How to Write a Dialogue Paper

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A dialogue paper discusses a subject in dialogue format. Writers use this writing form for essays and research that benefit from strong viewpoints. Before writing the paper, ensure you have researched the topic thoroughly enough that you can answer questions and respond to comments. Before handing in or publishing a paper, check that the participants verify all of their quotes.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape recorder or camera
  • Paper and pen
  • Background data
  • Develop questions for interviews. While you will not be holding an actual interview, come up with a starter sentence or question about the paper topic to spark conversation in your guests. For instance, if you are writing a dialogue paper about air pollution in Salt Lake City, start by talking about the current air quality published in the newspaper that morning.

  • Conduct interviews. Invite two or more guests to an office, classroom or other professional-like settings to hold a conversation. Ensure before the interview that recording the conversation is allowed. Ask your starter question or sentence. Keep the tone of the interviews informal in most cases, except when speaking with government officials.

  • Record the conversation and sway it back to the point if conversation gets off hand. If you are working on finding a serious dialogue about the problem of malnutrition in high school teenagers in your area, deal with the topic straightforwardly. Start by saying, "The problem with malnutrition in high school systems is outrageous. What can we do to stop it?"

  • Start the paper with an introductory paragraph explaining your concerns about the issue and the purpose of the dialogue. Identify the speakers and give a brief note about their backgrounds.

  • Transcribe the recorded dialogue into your paper. Make sure all of the quotations make sense. Remove any "umms" or "ughs". If there is a long pause, or a mumbled part of a sentence, fill this with ellipses. If possible, you can call the interviewee and ask what they said if you believe it is crucial to understanding a main point.

  • Write the speaker's name followed by a colon. Bold or underline the name to make the paper reader-friendly. After the name, include the quotes. Because the paper is a dialogue, you do not have to use quotation marks. Ensure that you use correct grammar, spelling and punctuation throughout.

  • Craft a conclusion. Summarize what was said in the conversation and what solutions came up. Do not paraphrase the dialogue. Instead, communicate to the reader, briefly, what they have just heard. For example, you might say that, "Overall, this dialogue between Officer X, Director of education Y and Superintendent reveals that malnutrition is in fact a major problem in our state school system because of the examples they sited about x, y and z." You may also include a personal opinion at the end.

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