How to Write a Dialogue in an Essay

There are certain techniques and rules that should be followed when writing dialogues in an essay. Here’s a compilation of those rules from Canadian essay writers to help you put with writing dialogues:

  1. To emphasize that a person is said something, use double quotation marks. (e.g. I remember my father once told me, “Be good to others even if they are not.”)
  2. If you want to put a quote within a quote, use single quotation marks. (e.g. “What do you mean when you said, ‘be good to others even if they are not’?” I answered back.)
  3. If the dialogue is more than one paragraph, put the opening double quotation marks before each paragraph and then put the closing double quotation marks after the last word of the last paragraph. (e.g. He smiled and said to me, “Maybe you’re too young to understand, son. But someday you’ll realize what I’m trying to say.

“People sometimes tend to get really bad, but trust me when I say that there is always a pinch of goodness deep within their hearts.”)

  1. If you’re using punctuation marks as part of the dialogue, put them inside the quotation marks. If not, then you can put them outside the quotation marks. (e.g. (if used as part of the dialogue) I told him thereafter, “I don’t understand, Dad!” (if used outside the dialogue) Did he just say, “Too young”?)
  2. The usage of commas is a very technical thing to remember. If the dialogue comes after the descriptive words, put the comma after the last verb or word (e.g. My father again told me, “The wold is filled with good people.”). If the dialogue comes before the descriptive words, put a comma inside the closing quotation mark of the dialogue (e.g. “The world if filled with good people,” he told me once again.)