structure of the quotation?

Using the exact words from the original source is called quoting. You should quote when you believe that the way the original author expresses an idea is the most effective way to communicate the point you wish to make. If you want to borrow an idea from the author but don’t put the idea in their exact words, then it’s called paraphrasing. (but remember that you still have to cite the original author even when you are paraphrasing)

For example, Ronald Reagan said, “Trust, but verify.” You can alter the quotation on your own according to the passage, by saying: ‘To paraphrase Ronald Reagan’s famous quote, “It is easier to trust when you can verify.”‘ By doing this, you are not only citing the original author, but also gaining extra points for using your own version of the quote.

How many quotes should I use?

If you deploy a lot of quotations in your essay, it appears as though several people are talking about the topic apart from yourself. This would downplay your own voice and leaves little room for your own ideas. It is your essay and it should be your voice that needs to be heard, not some notable/famous person’s. Quote as infrequently as possible. So, don’t cram every quote you know into the essay. As a rule of thumb, refrain from using more than 2 quotes in any essay. (One in the introductory paragraph and the other if necessary in the conclusion)

How do I introduce the quote in my own words?

The last thing you would want is get your score cancelled on account of plagiarism. It’s highly recommended that you cite the author of the quotation. If you don’t cite, you may give the impression that you claim to be the original author and that could result in plagiarism. You should place the quote in double quotation marks. Here is an example usage citing the author:

Thomas Jefferson once said “The will of the people is the only legitimate foundation of any government, and to protect its free expression should be our first object.”

Categorization of GRE Essay Topics

The fascinating thing about the GRE essay topics is that they’re already published on the official ETS website. This may sound crazy because giving out the questions in advance is not normal. Now, use this to your advantage. You can find all the GRE essay topics on the official ETS website .

But there’s a catch! You were expecting a few, right?

Well, there are close to 200 topics in all – far too many to practice responses in advance. Also, practicing each of these topics is not advisable as it is going to take a lot of time and effort and there is no point in mugging them up. You could as well spend this time on learning some math. However, there’s a good news. Just scanning through these two lists will give you an excellent idea of the types of issues and arguments that show up on test day.

I just made things a bit easy for you, though. Most of the topics that show up on the GRE essay section can be broadly grouped into five categories.

So, next time when you practice writing an essay response, make sure you write at least one essay from each of these categories. And memorize a few quotes related to each one of these topics, as they will be handy.

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List of most useful essay quotes

I’ve compiled a list of easy-to-digest quotes that should help you write the perfect essay. Bookmark this page NOW for future reference.

The following quotes from great thinkers have been selected based on their relevance to common GRE essay topics and for their ease of usage.

Now, these are a handful of quotes. The goal is to memorize 5 or 6 of your favorite quotes so you’ll be able to contextually fit one into the essay on the test day. While practicing, you may look at the list of quotes found above however, if you can remember a specific quote apposite to your essay topic, try to use it – one quote for every essay.

For those avid writers, who believe the number of quotes above are too low, we have the right tool for you. Ellipsoid created a random quote generator tool that draws 5 famous quotes from Goodreads every time you reload the page. The good news is these 5 quotes are always theme based so you know where to use them.

Writing essays isn’t all about the substance. It’s the basics that many of us forget. If you are going to put in the time to practice writing essays, might as well maximize the score you could get by deploying a quote in your essays.

So, what’s your favorite quote?

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20 Comments to “21 Killer GRE Essay Quotes You Should Be Using Right Now”

good quotes to write an essay on

i think it is difficult to remember even these 21 quotes in the exam. any tips to remember them will be helpful. thanks

good quotes to write an essay on

Yes, it is rather difficult to remember all the 21 quotes, which is why we asked you to pick a few of your favorite ones from the list. Plus, the only way you can remember these quotes is by using them while you practice AWA essays.

Happy Studying! 🙂

good quotes to write an essay on

I personally memorize the ones that can be useful in more than one topic, and as said learn the ones you like most.

good quotes to write an essay on

Quote number 5… oh, Albert. You make my bricks fall off. As to you, Mr. Kaundinya, I might win a brand spankin’ new tablet thanks to your quotes. I’m sure my D.A.R.E essay will be awesome.

good quotes to write an essay on

I found that they are advantageous,but i don’t think that i can get used of them in a short time.

good quotes to write an essay on

thnx for these awesome quotes guys.i’m damn sure that the’ll help a looooooooot in improving my skills.

good quotes to write an essay on

Super glad to know they helped you, Bhavya! Hope you’ll kill some essays with these quotes now. 🙂

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It is really helpful

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Wow! This is the fantastic technique to use quotes in essay, because this think bring something new in essay writing. I’m big fan of your after reading this article.

