How to Write Dialogue in an Essay
All writers know about the power of dialogue. There is no way to avoid such a literature tool in your books, articles, and other types of content. That’s why a skill to write awesome dialogues is essential for successful students.
Dialogue: When and why to Use it
Dialogue is an essential technique that helps writers demonstrate relationships between 2 and more characters in books, articles, or other types of texts. This literature device is useful for different genres of content and has no limitations. If you need to depict a direct speech of people you can use dialogue in your academic papers too.
Note, that dialogue is not the same as quotations from primary or secondary sources. Its task is to create a dramatic effect of conversation between 2 and more people. Here are the main particularities of dialogue comparing to direct quote:
- describes the conversation between people but not citing the exact source;
- usually happens in book or movie like the main focus of it but not supporting evidence;
- uses quotation marks in a special style.
That’s why you shouldn’t use dialogue in your text as a direct quote. Find out how and when to use this literature technique.
First of all, remember that dialogue may appear only in a narrative essay among all academic papers. This type of essay aims to relate stories to the target audience and the author has to share dialogues with other people. So with the help of good dialogues the writer can improve his writings with additional depth, emotions, and descriptions.
How to make a quote in an essay
Unfortunately, students face with numerous mistakes with their dialogues. That’s why before writing this section you require to understand all rules about proper dialogue formatting. Here are 3 mains rules to use quotation marks in dialogues:
- Use double quotation marks to identify the direct speech. For instance: My mother always said to me “Look what you’ve done!”
- Use single quotation marks to show the quote in the quote. For instance: “I consider Marco Polo’s quote ‘I have not told the half of what I saw’ is very fair”, my friend once said.
- When you need to write a very long quote you can divide it for 2 or several paragraphs. But don’t forget to add quotation marks at the beginning of each paragraph and use the closing quotation mark on the end of the speech. For instance: “I guess you are right. I hope that we will be alive till the morning.
But still, I feel scared. Let’s just pray for now.”
Also, the college essay writing requires from author to use punctuation properly. That’s why this list of punctuations rules will be useful for you too:
- Place the full stop in the quotation marks if your direct quotes end the sentence.
- If exclamation and question marks belong to the speech of your character, you must place them inside quotation marks.
- If you have speech tags before direct words then add a comma outside marks to make them separated. If your speech tags are placed after the direct speech you need to place a comma inside quotation marks.
Rules to Format Dialogue
There are a lot of useful tips from professional writers you can use in writing dialogues. Such pieces of advice will give your essay additional benefit. But at the beginning of this task, you have to pay attention to the general and ultimate requirements. So follow these strict dialogue writing rules no matter what.
Rule 1: Punctuation goes inside quotations
The punctuation also belongs to the speaker who says this phrase. So to place a comma and other punctuation marks outside quotations will be considered as a mistake. Make sure that you add all punctuation marks and only then you may finish the dialogue.
Rule 2: A new speaker – a new line
Your dialogue will consist of two and more people. As a result, you must visually divide them into different sections. That’s why the text of each new speaker starts with a new line. Even if the phrase consists of one world you must form text this way.
Rule 3: Break up dialogue in two parts
You can separate the speaker’s text if his speech is quite long. Such formatting helps to keep fine readability and doesn’t break writing dialogue rules. Just remember to control quotation marks: you don’t need to place them on the end and have to add them at the beginning of the next paragraph.
How to Write Dialogue That’s Realistic and Effective
Writing dialogue is not a simple task. But with the professional tips you will be able to impress your readers and deserve the award of the best dialogues in an essay. Here are the most efficient rules that will help you make dialogues more realistic and exciting.
Say it outloud first
This is the easiest tip to check your dialogue quality. When we read something silently we can’t get the full atmosphere. But when we hear something we can analyze it for a realistic impression. If you notice, that a part of your dialogue sounds unusual or even cheesy you should correct it. Remember that most writers write sentences in an unusual style and need to improve their quotes in a more realistic style.
Keep it brief and impactful
Trying to make the dialogues more realistic the author may make another mistake – to describe the full conversation. As a result, his dialogue will be boring and twisted. Remember, that your characters do not speak as average people. They mostly share only relevant information that suits the storyline.
Avoid small talk
It is okay to explain what your character has eaten for breakfast only if it matters for the storyline. In other cases, this is a small talk that means nothing to the reader. Try to avoid such sentences and use more relevant information. Also, you are able to all small talks to highlight the particularities of a scene or a character’s mood. Just keep watching not to make a dialogue boring.
Give your characters a unique way of speaking
Sometimes authors make different characters to speak the same way. It is the same as to watch a movie in a single voiceover. So if you want people to differ in your essay you must develop characters and make them unique. For instance, your character will use the exact word more often than others
Show, don’t tell
You must develop your characters to make them unique and attractive. It’s essential to show your readers different particularities of people in your dialogue. It means you require using not only traditional descriptions but also the bright imagination of readers.
Greetings and goodbyes aren’t always necessary
As it was previously said, your characters should share useful information to keep the storyline. That’s why saying ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’ too often will harm the readability of your essay. Besides, it’s better to use modern slang instead of typical phrases. For example, use ‘what’s up’ instead of ‘hi’.
Common Dialogue Mistakes to Avoid
Even professional authors do mistakes. But you are good enough to fix and avoid them to increase the quality of your narrative essay. Here is the list of the most common mistakes students do while preparing dialogue in an essay:
- they use the characters’ names too often. You can repeat people’s name but not too often because we don’t do it in a real life;
- explain obvious things in dialogues. It is okay to explain to readers some interesting facts but don’t make your text boring;
- use repetitive dialogue tags. Most readers insist that is it one of the most annoying things in the world to do;
- use repetitive styles of writing dialogue in an essay. That’s why the author must control he uses different formats to make dialogue more exciting.
Use these dialogue writing rules and additional assistance to make your text awesome. Be sure to keep all requirements and format dialogue in the right way!