We all want the best out of our works. Well, who doesn’t? In an academic competition, be it for a scholarship, a medal, or even a job, you can expect to see essay writing in there. Essay writing is the most common form of written test for many fields. You can gain the edge you need to surpass the others by mastering the technique of writing dialogue in essays. Unfortunately, not many people can master this technique. Many just avoid it altogether, forfeiting its potential score boost. It is true that dialogue essays are tricky to understand. If you want to know how to write dialogue in an essay properly, there are a few things you need to know. You should know when to use dialogue in an essay, among other things. Many people failed at this. But lucky for you, we will tell you how to write dialogue in an essay with confidence. For your convenience, we will also be providing examples. Ready? Here we go!
Here, we will be covering all the things you need to know how to write dialogue in an essay. We will be talking about what is a dialogue, and what isn’t. We will also discuss the proper use of dialogue. Finally, we will go to the part where many people dread. We will look into the correct way to use punctuation, the correct dialogue essays format, and the MLA and APA format for dialogue in essays.
To start off, what is a dialogue? Basically, it is a conversation. Simple as that. We use quotation marks to frame the dialogue. “But,” you may ask, “don’t we use quotation marks for quotation too?” Yes, you are right. We use them for both the dialogue and quotation. Both of them serve as a hook in our essay. However, a quotation and dialogue are two different things.
A dialogue pushes the bigger story forward. A quote pushes the writer’s argument forward. Quoting someone means to say what they say word-for-word. Here, you are using direct quotes if you use a dialogue to support your argument. However, if you use it merely to add a nice touch to your essay, then it is a dialogue. It all boils down to its use, really.
We recommend you use dialogue in essays when they are narrative. Why? Because a narrative essay has its own story-telling element. Dialogue in essay like that can amplify its effectiveness. You should use dialogues to enhance your story. However, in other kinds of papers (like argumentative ones), you should not use dialogue in essays. The idea of that kind of essay is to prove your point. Therefore, you would need more than just mere conversations to make your arguments strong. Here, direct quotes shine.
Moving on to punctuation rules in how to write dialogue in an essay, it is best if we show you the six rules along with the dialogue essays examples:
Put the periods inside the quotation marks.
Wrong: She said, “Look, if you want a job done properly, you do it yourself”.
Right: She said, “Look, if you want a job done properly, you do it yourself.”
Put the punctuation marks inside the quotation marks, if they are part of what the person said.
Wrong: The student shouted, “I really hare math”!
Right: The student shouted, “I really hate math!”
Put the punctuation marks outside the quotation marks, if they make up the larger story or question.
Wrong: Did he just say, “Sorry, I can’t make it today?”
Right: Did he just say, “Sorry, I can’t make it today”?
Put the commas after verbs like say, exclaim, and ask if the quote come before them.
Wrong: My mom used to say “Life is beautiful.”
Right: My mom used to say, “Life is beautiful.”
Put the commas inside the quotation marks, if the quote comes after the verbs.
Wrong: “It might rain today. Don’t forget to bring an umbrella” she said.
Right: “It might rain today. Don’t forget to bring an umbrella,” she said.
For a separated sentence, put a comma inside the first part of the quote inside the quotation marks; and put one more after verbs like said, exclaimed, and asked.
Incorrect: “Okay” She said, “let’s get to work.”
Correct: “Okay,” She said, “let’s get to work.”
Next up, we will look into the rules dictating dialouge essay format. There are three on how to format dialogue in an essay. Like the last one, we will provide dialogue essays examples to help you understand better.
Quotation marks are used to frame normal quotes.
Wrong: He said I really like this movie.
Right: He said, “I really like this movie.”
Single quotation marks are used for quotes inside other quotes.
Wrong: He said, “Which part of I’m not interested do you not understand?”
Right: He said, “Which part of ‘I’m not interested’ do you not understand?”
If a dialogue extends over more than one paragraph, use quotation marks at the beginning of every paragraph and at the end of the dialogue.
Wrong: The man said, “The traffic here is quite bad most of the time. The influx of citizens each year is frightening.
I really wonder why I choose to live here in the first place… But hey, they have cookies!”
Right: The man said, “The traffic here is quite bad most of the time. The influx of citizens each year is frightening. The environment is horrible, the people are even worse.
“I really wonder why I choose to live here in the first place… But hey, they have cookies!”
Finally, on the list, we will look into how to put dialogue in a paper for dialogue essays. We will discuss both the MLA and APA style.
For dialogue essays in MLA format, no matter how little that person says, you write that in another paragraph. Commas are also used to separate dialogue tag. For example:
He once said,
“I have always loved you.”
If that person said more than one paragraph, then use quotation mark at the start of every paragraph and at the end of the dialogue. For example:
In his speech, he said,
“As we can see, global warming is a serious issue that needs to be solved. It is a larger problem than we think. There are many factors that contribute to this environmental crisis.
“The first on the list is deforestation. We mow down the forest like we do to the grass on our lawn like a lawnmower.
“The second factor is the fossil fuel consumption. Millions of cars out there are puffing out greenhouse gas.”
For dialogue essays in APA format, however, dialouge essay format is different. If you have one person that said a small amount, then you use the dialogue tag and quote in the same paragraph, with a comma to separate them from each other. Look at this dialogue essays example:
She said, “I’m heading out.”
If that person said more than 40 words, then use quotation mark at the beginning of each paragraph, and at the end of the dialogue. For example:
During her presentation, she said,
“Terrorism is not to be laughed at. Anyone could be a victim. It is indiscriminate, unpredictable, and horrible.
“Although the state is doing its best to prevent terrorist acts, they will always find a new way to bypass the security measures. We need to do more than just shut them out. There is an underlying problem to this.”
If you want to use a dialogue with more than one person speaking, then separate the second person’s speech into another paragraph. For example:
She asked, “Did you bring everything we need for the trip?”
“Yes, I did.” He said.
That is all there is to it. We do admit that all of this information on dialog essay can be hard to grasp. That is the point. You can score more by doing what others can’t. Many people don’t know how to format dialogue in an essay or how to put dialogue in a paper in APA or MLA style. But you know how. You can make your essay really interesting for the readers. You can use dialog essay to make your readers see what you see and feel what you feel. This is how your essay can be a cut above the others.
Equipped with the technique of how to write dialogue in an essay, you can now throw away the worries of dialog essay writing and create passionate writings. Show the world what you can do!