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Very helpful

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I liked those quotes

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Those quotes are amazing….. I’m sure that it it will help in writting essays

Glad it helped, Merin! Feel free to message us if you have any questions! 🙂

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Inspirational Quotes for Essay Writing

The following is a list of inspirational quotes from famous people. If any student want to make an impact on the reader, the effective use of quotations can augment the power of your arguments and makes your essays more interesting and stand out from the rest.

A note of caution though. Make sure the quotation you have chosen is helping your essay and not hurting it. In other words, make sure it is used in the right context.

You may also be interested in “ Composition Writing Guide for primary school “.

Inspirational Quotes By Famous People

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Everyday Power ⋅ Inspirational Quotes ⋅ Essay Quotes to Express Your Ideas and Opinion

Essay Quotes to Express Your Ideas and Opinion

Get your creative juices flowing with these awesome essay quotes.

When most people hear the word essay, their minds take them back to school.

Students write essays in elementary school.

By high school, essays grow to express high-level ideas and passion.

Tell us your favorite essay quote in the comment section below.

What are the benefits of reading these essay quotes?

Everyone can remember being asked to write an essay on a standardized test or high-stakes exam. For some, essays cause stress.

For others, they are an opportunity for expression.

But where do essays come from?

The idea of composing written passages to express ideas is an old concept.

The “essay” that we are familiar with traces its roots back to 1571, when a French philosopher named Montaigne began writing short, philosophical writings.

He was attempting to convince others of specific observations and beliefs.

In French, the word “assai” means “attempt,” and this is where we get the word “essay” as we have applied it to the writing that Montaigne attempted.

Essay quotes about life

1. “An essay is a thing of the imagination.” — Cynthia Ozick

2. “The point of the essay is to change things.” — Edward Tufte

3. “I wrote an essay about leaf blowers and the evil they do.” — Julie Newmar

4. “I am careful about fiction. A novel is not a tract or an essay.” — Vikram Seth

5. “I was uncomfortable writing fiction. My love was the personal essay, rather than the novel.” — Alain de Botton

6. “If you’re writing an essay, keep it in the lines and in the margins so you don’t have to do it over.” — Gary Oldman

7. “A revolution is not a dinner party, or writing an essay, or painting a picture, or doing embroidery.” — Mao Zedong

8. “Fiction and poetry are my first loves, but the really beautiful lyrical essay can do so much that other forms cannot.” — Chris Abani

9. “If there is information in an essay, it is by-the-by, and if there is an opinion, one need not trust it for the long run.” — Cynthia Ozick

10. “A good essay must have this permanent quality about it; it must draw its curtain round us, but it must be a curtain that shuts us in not out.” — Virginia Woolf

Essay quotes on education

11. “But the things that are great for an essay are unbearable in narrative writing.” — Tara Westover

12. “Honestly, the life of a serial character on television, I’d love to write an essay about it.” — Zawe Ashton

13. “To love is to believe, to hope, to know; Tis an essay, a taste of Heaven below!” — Edmund Waller

14. “Why, in such a case, should the performer essay any sort of considered approach at all?” — Brian Ferneyhough

15. “I knew how to write like an academic, so I knew how to write academic papers and essays and things.” — Tara Westover

16. “Trust the student to write the essay, but verify that it gets done. Gentle editing and proofreading are allowed.” — Kate Klise

17. “I could only write about issues specifically through essays. But I’ll do that only if I have something worthwhile to say.” — Vikram Seth

18. “We’d had books in my house growing up, but we had never had anything like lectures. I had never written an essay for my mother.” — Tara Westover

19. “Perhaps I abandoned criticism because I am full of contradictions, and when you write an essay, you are not supposed to contradict yourself.” — Eugene Ionesco

20. “When I was ten, I wrote an essay on what I would be when I grew up and said I would be a professional soccer player and a comedian in off season.” — Will Ferrell

Essay quotes examples

21. “The most important thing when starting out with essay writing is to find a voice with which you’re comfortable.” — Anne Fadiman

22. “The tagline at Westin hotels is that they strive to surprise and delight their guests. This is exactly what a college essay should do.” — Kate Klise

