ENG210: Wk10


This week we look at dialogue in writing – and other forms of language-use

Steps to Follow

Step 1: Read the Week 10 notes
Step 2: Listen to Lecture 5: Dialogue, idiom and register (accessed from Resource CD-ROM 1)
Step 3: Do the Readings for this week
Step 4: Complete the Writing Exercises for this week
Reminder: Begin work on Assessment task 3


This topic considers dialogue in works of fiction, and the way different kinds of language use use are use to convey particular character and social milieu and place.

Dialogue may develop a character or situation, and/or the engagement between different points of view or conflict, and it should develop a story, scene or situation.  Try to render the dialogue as credible, bearing in mind that written dialogue does not relate verbatim every word of a spoken dialogue, but rather strives to evoke the spirit and idiom of the dialogue.  You should identify the conflict between “participants” and consider the purpose of the dialogue.


Joyce, James. “Extract” in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, 1992 , 58-59

Narayan, R. K. “Extract” in The Man-Eater of Malgudi, Narayan, R. K., 1961, 14-17

Winton, Tim. “Extract” in That Eye, The Sky , Winton, Tim, 1986, 10-11

* Notice how writers use dialogue in diferent genres of the play and the novel, and the function of dialogue in prose.

* Notice the use of colloquial language, how writers create the impression of a particular context through their use of idiomatic language.

* Notice the use of pace and progress, the way the writer controls characterization and situation through dialogue.

Writing Exercises

Look carefully at the readings for this topic, how the writers have used language that develops the dialogue, representing and constructing both characterization and points of view. Notice also the presentation of conflict, tension, irony, humour and idiom.

Create a dialogue which progresses from non-communication to communication or vice versa

or create a dialogue based on a power struggle

or create a poem based on a dialogue

or write a prose scene or story that features the use of dialogue


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