WHAT IS IT? Written dialogue represents the spoken words of TWO or more people involved in a conversation.
WHAT DOES IT DO? It’s special for a number of reasons: 1. Captures the reader’s attention 2. Breaks up blocks of prose 3. Adds more white space to a page, which pleases the eye
HOW DOES IT WORK? Each person gets his/her own paragraph (indented) each time he/she speaks – no matter how briefly Even a simple “No,” gets its own paragraph Make sure to indent every time a NEW person speaks…
EXAMPLE: “Please open your books now,” said Mr. Emory. “Then read the chapter, paying attention to the summary at the end.” “We had a reading assignment yesterday,” whined Luke. “It’s good to keep the story’s momentum,” explained Mr. Emory.
PUNCTUATION Place commas, periods, question marks, and exclamation points that belong to the dialogue inside the quotation marks (“……”) Commas and periods always appear inside quotation marks, even if they are not part of the person’s remarks.
EXAMPLE: “Where is Tasmania?” asked the teacher. Ralph said, “I don’t know where it is.”
FOUR WAYS TO PUNCTUATE Note the placement of “he said/she said” Note all punctuation: commas, periods, question marks, exclamation points, ect. Divided dialogue is punctuated differently (examples two and three)
EXAMPLE ONE: “he said/she said” at the beginning. Examples: Luke said, “Let’s go outside.” Ms. Kovala exclaimed, “You’re my favorite class!” Debbie whined, “I just did a buzzword packet last week!”
EXAMPLE TWO: Divided dialogue with a comma Examples: “I have umbrellas we can use,” said Luke, “and you can borrow one.” “I love Monday’s,” exclaimed Anna, “it is my favorite day of the week!” “I graduate in eight months,” cried Ms. Kovala, “what will I do then?”
EXAMPLE THREE: Divided dialogue with a period Examples: “It is still raining out,” replied Abby. “We’ll get all wet.” “I found the missing shoe,” yelled Kyle. “It was in the refrigerator.” “That movie was so scary,” shrieked Maddy. “I’m going to have nightmares for weeks!”
EXAMPLE FOUR: “he said/she said” at the end Examples: “Okay, that sounds like fun,” remarked Abby. “Ouch, that little bee stung me,” yelped Carly! “Sorry, I forgot to make the cookies last night,” apologized Ms. Kovala.