Can you start a college essay with a quote

This is accentuated by the genuine and casual humor in the essay. While jokes—if forced—can actually be detrimental to an essay, this is an example of jokes well-used. Here are a couple instances in which the author maintains an authentic tone through humor and other devices. In this section, the author creates a humorous atmosphere around a subject that might otherwise seem technical and cold.

From our vantage point in the 21st century, quotations like these are quite humorous. Which famous historical figure could possibly have been so shortsighted? That person, it turns out, was none other than Lord Kelvin, the eminent nineteenth-century physicist who was instrumental in formulating the laws of thermodynamics. Here, the applicant leverages the power of the personal by discussing their subjective relationship with the quote rather than assessing it in a detached and objective way.

My passion for science — and beyond that, my love of dreaming about future technologies, from superconducting roadways to space elevators — was sparked the first time I cracked open Physics of the Impossible. Finally, the applicant sums up their essay with this pithy, well-timed joke about why they want to attend Princeton. Not even Verne could have predicted that! Still, even with plenty of examples, voice can be tricky. One way to hone your supplement to be sure of your voice is to take a break from your writing for about a day. Try to write down a verbal portrait of the person who wrote the essay.

Do they resemble you? Do they resemble what you want to communicate? This essay is a great example of what we mean when we say that you need to demonstrate an ability to read into your quote. Beginning with the quote, the author goes on to do several important things. Firstly, they address the contemporary perception of the quote as shortsighted and ignorant. Next, they address the historical origin of the quote, relating it to Lord Kelvin and giving us context as to who that was and why the quote seems so ironic. Reading the quote onto science, the author manages to make sound and lucid claims regarding the role of imagination in science.

The applicant then goes on to explain how this quote and their subsequent reading of it represents the crux of their own scientific aspirations. Through their understanding of how the quote applies to situations beyond its immediate context, the author demonstrates the critical thinking skills that are crucial to a successful undergraduate career.

In this early section, the author explicitly contrasts the two perspectives in the essay, demonstrating an understanding of the implicit irony, as well as the socio-historical norms that surround these figures. Kelvin, the most respected scientist of his day, failed to envision the technological revolution that would take root in just a few years; yet Verne, a lay writer, uncannily presaged a world a century away in his writings.

How To Write An Essay: Evidence and Citation

Later in the essay — after establishing their original perspective and accurately reading the irony of the situation — the author reads the quote onto the state of contemporary science. This is the analytical crux of the essay and is written with power and concision. Science is not all details and numbers on a spreadsheet.

These are undoubtedly important, the skeleton of research and invention; discoveries would be impossible without painstaking observation and experimentation. Yet science is also imagination. These are the vital organs that fill out the skeleton, that make progress possible. Here is a partial list:. Each verb has its own nuance. Make sure that the nuance matches your specific aims in introducing the quotation.

Vary the way you introduce quotations to avoid sounding monotonous.

Top-9 Mistakes College Applicants Usually Do •

But never sacrifice precision of phrasing for the sake of variety. Visit the U of T Writing website's page on verbs for referring to sources. If your quotation is lengthy, you should almost always introduce it with a full sentence that helps capture how it fits into your argument. If your quotation is longer than four lines, do not place it in quotation marks. Instead, set it off as a block quotation :. Although Dickens never shied away from the political controversies of his time, he never, in Orwell's view, identified himself with any political program:.

The truth is that Dickens' criticism of society is almost exclusively moral. Hence his lack of any constructive suggestion anywhere in his work. He attacks the law, parliamentary government, the educational system and so forth, without ever clearly suggesting what he would put in their places. Of course it is not necessarily the business of a novelist, or a satirist, to make constructive suggestions, but the point is that Dickens' attitude is at bottom not even destructive.

Starting An Essay With A Block Quote

For in reality his target is not so much society as human nature. The full-sentence introduction to a block quotation helps demonstrate your grasp of the source material, and it adds analytical depth to your essay. But the introduction alone is not enough. Long quotations almost invariably need to be followed by extended analysis. Never allow the quotation to do your work for you. Usually, you will want to keep the quotation and your analysis together in the same paragraph. Hence it is a good idea to avoid ending a paragraph with a quotation.

How to Write a Perfect Hook for Your Application Essay

But if your analysis is lengthy, you may want to break it into several paragraphs, beginning afresh after the quotation. Once in a while, you can reverse the pattern of quotation followed by analysis. A felicitously worded or an authoritative quotation can, on occasion, nicely clinch an argument. There is some flexibility in the rule that block quotations are for passages of four lines or more; a shorter passage can be represented as a block quotation if it is important enough to stand on its own.

For example, when you are quoting two or more lines of poetry , you will probably want to display the verse as it appears on the page:. In the opening heroic couplet of The Rape of the Lock , Pope establishes the unheroic nature of the poem's subject matter:. What dire offense from amorous causes springs, What mighty contests rise from trivial things.

If you choose to integrate verse into your own sentence, then use a slash surrounded by spaces to indicate line breaks:. If you need to alter your quotations in any way, be sure to indicate just how you have done so.

Language & Lit

In The Mirror and the Lamp , Abrams comments that the "diversity of aesthetic theories. In all, there will be four periods. See Orwell on Dickens, above. Many people overuse ellipses at the beginning and end of quotations.

Use an ellipsis in either place only when your reader might otherwise mistake an incomplete sentence for a complete one:. Abraham Lincoln begins "The Gettysburg Address" with a reminder of the act upon which the United States was founded: "Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation. In "The Gettysburg Address" Abraham Lincoln reminds his listeners of the principles that had inspired the creation of "a new nation" 1.

If you need to alter or replace text from the original, enclose the added text within square brackets. You may, for example, need to alter text to ensure that pronouns agree with their antecedents.

How to Start an Essay: Easy Tips to Help You Get Started

Do not write,. Alternatively, you can include Gertrude's original phrasing in its entirety as long as the introduction to the quotation is not fully integrated with the quotation. The introduction can be an independent clause:. Gertrude implores her son Hamlet to stop mourning the death of his father: "cast your nighted colour off" I. You must preserve the punctuation of a quoted passage, or else you must enclose in square brackets any punctuation marks that are your own.

There is, however, one important exception to this rule. Ancient Egyptians used heavy eye makeup to keep evil spirits at bay. Rhetorical or not, questions attract interest better than anything: they make people think, wonder and continue reading your essay with the hope to find answers. That is why, if you decide to use a question as a hook, make sure to come up with the one engaging critical thinking rather than simple yes-or-no answers. What would you do if you could play God for a day? Your essay should provide admission officers with new information. A perfect hook would be taking a common fact and demonstrating its false in relation to you. Needless to say, they will be willing to continue reading your essay to find out the details.

Avoid inconsistent tense

Six is my minimum. You can use two types of quotes here: literary citations and inspirational quotes from famous people or influencers in the field. A literary quote would be a perfect hook for your application essay, while quoting influencers helps to support an argument you represent in your paper.