The most overused quote in the history of the student essay is probably MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Second is probably FDR’s “fear itself” quote. Using those, or other ones that have been used thousands of times before you, probably won’t serve you well. Not only is it unoriginal, but it’s a tough act to follow: after quoting the most famous speeches in history, anything you have to say is probably going to sound minor-league at best.
It’s easy to find more original, lesser-known quotes on the Internet, as well as the old-school route of actual quotation books. There are many famous quotation websites, many of which have their quotes organized by topic. If you’re dead-set on using a quote, use one of these sites to find something original and new. And before you use it, double-check it in different places to ensure that the website you got the quote from is correct about who said it and what was said.
2 thoughts on “If you’re going to use a quote, consider a lesser-known, original quote.”
I was reading to your help site i have found some important information about qouting if possible i would be glade if you suggest me some important qouting websites esspecially about the rules of qouting in trying to qoute an information from a website.
Hi, Belay — I’m not sure I can help you with a good quotations site (although I assure you they’re easy to find with Google). In my personal opinion (and it just my personal opinion, so be sure to read the directions on your particular scholarship contest), it’s not terribly important that the student use any one particular citation method when quoting a website. As long as the student makes an obvious reference to the fact that the material in question originates on a particular website, then, as a judge, that’s enough for me. I’ve never personally been a stickler for APA or MLA or AP Style — I’m more of a content person when it comes to judging essays, and as long as the applicant shows some form of attribution, then I’m fine with it.
Good luck, and come back often!