23. “In high school, I won a prize for an essay on tuberculosis. When I got through writing the essay, I was sure I had the disease.” — Constance Baker Motley

24. “I wrote my senior essay on the Santa Fe Writer’s Colony and my dissertation on sacred landscapes – the Grand Canyon, the Dakota Badlands.” — Elise Broach

25. “You give some kind of an exam – maybe it’s one of those standardized tests all kids hate, maybe it’s some kind of essay, but whatever it is, it’ll measure the results, and the kids will hate it.” — Mike Gallagher

Essay quotes to consider

26. “I would be writing an essay that was due in the next day until about 1 A.M., and then I would be up at 6 A.M. and on a train to Birmingham to record ‘The Archers’. It was pretty intense.” — Felicity Jones

27. “The great American food writer M. F. K. Fisher once wrote an essay called ‘The Anatomy of a Recipe.’ To have a good anatomy, in her view, a recipe should have a sense of logical progression.” — Bee Wilson

28. “I went on all over the States, ranting poems to enthusiastic audiences that, the week before, had been equally enthusiastic about lectures on Railway Development or the Modern Turkish Essay.” — Dylan Thomas

29. “Criticism is, for me, like essay writing, a wonderful way of relaxation; it doesn’t require a heightened and mediated voice, like prose fiction, but rather a calm, rational, even conversational voice.” — Joyce Carol Oates

30. “Our job as friends, mentors, parents, and writing coaches is not to write anyone’s college essay. That’s cheating. Plus, it sends a discouraging message to the teenager that he or she can’t be trusted with this important assignment.” — Kate Klise

Essay quotes in English

31. “I’d always try to get a C, maybe a B. Other girls would trot off a brilliant essay and go off to Oxford.” — Romola Garai

32. “Philosophy wasn’t about facts, it was about ideas. My first essay title was something like: ‘How can you know what other people are thinking?’” — Sophie Kinsella

33. “I kind of got more interested in writing after I turned in my last college essay and nobody was going to tell me what kind of academic papers to write anymore.” — Dan Millman

34. “Consider the Essay as a political pamphlet on the Revolution side, and the fact that it was the Whig gospel for a century, and you will see its working merit.” — Frederick Pollock

35. “What I’m exploring right now is the subject of my own mortality. It’s an area that I’m curious about, and I’m researching it to see if there’s a photographic essay in it for me..” — Leonard Nimoy

36. “To me, having ‘material’ for an essay means not only having something to write about but also having something interesting and original to say about whatever that might be.” — Meghan Daum

37. “It started when I got locked out of two apartments in one day and I told the story to some friends, one of whom worked in the ’Village Voice’ and asked me to turn it into an essay.” — Sloane Crosley

38. “One would think that in writing about literary men and matters there would be no difficulty in finding a title for one’s essay, or that any embarrassment which might arise would be from excess of material.” — James Payn

39. “For me, playwriting is and has always been like making a chair. Your concerns are balance, form, timing, lights, space, music. If you don’t have these essentials, you might as well be writing a theoretical essay, not a play.” — Sam Shepard

Essay quotes on the environment

40. “I’m trying to put more elements of the essay into my writing.” — Ryszard Kapuscinski

41. “Can we call the essay its own genre if it’s so promiscuously versatile?” — John D’Agata

42. “The United States has been turned into a mindless true-false test, instead of the complex essay exam, it should be.” — Charlie Kirk

43. “A genuine essay rarely has an educational, polemical, or sociopolitical use; it is the movement of a free mind at play.” — Cynthia Ozick

44. “What a writer can do, what a fiction writer or a poet or an essay writer can do is re-engage people with their own humanity.” — Barbara Kingsolver

45. “The work of art far more than an essay or a tract involves the reader, challenges him directly and brings him into the argument.” — George Steiner

More essay quotes to motivate you to write

46. “The essay is one of my favorite forms of writing, and I feel like what’s inside is really personal, more so than with shorter pieces.” — Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

47. “The way a story makes an argument is quite different from the way a persuasive essay does it. Emotional truth and the logic of metaphors dominate.” — Ken Liu

48. “It takes me forever to actually finish something like a ten-page essay. But, when I do, I usually love what they are. It’s a complicated relationship.” — Chris Abani

49. “I inherited Mom’s verbal skills, and participated in forensics and essay contests in elementary school – and won every essay contest I ever entered.” — Joel Salatin

50. “One time, I was given an essay topic: to describe a perfect horse, whom the mere sight of the rider’s whip would make obedient. I depicted this perfect horse throwing his rider at the sight of the whip.” — Marquis de Lafayette

Where does the material for an essay come from?

