How to Write an Essay about a Quote

Writing an essay about a quote is a great way to showcase your critical thinking skills and ability to analyze a particular idea. So, if you’re looking for an easy way to write such an essay, then this is the perfect tutorial for you! 

I’m Constance, and in this tutorial, I will show you a simple way to write an essay about a quote in five steps. We’ll write a sample essay, too!

Let’s get to it!

Step 1. Plan each paragraph’s word count.

Planning each paragraph’s word count will help you organize your thoughts and present them in a clear and concise manner. As a result, it will be much simpler and quicker for you to write any essay.

Any essay has three important elements:

  • The introductory paragraph
  • Three body paragraphs
  • The concluding paragraph

For example, if you’re writing a 300-word essay, you can follow the diagram below to easily distribute 300 words across the five paragraphs:

Step 2. Choose the main idea and its supporting points.

After choosing the quote you want for your essay, you need to analyze it and get its main idea. 

For example, let’s use the quote, “Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.” by Henry David Thoreau.

You need to take your time and think hard to analyze the quote and come up with the main idea for your essay. 

What do you think the quote is talking about? 

Whatever it is, it will be your essay’s main idea — your thesis.

For our quote, the main idea could be: Successful people focus on their goals and work hard towards achieving them.

Now, you will divide your thesis using the Power of Three to prove it using three supporting points.

The Power of Three will help you divide an essay’s main idea into supporting points. It is a three-part structure that helps produce your essay’s body paragraphs.

For example, here are three supporting points for our main idea:

  1. Being busy with achieving goals can lead to success.
  2. Successful people spend their time wisely.
  3. Focusing on the journey rather than constantly seeking success leads to a more fulfilling life.

Great! Now we’re ready for the next step.

Step 3. Write the introductory paragraph.

Keep these key components in mind when writing an introductory paragraph for any essay:

The first sentence will be your introduction, which catches your readers’ attention. Make your readers want to know about the quote you’re talking about in your essay. 

Next, for an essay about a quote, of course, you need to mention the quote and the person who said it. The rest of the introductory paragraph is your thesis and its three supporting points.

Here’s an example of an introductory paragraph

“Many people focus on and chase success because they believe it is the most important thing in life, but successful people have a different approach. The quote, ‘Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it,’ by Henry David Thoreau, points out that successful people focus on their goals and work hard to achieve them rather than chase after success. They stay busy and focused on achieving their goals. They also spend their time wisely. And they enjoy the journey, rather than constantly seek success, which leads to a more fulfilling life.”

Note how our introductory paragraph goes from general to specific. It started with the introduction — a general statement — followed by the quote and thesis. Lastly, we have three supporting points.

Step 4. Write the body paragraphs.

Just like the introductory paragraph, the body paragraphs of any essay also have a structure you should keep in mind when writing:

When writing a body paragraph, start with a topic sentence that summarizes the paragraph. Next, explain and illustrate your point by using example/s.

Paragraph 1

“Being busy with achieving goals can lead to success. Successful people are always busy working towards their goals. They do not have time to chase or wait for success. For example, entrepreneurs who run thriving e-commerce stores do not constantly chase new opportunities and expand businesses in different directions. Instead, they focus more on executing their plans well and improving the products and services they offer.”

As you can see, our topic sentence gives context to the entire body paragraph and briefly summarizes it.

The second sentence further explains the topic sentence, while the rest of the paragraph illustrates the point with an example.

Paragraph 2

“Successful people spend their time wisely. They understand that time is a valuable but limited resource, so they prioritize tasks that align with their objectives and values. And they focus on being productive and effective in their work rather than constantly seeking success. So, successful business owners spend most of their time on things that will have the biggest positive contribution to their professional and personal lives.”

Paragraph 3

“Focusing on the journey rather than constantly seeking success leads to a more fulfilling life. Successful people understand that success is not about chasing success but about enjoying the process of working towards goals and having satisfaction in the progress they make along the way. For example, successful entrepreneurs understand that business is a journey with many ups and downs. So, they embrace the challenges and appreciate the valuable lessons and experiences that lead them to success and a fulfilling life.”

Just like Paragraph 1, body paragraphs 2 and 3 follow the same structure outlined in the diagram, proceeding from a general statement to more specific points.

Now we’re ready to write the concluding paragraph, the final step in writing an essay.

Step 5. Write the concluding paragraph.

Restating the quote, your thesis, and its supporting points using different words (paraphrasing) is the quickest and simplest way to write a concluding paragraph.

It’s a time-proven method, so it always works!

Here’s an example of a concluding paragraph

“The quote, ‘Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it,’ by Henry David Thoreau, highlights an essential aspect of success. Successful people do not chase after success, but they stay focused on their goals and stay busy achieving them, spend their time wisely, and enjoy the journey toward success.”

Note how we restated the things we already included in the introductory paragraph: the quote, the thesis, and the three supporting points. But we used different words. Keep this method in mind when writing any essay.

I hope you learned a lot from this tutorial. 

Now, go and write a brilliant essay about a quote!

Tutor Phil

Tutor Phil is an e-learning professional who helps adult learners finish their degrees by teaching them academic writing skills.

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