How to Include an Epigraph in an Essay
An epigraph is a quote written before the introduction of a poem, novel, or essay. The impact of an epigraph is very strong, considering its short length. It prepares your audience for the rest of the paper. Given that this is the first thing that your readers see, you should always choose your epigraphs carefully. Don’t worry, we’ll help you do it right at https://college-writers.com/ blog.
When You Should Use Epigraphs
An epigraph is a good way to begin your paper. This part is separated from the introduction but it helps grab your audience’s attention. When readers see a quote at the beginning of your paper, they assume that it is important and that it relates to your work. According to the American Psychological Association, an epigraph “sets the stage” for your thoughts. It can also briefly summarize the main idea of your paper or contrast topics. Epigraphs can be meaningful or funny. The main thing is to choose them wisely.
How to Choose an Epigraph
If you decide to use an epigraph in your writing, make sure to find a quote that will make the best impression and set the right tone for the rest of your paper. Some writers choose quotes from their favorite authors, and epigraphs usually reflect the author’s tastes in literature. Epigraphs are short. We recommend that you don’t write epigraphs longer than a few words or one sentence. Fun epigraphs will help you make your essay more attractive or they can help challenge expectations. Meaningful epigraphs can provide an insight into your paper so that your readers can only understand them after reading the whole thing.
Although there are no specific guidelines regarding the use of epigraphs in the APA manual of style, the APA blog provides a few rules. When including epigraphs, format them as you would do it with a block quote. An epigraph must be indented by a ½ inch from the left margin and it shouldn’t have quotation marks. In the next line after an epigraph, write an em dash and the author’s name, followed by the title of the source written in italics. This line must be aligned to the right side of the page. A fun fact about formatting epigraphs in APA style is that you don’t have to include the source in the References page. When quoting scholarly sources, follow the author’s name with a year and page number, separated by a comma, in parentheses.
The MLA manual also doesn’t specify formatting rules for epigraphs but writers usually format them the same way as block quotes. An epigraph must be separated from the title with a double space and indented 2 inches from both sides of the page. The epigraph itself must include single spaces and be written at the center of the page. Use quotation marks. On the next line after the epigraph, write the author’s name and flush right while taking into account the margins. You must include the source in the Works Cited page. Don’t forget to separate the next line from your epigraph with a 1-inch margin and use double spaces for the rest of the document.