General Quotations For Essays On Success


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Catchy Openings Using Famous Quotations

Directions: Quotations and wise words from others can often make excellent additions to your essays and speeches. Here is a collection of some popular quotations. Use any of these quotations in an essay or a speech. Identify the topics to which each of these quotations is appropriate. For example, the Quote #1 may be appropriate for the topics of war, enemy, contest, etc.
  1. "Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake." - Napoleon Bonaparte
  2. "He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remains a fool forever." - Chinese Proverb
  3. "The real measure of our wealth is how much we'd be worth if we lost all our money." - J. H. Jowett
  4. "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." - Confucius
  5. "Live as if your were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever." - Mahatma Gandhi
  6. "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who matter don't mind, and those that mind, don't matter." - Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel)
  7. "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." - Mahatma Gandhi
  8. "Life's Tragedy is that we get old to soon and wise too late." - Benjamin Franklin
  9. "If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow." - Chinese Proverb
  10. "Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value." - Albert Einstein
  11. "Any society that will give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." - Benjamin Franklin
  12. "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." - Albert Einstein
  13. "Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened." - Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel)
  14. "If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything." - Mark Twain
  15. "Computers are incredibly fast, accurate, and stupid; humans are incredibly slow, inaccurate and brilliant; together they are powerful beyond imagination." - Albert Einstein
  16. "Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference." - Mark Twain
  17. "Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm." - Winston Churchill
  18. "Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards." - Vernon Sanders Law
  19. "Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance." - Confucius
  20. "The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up." - Mark Twain
  21. "Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere." - Albert Einstein
  22. "A good way to judge people is by observing how they treat those who can do them absolutely no good." - Unknown
  23. "What does not kill me makes me stronger." - Friedrich Nietzsche
  24. "It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but rather the one most responsive to change." - Charles Darwin
  25. "I do no not know how the Third World War will be fought, but I do know how the Fourth will: with sticks and stones." - Albert Einstein
  26. "An eye for eye only ends up making the whole world blind." - Mahatma Gandhi
  27. "Remember, people will judge you by your actions, not your intentions. You may have a heart of gold -- but so does a hard-boiled egg." - Anonymous

“[A] quotation is a handy thing to have about, saving one the trouble of thinking for oneself, always a laborious business.” – A.A. Milne

Chances are you too know a few famous quotes, but you probably don’t use them. I know so, because I’m guilty of neglecting quotes on the GRE.

So, why should you use essay quotes on the GRE? To start with, the right use of quotes in essays augments the power of your arguments and makes your essays appear more convincing. Plus, essays with quotes tend to score better than essays without them, because of the initial impact the use of quotes create on the reader, and help strengthen your point.

But we need to exercise prudence. Only use quotes as is, if you are convinced that paraphrasing would lower the impact or change the meaning of the original author’s words or when the argument could not be better expressed or said more succinctly.

Here is how you make sure you are doing it right.

How do I incorporate quotes into my essay?

At times, an essay can appear painfully discorded if the quotations are out of place or if the essay is too stuffed with quotes.

So, what should you do to avoid this?

A great quote plays one or more roles from the following:

  • creates the initial impact on the essay grader
  • makes your essay look more promising and interesting
  • establishes credibility
  • concludes the essay with a point to contemplate

If the quote doesn’t serve any of the above then you are forcing it into the essay and this could do more harm than good.

You should start writing your essay with a quote that lays foundation to the main idea behind the essay. This can have a major impact on the evaluator. You can also comment on the quotation in this introductory paragraph if you wish. Either way, to get a perfect score on the GRE essay, use a relevant quote strategically but don’t force it into the essay.

Can I alter the structure of the quotation?

Using the exact words from the original source is called quoting. You should quote when you believe that the way the original author expresses an idea is the most effective way to communicate the point you wish to make. If you want to borrow an idea from the author but don’t put the idea in their exact words, then it’s called paraphrasing. (but remember that you still have to cite the original author even when you are paraphrasing)

For example, Ronald Reagan said, “Trust, but verify.” You can alter the quotation on your own according to the passage, by saying: ‘To paraphrase Ronald Reagan’s famous quote, “It is easier to trust when you can verify.”‘ By doing this, you are not only citing the original author, but also gaining extra points for using your own version of the quote.

How many quotes should I use?

