If you’re planning a graduation party, you may decide to personalize invitations, favors or even the top of the cake with an inspirational quote. But don’t worry if you’re at a loss for words. Here’s ten tips to help you find the right quotation or saying for your grad.

1. Start the search. The best and easiest place to search for graduation quotes is online. There are many websites devoted entirely to categorized quotations. But you might get even better results elsewhere on the internet. Check scrapbooking web pages with sections devoted to wording for special occasions. Even companies that sell personalized items for grads, such as invitations, can have a whole list of great suggestions.

2. Begin your own list of any graduation quotes that appeal to you. Don’t spend too much analyzing whether this is the one you want to use. Once you have gathered a selection, you can go back and decide.

3. Keep it short and sweet. If you’re looking for a great graduation quote to use on your invitations, favors or other personalized items, you won’t have a lot of extra room for wording. Choose quotations that are brief and to the point. For example, “Hitch your wagon to a star” (Ralph Waldo Emerson) only uses a few words, but it’s effective.

4. Focus on education. If you want to put the emphasis on your past years in school, you could look at quotes that emphasize your learning experience, for instance:

* An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest. -Benjamin Franklin
* Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today. -Malcolm X

5. Believe in your dreams. Another way to go, is to look forward to the start of new things. Every graduate has hopes for the future. You can share that viewpoint with an appropriate quote, such as:

* Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined. -Henry David Thoreau
* The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. -Eleanor Roosevelt
* Throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

6. Define success. Instead of looking at dreams for the future, you could offer a definition of what you believe success will mean to you. Some ideas that would work are:

* Don’t aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally. -David Frost
* Success isn’t a result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire. -Arnold H. Glasow
* There are no shortcuts to any place worth going. -Beverly Sills

7. Be yourself. Another good category for graduation quotes are those that encourage you to stay true to yourself, such as:

* It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are. -e.e. cummings
* Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine. -Anthony J. D’Angelo

8. Borrow a line from a song. Meaningful lyrics to your favorite music might be appropriate for the occasion if it’s inspiring and uplifting. Think about music that moves and motivates you, and you may have found just the right graduation wording.

9. Don’t rule out funny. There’s nothing wrong with using a humorous graduation quote for your party. Here’s a couple of cute ideas:

* The tassel’s worth the hassle!
* Present Graduate – Future Millionaire!

10. Go over your list. After you have searched for quotations on the subject of graduation, education, dreams, and success, dig even deeper. If you still need a few extra contenders, try checking your favorite search engine for quote topics using keywords such as character, achievement, courage, confidence, goals, ideas, happiness, persistence and work. After you have assembled your collection, take your time reviewing them. Look for the words that inspire you.

So, don’t settle for someone else’s idea for an inspirational quotation. Let your feelings, beliefs and goals influence you. Whether you’re looking to personalize party favors, invitations, a banner, cake or anything else for your celebration, there is an abundance of great sayings from which to choose. Do your homework and you’ll find the perfect gradation quote for you.