Writer Meghan Daum once reflected, “To me, having ‘material’ for an essay means not only having something to write about but also having something interesting and original to say about whatever that might be.”

Having material and an opinion about something is one thing.

But what makes an essay an essay?

The word essay can refer to pretty much any short piece of nonfiction writing.

It can be an editorial, critical analysis, feature study, or even an excerpt from a book.

Today, the essay manifests in graphic memoirs, blogs, and even on radio programs.

Essays give us a glimpse into the times.

Throughout history, the social circumstances of the time have significantly impacted essay writing.

We find that essay writing increases when revolutions occur.

Across the globe, thinkers, philosophers, poets, and politicians have used the essay to invoke passion, empathy, and awareness among people.

Check out this book if you need tips for writing a great essay.

Don’t forget to share this article on social media if you found it helpful!

Clifton Sankofa

December 29, 2022 8:00 AM EST

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I wrote an essay about leaf blowers and the evil they do. - Julie Newmar

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25 Inspiring Quotes about Writing

writing inspiration

Writing may be one of the most rewarding – and most frustrating – activities in the history of mankind. Few other callings result in as much crumpled paper, snapped pencils, frayed nerves and all-nighters. Writing has also given us some of the most inspirational quotes imaginable. Here, we’ve collected 25 quotes to give you the motivation and inspiration you need to finish your project, even if it takes all night.

Getting Started

Every writer has dealt with writer’s block and new writers can find the process of simply starting to be difficult. Since beginning can be difficult for even seasoned writers, much advice has been given on how to take the plunge and begin telling your story.

As we can see, the best authors in the world understand that beginning to write is as simple as it is difficult – one must simply begin.

Choosing the Right Words

Another common theme in writing is the eternal struggle to find just the right words and phrases. Many times writers throw around a number of words, searching for the one that fits like a missing puzzle piece. Rough drafts were made to be reworked and this is where a writer’s vocabulary and talent really come into play. Writing a scene requires the same dexterity and skilled hand as paining a picture, creating a sculpture or any other creative endeavor.

On Inspiration

Creative inspiration is perhaps one of the most ephemeral things in the world. Inspiration can come from anywhere and creativity is, at best, a fickle mistress. This interest in creativity and the creative process has been with man since the earliest times. The ancient Greeks had dozens of Muses dedicated to various forms of the arts and science. The Muses are goddesses representing different arts and sciences in Greek mythology. They are the daughters of Mnemosyne and Zeus.

Although established Muses of the past are rarely referred to now, their spirit lives on. Today, the creative process may be seen differently, but the inspiration and frustration remain the same.

On the Writing Life

It’s often said that artists are a special breed, and writers are no different. The writing life isn’t for everyone and, for those who feel the calling, taking the journey is sometimes difficult. Writers have discussed their methods, their inspirations and their styles, but here we get a glimpse into what truly drives them to follow the writer’s life.

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Important Quotes for UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam General Studies and Essay Papers

Using quotes from revered personalities to emphasise your point adds a lot of value to your answers in the IAS exam. With the introduction of the GS 4 paper (Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude) and the changing nature of the Essay paper (UPSC mains 2018 Essay paper had four topics related to quotes/philosophy/character), it has become quite necessary to include some relevant quotes in the answers.

For the UPSC Exam , selecting quotes is important as quoting some celebrity/non-entity is likely to do more harm than good. During the preparation phase, an IAS aspirant can either classify quotes based on the source or organise them under broad pertinent categories such as education, Justice, etc.

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In this article, we have compiled a list of quotes which are important from the UPSC syllabus point of view. Also, the two ways to categorise the quotes for quick revision are illustrated below. Candidates are advised to use the approach that suits their study process.

Important Quotes for UPSC GS and Essay

The list given above is just a brief example. Aspirants should identify issues/keywords and make their list of UPSC relevant quotes.

Although comprehensive, the table of odd quotes above is by no means exhaustive. IAS aspirants should go through UPSC mains GS and essay papers from past years to understand how these quotes can come in handy and then compile and categorise their own lists.

