Can I start a sentence with a quote as a part of my own sentence? For example, I am doing an essay on Catcher In The Rye (Grade 10) and this is my sentence: “If there’s one thing [Holden]...

Can I start a sentence with a quote as a part of my own sentence? For example, I am doing an essay on Catcher In The Rye (Grade 10) and this is my sentence: “If there’s one thing [Holden] hates, it’s the movies” (Salinger 2), and coincidentally D.B just happens to work in the movie industry. I was wondering if that makes sense; my teacher highly encourages us to incorporate quotes as a part of our own sentences but I wasn't sure if I could at the beginning of my sentence. Thank you!

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mizzwillie | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted on

Yes, this makes sense.  Quotes from a novel may fit anywhere if you handle them correctly with punctuation and giving credit to the speaker. The beginning of the sentence tends to have more power to it than the end, so I think this is a good idea.  I, too, would encourage you to use quotes and examples from the story to show, not tell your ideas.  Words help your reader picture what you are thinking, and I think this sounds like a really interesting essay. The more that you can use material from the story, the better your essay will prove your points.  I also would encourage you to continue to use complex sentence structure as you have here which makes your writing sound more adult and just by its complexity, more authentic.  So, yes, use your quote at the beginning of your sentence if you wish. 

 

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