Useful Directions On How To Quote Dialogue In A Research Paper

Most people know that a research paper can be made significantly stronger when you add quotations from reputable sources that provide important information supporting the research paper’s argument or explain something that can’t be paraphrased more efficiently. It is important when you borrow the words of another you apply the proper credit through citation. Here are some directions for how to properly quote dialogue in a research paper:

  • Using dropped dialogue quotes within the main text
  • When a dialogue quotation is less than three typed lines it should be included within the text of the research paper. Start with a signal phrase and use the speaking person’s name before each part of dialogue. Don’t add a space between each part of dialogue; instead divide the dialogue appropriately using a forward slash.

  • Using abbreviated dialogue quotes in block text
  • When a dialogue quotation is more than four typed lines it should be included in the research paper in block text. The block text for a dialogue quotation follows the same rule as a regular block citation: it should be indented exactly one inch from the left paper margin and double spaced. It does not require quotation marks but you should put in each person’s name before the start of his or her part of dialogue. Put in the author’s last name and page number where the quote can be found in parentheses at the end of the block text.

  • How to apply the appropriate citation information
  • Finally, you must always provide the proper citation information with each dialogue quote. The basic information that needs to be included is the author’s name and the page number in which the quotation appears. There are two simple ways of achieving this using the MLA format: 1) using a signal phrase; and 2) using parentheses. In the first example you use a signal phrase before the start of the quote and add the page number(s) where the quote appears in the original text in parentheses at the end of the sentence. In the second example, you add the author’s last name followed by the page number at the end of the quote within parentheses.

These should get you pretty far in understanding how to use dialogue quotes in your research paper, but for more detailed information on other types of citations you should try looking in an in-depth writing guide, asking a writing tutor, or hiring a professional agency to give assistance.


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