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Home > English Language Arts Worksheets > Dialogue
A dialogue within a literary work is when two or more characters have a conversation between one another. This can be in a spoken or written form. When used properly dialogue can help advance a story and share a character's thoughts, personality, and feelings. It also helps to make the character seem more human to the audience. This is often the liveliest portion of any literary work. When we see the characters begin to interact, we quickly get to learn the nature of their relationships and the dynamics that may exist between them. Characters can also have an inner dialogue where they speak to themselves to help reveal their personality a bit more. When conversations happen between two characters, we call this outer dialogue.
Quotation marks (" ") are the form of punctuation that is used to declare a clear dialogue is taking place. They are placed at the begin and end of the words being spoken. You will not want those tags are words that may identify the speaker. When you identify the speaker, you will want to use a comma to connect it to the dialogue. Over the course of a dialogue, you will want to start a new paragraph each time you transition between speakers in the conversation. These worksheets will show you how to interpret dialogue. This is a different form of reading comprehension because it requires you to infer thoughts from the text that you are analyzing. You will need to be able to spot the motives of the characters even though you have no body language to work with. We will also work on the tricky nature of using punctuation properly in this form of text. After we have the basics down, we will have students learn to write in this format to help craft stories of their own. We practice this skill several times giving your various scenarios. We will also analyze the written work of others and learn some helpful proofreading and editing skills. We expand that to learning how to infer more about a settings and characters from this form of literature.
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Dialogue in a story is one of the ways that writers convey information about what is happening and who it is happening to. Read the text below, and then answer the questions.
How Characters Affects Each Other
Everyone has a unique way of speaking. The words a character chooses, how they enunciate, what they say and what they don't say all reveal what kind of person they are.
The Art of Punctuating
Complete each sentence by adding the missing quotation marks.
Look at the picture. What do you think the parents are saying to their son? Write the text that should appear to chart this.
What Would Robots Say?
The words a person uses reveal a lot about their character. Look at the robots below. What do you think they are saying to each other? What emotions are they feeling? Write down the conversation that you think that they are having.
Writing It Into Text
Write the conversational exchange on the lines below. Add commas and quotation marks where needed.
Read the story below. Underline direct speech. Then use a colored marker or colored pencil to add quotation marks and commas where needed.
Ellie is Busy
Read each pair of sentences. Then rewrite the descriptions as character chitchat to make them more interesting.
Add commas and quotation marks where needed in each sentence below.
Revealing the Setting
Writers use conversations as a way to reveal information in a story. This can tell a reader about the characters, what action is going on, or even where characters are.
John and Michael both want to be the leader of their secret club. Give them each three lines of speaking portions in which they disagree. Do they work out their problem? How?
John wants to have a friend over on Saturday night. His parents don't really like the friend he wants to invite. John convinces his parents to let him invite his friend.
Writing in This Form
Rewrite the sentences below using dialogue. Then check the boxes that indicate what kind of information that is included.
Dialogue vs. Indirect Speech
Underline what the speaker says in each sentence. Then rewrite each sentence as direct speech. Use the verb from each sentence as the speech tag.
Rewrite the sentences below as dialogue. Use the verb from each sentence as the tag.
What are Dialogues?
Dialogues have played a crucial role in the history of writing. However, most students don't know what are dialogues, why do we use them in writing, and where we categorize them? With the help of examples from the literature will address these questions here.
It is a literary device used in almost all forms of writing to show conversations between characters or within the self. Introducing a dialogue to a narrative, novel, or prose is to reveal the information or subtly state a character's characteristics. Similarly, we all know play scripts are based on dialogues, considered an expository tool.
The dialogues are always written under double quotation marks; if something else is quoted in a dialogue, then single quotation marks are used.
There are two types of dialogues: inner and outer.
Inner: Inner dialogue is when a character is having a conversation with his mind, it can easily be portrayed in both first and third-person view.
Outer: Outer dialogue is always between two or more characters, and the conversation is real. One of the characteristics of dialogue is that whenever the speaker changes, a new paragraph is introduced for it.
Level of Importance
Much like all other expository tools, dialogues too, help in the development of the story, setting up the point of view of a character, revealing background knowledge about characters, moving the story forward, conveying messages to the audience using inner dialogues, and creating a stronger impact on readers mind about author and plot.
Examples in Literature
Below are famous examples of dialogues from classics that reveal characters' true identities as they speak.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Here is an excerpt from Jane Austen's famous novel, which reveals the character traits of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet using contrast in a dialogue form.
"A single man of large fortune; four or five thousand a year. What a fine thing for our girls!"
"How so? How can it affect them?"
"My dear Mr. Bennet," replied his wife, "how can you be so tiresome! You must know that I am thinking of his marrying one of them."
"Is that his design in settling here?"
"Design! Nonsense, how can you talk so! But it is very likely that he may fall in love with one of them, and therefore you must visit him as soon as he comes."
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger
The dialogue below shows the cunning and manipulative nature of Mr. Caufield from the initial chapters of the book.
"What did Dr. Thurmer say to you, boy? I understand you had quite a little chat.
"Yes, we did. We really did. I was in his office for around two hours, I guess."
"What'd he say to you?"
"Oh…well, about Life being a game and all. And how you should play it according to the rules. He was pretty nice about it. I mean, he didn't hit the ceiling or anything. He just kept talking about Life being a game and all. You know."
"Life is a game, boy. Life is a game that one plays according to the rules."
"Yes, sir, I know it is. I know it."
Our Final Say
Dialogues are the core of any good story; It may be in a book, play, or film. If the dialogues aren't powerful enough to capture the attention of the audience, only then the story emerges as a success.
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Narrative Writing: Dialogue
Age range: 11-14
Resource type: Worksheet/Activity
16 August 2021
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Using Dialogue (Years 5-6)
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This worksheet teaches children about the purpose of dialogue in writing. It demonstrates how dialogue can advance action and develop characters, providing plenty of helpful examples to get children thinking. Children are then challenged to write their own dialogue, using the image provided for inspiration.
- Key Stage: Key Stage 2
- Subject: English
- Topic: Drafting and Writing
- Topic Group: Writing
- Year(s): Years 5-6
- Media Type: PowerPoint
- Resource Type: Teaching Resource
- Last Updated: 23/09/2022
- Resource Code: E2PAT159
- Spec Point(s): Draft and write by composing and rehearsing sentences orally (including dialogue), progressively building a varied and rich vocabulary and an increasing range of sentence structures Draft and write by in narratives, describing settings, characters and atmosphere and integrating dialogue to convey character and advance the action
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The straight talk: Teaching dialogue—how to use it effectively and how to punctuate it properly—isn’t easy. Here are helpful lesson ideas, worksheets, practice pages, writing prompts, and read-aloud plays to teach this literary element and build fluency.
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