Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 3 to 4
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.26

     challenging words:    comma, paragraph, punctuation, natural, each, librarian, speaker, separate, simple, speak, settle, switch, general, reader, lines, above
     content words:    Beverly Cleary

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By Brenda B. Covert

1     Each day you speak. You speak to your family. You speak to your teachers. You speak to your friends. You may speak to strangers, though you've been warned to avoid them. How would your conversations look on paper? What would your conversation be called?
2     On paper, conversations are called dialogue [DIE-uh-lahg]. A dialogue is a conversation between two or more persons. You have probably seen dialogues in books. Let's take a look at some dialogue. Study the following passage from Ramona's World:

        Ramona spoke up before Beezus could answer. "What's so funny?" she asked.

        "Boys," said Beezus. "Boys are funny."

        "Who says boys are funny?" Mr. Quimby had come in from the garage. "I was a boy once. I wasn't funny."

        "I say boys are funny," said Beezus. "So do all the girls."

        Mrs. Quimby asked, "What do boys do that is so funny?"

                                                                                Ramona's World by Beverly Cleary; 1999
3     What is the first thing you noticed? Did you notice that each person got a new paragraph? The dialogue is separated by speaker. It doesn't run together. If the dialogue were to be lumped together in one paragraph, it would look like this:

Paragraphs 4 to 10:
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