A new multiresolution quadrilateral plate element is proposed and a multiresolution finite element method is hence presented. The multiresolution analysis (MRA) framework is formulated out of a mutually nesting displacement subspace sequence, whose basis functions are constructed of scaling and shifting on the element domain of basic node shape function. The basic node shape function is constructed by extending shape function around a specific node. The MRA endows the proposed element with the resolution level (RL) to adjust the element node number, thus modulating structural analysis accuracy accordingly. As a result, the traditional 4-node quadrilateral plate element and method is a monoresolution one and also a special case of the proposed element and method. The meshing for the monoresolution plate element model is based on the empiricism while the RL adjusting for the multiresolution is laid on the rigorous mathematical basis. The accuracy of a structural analysis is actually determined by the RL, not by the mesh. The rational MRA enable the implementation of the multiresolution element method to be more rational and efficient than that of the conventional monoresolution plate element method or other corresponding MRA methods such as the wavelet finite element method, the meshfree method, and the natural element method etc.