A friend or a loved one has passed away, and you are looking for the right words that will capture your loss and devotion. Or perhaps you are looking to pay tribute to an historical event. Either way, the wording of a tribute plaque should contain the name and the date and either a brief description of the event or person's life. You may also want to choose a saying, phrase, or quote that best captures the object of tribute's time and place.

Start with the name and the date. If you are memorializing an event, you may want to include "On this site" with a brief description of the original building or site in which the event took place.

Cover the basics. If the tribute is for a person, include their name and their date of birth and death. Include their most significant contributions to the local population, culture, or their role in a historical event.

Include a phrase that best captures either the times or the person that you are memorializing. If you are uncertain on what to include, try searching through a quotations database or looking through Bartlet's quotations. Focus on their primary characteristic: if it was bravery or courage, then look up quotations that focus on these qualities.

Read about historical markers and quotations online or in your local library. By reading memorials and tributes, you can establish a feel for what you're writing and discover the words that carry the most impact.

Remember that when it comes to a tribute plaque, brevity is key. After you've finished writing, leave the text be for a while and then come back and re-examine it. You may find you can cut a few words here and there and save on the cost of inscription.