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Home — Blog — Literature — Inspiring Quotes from Books for College Students

Inspiring Quotes from Books for College Students

quotes from books

Why Do People Love Quotes? 

The importance of quotes from the books cannot be underestimated as we are dealing with college essays, blog posts, or even postcards that provide something meaningful. The quotes can be inspiring, helpful, fun, controversial, or educational as they help to shape an opinion. The quotes from the books inspire people to read and form special role models. We also learn more about literary devices as we look through quotations that fit our objectives. Even if we do something for fun or quote Shakespeare as we talk about love, we go beyond the basic phrases and add something special to our speech or writing. 

Dealing with essay writing, the use of quotes helps to support our opinions with the classic sayings. The most important is to provide due credit as it helps to avoid plagiarism. You may use short quotes from books if you are worried about similarity levels as these won’t be lengthy in terms of what you paraphrase or use in your essay writing. Ensure that your citation is used wisely and fits within the context because it must be there for a reason! Think about the main message, introduce it before you use some quotes, and your writing will become even more meaningful and concise. 

Inspiring Book Quotes For College Students 

Always think about your writing objectives before you choose a suitable quote . Provide some background information about the author of the citation if it can help make things clearer to your readers. It’s always important to give such credit, especially if you are turning to a quotation that is not belonging to the classics. 

💖 Quotes About Love

The quotes about love hold an immortal power as these are always applicable even when your essay is dealing with serious subjects. Here are some book quotes about love that you may explore: 

“He stepped down, trying not to look long at her, as if she were the sun, yet he saw her, like the sun, even without looking.” – Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. “He sweeps her hair back from her ears; he swings her above his head. He says she is his émerveillement. He says he will never leave her, not in a million years.” – All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.  “We’ve loved each other so long I’ve never been a man and not loved her.” – The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry.  “Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight! For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night.” – Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare.  “One hour of right-down love is worth an age of dully living on.” – The Rover by Aphra Benn.  “Her love was entire as a child’s, and though warm as summer it was fresh as spring.” – Far From The Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy.  “Every atom of your flesh is as dear to me as my own: in pain and sickness it would still be dear.” – Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

🌟 Inspirational Book Quotes

When you are dealing with the quotes from the books, seek something that inspires you and pushes you forward to overcome the challenges. Here are some great books worth reading because of these quotes alone: 

“Sometimes weak and wan, sometimes strong and full of light. The moon understands what it means to be human.” – Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi.
“It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.” – Autumn Leaves by André Gide.
“She decided long ago that life was a long journey. She would be strong, and she would be weak, and both would be okay.” – Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi
“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” – The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
“Hoping for the best, prepared for the worst, and unsurprised by anything in between.” – I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou. 
“It is a curious thought, but it is only when you see people looking ridiculous that you realize just how much you love them.” – An Autobiography by Agatha Christie. 
“We all require devotion to something more than ourselves for our lives to be endurable.” – Being Mortal by Atul Gawande.

💪 Motivational Quotes

If you are looking for meaningful inspirational quotes from books , this section will fit the bill. Make sure that you do not change the original meaning if you cite and mention the author!

“Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.” – Les Misérables by Victor Hugo. “It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.” – The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. “‘What day is it?’, asked Winnie the Pooh. ‘It’s today,’ squeaked Piglet. ‘My favorite day,’ said Pooh.” – The Adventures of Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne. “I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.” – Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.  “I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do.” – Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird. “And so we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby. “Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”  – George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four.

🔥 Best Book Quotes

While the “best” is always subjective, you will remain safe if you choose classic books that represent a part of your curriculum. Here are some examples worth checking as you are looking for the best book quotes: 

Life is to be lived, not controlled; and humanity is won by continuing to play in face of certain defeat.”  – Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man. “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”  – Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice.  “Tomorrow I’ll think of some way to get him back. After all, tomorrow is another day.”  – Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind. “Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.”  – J. D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye.  “The world breaks everyone, and afterward, many are strong at the broken places.” – Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms.  “Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.”  – Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Grey.  My advice is, never do tomorrow what you can do today. Procrastination is the thief of time.”  – Charles Dickens, David Copperfield. 

🤓 Knowledge Quotes

Some quotes that you may encounter are dealing with the knowledge or a piece of advice. As you are looking through the books, take notes and write down the words that inspire you.

