how to format a quote at the beginning of an essay mla
If you want to omit a line of poetry, you can indicate this with a line of periods approximately the same length as the line of the poem.
At the end of the quote, add an MLA in-text citation directly after the final punctuation mark. This contains the name of the author(s) and the page number(s) from which the quote is taken.
Allen Ginsberg’s famous poem “Howl” begins:
In the aftermath of the hound sighting, Sherlock Holmes keeps his cool:
Whereas in the journal PMLA, epigraphs appear like this:
Note that since epigraphs are ornamental in nature, they are usually not considered fair use. Publishers often require writers to seek permission to quote material for epigraphs, especially lyrics and modern poetry.
Original: I had an experience I can’t prove, I can’t even explain it, but everything . . . tells me that it was real. I was part of
something wonderful, something that changed me forever; a vision of the Universe that tells us undeniably how tiny, and
insignificant, and how rare and precious we all are.
Ellipsis Within a Paragraph
When quoting paragraphs in MLA style, you may need to omit entire sentences. If the omission begins at the end of a sentence, simply include the ellipsis in addition to the closing punctuation of the previous sentence:
After you decide to use an epigraph for your essay, you must consider what quote will have the greatest impression on your reader or set the tone of your essay. Ahern mentions that some writers choose a favorite author, and many epigraphs are specific to a particular individual’s tastes. She also identifies three qualities of effective epigraphs — they are brief, funny or wise, or sometimes all three at once. Choose an epigraph that is no longer than a few words or a complete sentence. Use a comical epigraph to challenge expectations, make fun of yourself or make your essay enticing to the reader. Wise epigraphs provide insight to your paper, which might be revealed to the reader at the end of your essay.
An epigraph is a quote before the introduction of a novel, poem or essay. This convention packs a great impact in what is usually a few words or brief sentences. Rosemary Ahern, author of “The Art of the Epigraph: How Great Books Begin,” compares the epigraph to a “baptism” before you share your work with an audience, so it should not to be taken lightly. By choosing the right epigraph, you can allude to a theme or drive home an idea with more power.