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Adding Dialogue in APA


When writing a research paper, you are required to credit the sources from which you borrowed information, using a specific citation style. A commonly used citation format, mainly in sciences, is the one established by the American Psychological Association, or APA. When adding dialogue in your assignment using the APA style, you must format the quote appropriately and give credit to your source in an in-text citation and in a full citation in your references list at the end of your paper.

Dialogue Quote

Cite the name of the person talking, then quote the piece of dialogue you want to use in your essay. Put the quote in quotation marks. For example: The big bad wolf exclaimed, "I'll huff and I’ll puff, and I’ll blow your house down!”

In-Text Dialogue Citation

After you have quoted the dialogue, cite the name of the author from which you took the line or lines and the page of his book that you are quoting. Separate the two using a comma and put the citation in parentheses. For example: (Halliwell, 35).

Full Dialogue Citation

In your references list at the end of your paper, provide your readers with the full citation of the book you took the dialogue from. Include the name of the author, followed by his initials. Give the year of the book's publication in parentheses. Provide the title of the work, the location and name of the publisher. For example: Halliwell, J.O. (1886). The Nursery Rhymes of England. London: Smith.

Extended Dialogue

When you are quoting more than a few lines between two or more speakers, start a new paragraph every time the speaker changes. Make sure that your readers can identify the speaker every time, even if you don't mention his name. For example: "How are you?" he asked. "I've been better," she replied, shaking her head.

Dialogue Format

When quoting dialogue, use a comma to separate the speaker from the actual quote. For example: That was when he said to Sheryl, “I will not do that … I just won't.” Place the punctuation marks within the quotation marks if they apply to the dialogue you are quoting, but put them outside the quotation marks if they apply to the entire sentence. For example: She asked, "Are you coming tonight?" and Has she ever asked him, "Are you coming tonight"?

About the Author

Angeliki Coconi started writing in 1999 with the theater comedy "Loop," produced in Athens. In 2001 she wrote and produced another comedy, "Modern Cinderella." In 2006 she was awarded a Master of Science in literature from the University of Edinburgh. In 2009 Coconi obtained the Postgraduate Certificate in Screenwriting from Napier University of Edinburgh.

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