“So many things are possible just as long as you don’t know they’re impossible.”  – Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth.  “The same substance composes us — the tree overhead, the stone beneath us, the bird, the beast, the star — we are all one, all moving to the same end.” – P.L. Travers, Mary Poppins.  “All human wisdom is summed up in these two words – ‘Wait and hope.’”  – Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo. “But man is not made for defeat,’ he said. ‘A man can be destroyed but not defeated.” – Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea. “All we can know is that we know nothing. And that’s the height of human wisdom.”  – Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace.  “There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.”  – Willa Cather, The Song of the Lark.  “You forget what you want to remember, and you remember what you want to forget.”  – Cormac McCarthy, The Road.

The Book Quotes Make Your Writing More Meaningful 

As you are looking for the best quotes from books , think about the introduction for your quote as it must play the role of culmination in your writing. Although it can be used at the start of some paragraphs, it’s much better if you can lead your readers to the point where the quote becomes absolutely necessary. Unlike those quotes that contain some statistical data or references to newspapers in academic writing, quotes from the books that are used for creative purposes help to add an emotional impact to what you explore and portray in your essay. Even if you are working on a literary review and use detailed quotations to support your thoughts, these are paramount for the clarity and flashbacks (creative references) to the original text. 

The quotes also help to implement various literary devices like metaphors and useful allegories since you can explain something complex with relevant sayings . Some college students tend to use Latin as a way to deliver an important message, while others will happily quote motivational sayings from autobiography books of their favorite celebrities. As long as you provide references and keep things accurate, these will help to make your writing more meaningful and to the point. 

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How to write an Essay about a Quote

Teachers often ask you to write an essay about a quote. It’s a way of getting you to think deeply about the concepts that quotes encompass.

You’ll need to dig deeply into what the quote means and what it reveals about the world.

In this post, I’m going to give you some guidance to get you started on writing that essay about a quote , no matter what quote it is!

Here’s a quick fly-by of what’s in this post. Feel free to navigate to each point, or just scroll through the whole post:

Essays about quotes really do vary. Here’s some examples of different types of essays about quotes:

So, here’s some initial questions I have for you. If you don’t know these questions, you need to ask your teacher:

Keep these questions in mind, because I’ll come back to them in this article and it will influence what you should write.

Here’s my 5 essential tips on how to write an essay about a quote:

How to write an essay about a quote

1. Select your Quote Wisely (If you get to choose the Quote!)

Okay, so sometimes you’re asked to choose a quote and write an essay about it. Other times your teacher gives you the quote and you have to write about the quote they choose.

Step 1 is for everyone who gets to select their own quote.

Here’s how you should go about selecting your quote:

So, to recap, make sure the quote is from a source you have at least a little knowledge about; is one that you’ve either heard of before or know you can find information about on google; and make sure you can get access to the quote’s original source (the book, play or speech it’s from).

2. Cite the quote, the quote’s author and its origins in the Introduction

The introduction paragraph for any essay on a quote requires you to show a clear understanding of the quote you’re discussing and some of its details. While this isn’t the place to go into depth on how to write an introduction, let me quickly recap for you my I.N.T.R.O method for perfect introductions :

Now, let’s apply that formula to an essay about a quote. Here, we could write each sentence like this:

3. Place the Quote in Context

This is one of the most important parts of your essay. When we say ‘context’ we mean that you need to be able to show a deep understanding of the background information about quote that you have selected. To do this you can select from the following strategies:

a) Explain the theme of the speech, article or book that the quote comes from

How a quote is received and understood has a lot to do with the book or speech that the quote comes from. Have a think of what the key theme is that the quote touches on.

Here’s a quote, for example, that you might not understand until you look at the book the quote comes from:

“Other places do seem so cramped up and smothery, but a raft don’t. You feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft.”

This quote is from Huckleberry Finn. Therefore, it probably has something to do with his desire to avoid being civilized and tamed by society. Why? Because the central theme of the overall text in which the quote emerges is escaping the civilizing effect of society .

My point here is that you need to focus on the main theme of the text in which the quote emerges: is it about racism, evading the trappings of civilized society, or maybe a theme about love, war, passion, or something else entirely?