If you deploy a lot of quotations in your essay, it appears as though several people are talking about the topic apart from yourself. This would downplay your own voice and leaves little room for your own ideas. It is your essay and it should be your voice that needs to be heard, not some notable/famous person’s. Quote as infrequently as possible. So, don’t cram every quote you know into the essay. As a rule of thumb, refrain from using more than 2 quotes in any essay. (One in the introductory paragraph and the other if necessary in the conclusion)

How do I introduce the quote in my own words?

The last thing you would want is get your score cancelled on account of plagiarism. It’s highly recommended that you cite the author of the quotation. If you don’t cite, you may give the impression that you claim to be the original author and that could result in plagiarism. You should place the quote in double quotation marks. Here is an example usage citing the author:

Thomas Jefferson once said “The will of the people is the only legitimate foundation of any government, and to protect its free expression should be our first object.”

Categorization of GRE Essay Topics

The fascinating thing about the GRE essay topics is that they’re already published on the official ETS website. This may sound crazy because giving out the questions in advance is not normal. Now, use this to your advantage. You can find all the GRE essay topics on the official ETS website.

But there’s a catch! You were expecting a few, right?

Well, there are close to 200 topics in all – far too many to practice responses in advance. Also, practicing each of these topics is not advisable as it is going to take a lot of time and effort and there is no point in mugging them up. You could as well spend this time on learning some math. However, there’s a good news. Just scanning through these two lists will give you an excellent idea of the types of issues and arguments that show up on test day.

I just made things a bit easy for you, though. Most of the topics that show up on the GRE essay section can be broadly grouped into five categories.

  • Education
  • Arts
  • Government/Politics
  • Philosophy
  • Sciences and Technology

So, next time when you practice writing an essay response, make sure you write at least one essay from each of these categories. And memorize a few quotes related to each one of these topics, as they will be handy.

List of most useful essay quotes

I’ve compiled a list of easy-to-digest quotes that should help you write the perfect essay. Bookmark this page NOW for future reference.

The following quotes from great thinkers have been selected based on their relevance to common GRE essay topics and for their ease of usage.

  1. The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance – Socrates
  2. A people that value its privileges above its principles soon loses both – Dwight D. Eisenhower
  3. In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But in practice, there is – Yogi Berra
  4. A little inaccuracy can sometimes save a ton of explanation – H.H Munro
  5. Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction – E. F. Schumacher
  6. A consensus means that everyone agrees to say collectively what no one believes individually – Abba Eban
  7. Non-cooperation with evil is as much a duty as is cooperation with good – Mohandas Gandhi
  8. Whatever government is not a government of laws, is a despotism, let it be called what it may – Daniel Webster
  9. Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws – Plato
  10. Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing – Theodore Roosevelt
  11. It is dangerous to be right, when the government is wrong – Voltaire
  12. The will of the people is the only legitimate foundation of any government, and to protect its free expression should be our first object – Thomas Jefferson
  13. No nation is fit to sit in judgment upon any other nation – Woodrow Wilson (28th U.S President)
  14. The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work – Emile Zola
  15. The world is full of educated derelicts – Calvin Coolidge
  16. A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a change to get its pants on – Winston Churchill
  17. It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog – Mark Twain
  18. Life contains but two tragedies. One is not to get your heart’s desire, the other is to get it – Socrates
  19. If women didn’t exist, all the money in the world would have no meaning – Aristotle Onasis
  20. Men are not disturbed by things, but the view they take of things – Epictetus
  21. As a rule, men worry more about what they can’t see than about what they can – Julius Caesar

Now, these are a handful of quotes. The goal is to memorize 5 or 6 of your favorite quotes so you’ll be able to contextually fit one into the essay on the test day. While practicing, you may look at the list of quotes found above however, if you can remember a specific quote apposite to your essay topic, try to use it – one quote for every essay.

For those avid writers, who believe the number of quotes above are too low, we have the right tool for you. Ellipsoid created a random quote generator tool that draws 5 famous quotes from Goodreads every time you reload the page. The good news is these 5 quotes are always theme based so you know where to use them.

Conclusion

Writing essays isn’t all about the substance. It’s the basics that many of us forget. If you are going to put in the time to practice writing essays, might as well maximize the score you could get by deploying a quote in your essays.

So, what’s your favorite quote?

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