Here’s another example:

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view….Until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

This quote is from Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird . You might not know it from just this sentence, but if we place it in context, we know the quote’s about racism. Why? Well, because it’s a quote that builds upon an underlying theme in the book that shows Atticus trying to teach his daughter to fight racial injustice in the deep South of the United States. So, when discussing a quote from this book, you can explain that the quote is in the context of a broader social discussion about race and racism in a nation whose history has been deeply troubled by racial injustice since its origins. By doing this, you will be able to understand the quote far more effectively,

One last example: this quote from Romeo and Juliet:

“What’s in a name? that which we call a rose; By any other name would smell as sweet.”

if you’re grabbing this quote from Romeo and Juliet, you’re probably going to want to say that the quote comes from a story that explores themes of forbidden love and family loyalty . By reading the surrounding text, you’ll understand that this quote is about Juliet (symbolized by the rose) having the surname of a family that Romeo despises. Nonetheless, he loves her not for her surname, but indeed despite it: he still sees the sweetness in her.

To find out the themes of key literary texts, try these sources:

b) Explain the story of the person who made the quote

How a quote is received and understood has a lot to do with the person who made the quote in the first place. So, examine the story of the person who made the quote.

Let’s take the example of Dumbledore, say … this quote:

“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

Dumbledore quotes will automatically be understood as wise, contemplative statements because Dumbledore is a wise and contemplative man ! They have more force and power because of Dumbledore’s age, stature and position as head of Hogwarts!

Similarly, often quotes from jesters in Shakespearian plays are interpreted as gems of truth and wisdom because jesters were some of the few people in middle England who were aloud to speak their minds among kings.

Here’s one last example: a quote from the Pope (any quote from the Pope – pick one!). What makes this quote so powerful? Well, it would be a powerful quote because the Pope is seen by Catholics as someone who is very close to god and therefore what he says should be listened to very closely.

By explaining the story of the person who made the quote, we can understand the quote more deeply.

c) Use who, where, when and why questions

Do you think the previous two points were too hard? No worries. Here’s an easier framework for you to use: the 4 W’s.

This is a very powerful way to dig deep into your contextualization of the quote. Explain the who, where, when and why about the quote.

Let’s take an example of this quote:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”

This quote comes from the US Declaration of Independence . What context can we take from this famous quote? Here’s a few ideas to give context to the quote:

Once you’ve jotted down some draft of these background / ‘contextual’ details, you can turn them into full paragraphs in your essay.

4. Explore the Quote’s Contested Meanings

Quotes often have multiple contested interpretations. If your quote could be interpreted in different ways, you will need to examine the different ways in which it is interpreted.

Let’s take the example of the quote:

“It’s all about the Benjamins baby!”

This quote comes from Ilhan Omar, a democratic congresswoman. She made this quote to highlight the influence of the Jewish lobby on Republican politicians.

This quote had very contested meanings : for the political left, it highlighted the fact that money is a dark influence on policymaking in Washington. For the political right, it was seen as an anti-Semitic attach on an old stereotype of Jewish people controlling the world’s finances.

If you were to select this quote, you would of course have to present both perspectives on the quote.

My suggestion is that you look up what other people think of the quote and discuss what they’ve had to say about it. Maybe out of 5 people you find online, 4 see it one way and 1 sees it another. Present both ways that a quote can be interpreted to show you’ve thought deeply about it.

Of course, this might not be relevant to everyone: some quotes have a very clear central meaning!

5. Explore the Quote’s Relevance to You and / or Today’s Society

Remember when I said that you should check with your teacher about whether you can use first person in your essay?

Well, if you can use first person in your essay, I recommend in this step to talk about what the quote means to you. Questions you can discuss include:

If you are writing an expository essay that does not involve first person language, I recommend instead discussing the broader relevance of the quote to broader society today.

For example, let’s say the quote is Winston Churchill’s famous statement:

“Things are not always right because they are hard, but if they are right one must not mind if they are also hard.”

This quote was said in the context of World War II, when Britain and its allies fought gallantly for 4 years against Hitler’s Germany. So, what relevance does that quote have to today’s world?

Well, it might mean that you should follow in Churchill’s footsteps and learn a lesson from him and the brave Brits: to stand up and fight against injustice wherever it may be, even when the enemy seems to be bearing down on you! While once injustice was in Nazi Germany, today that injustice might be in the arena of terrorism or Islamophobia. The quote remains relevant to today’s world, though, because it’s a rallying call to standing up for what you believe is right.

Read Also: 39 Better Ways to Write ‘In Conclusion’ in an Essay

Woah! That’s a lot to take in. Essays about quotes are hard. Hopefully, these strategies have given you something to think about when discussing you quote. Keep in mind these five key points when trying to think of things to write about:


Chris Drew (PhD)

Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education.

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