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Show, Don't (Just) Tell (Dennis G. Jerz, Seton Hill University)

You won’t need to write a boring, uninformative and unpersuasive sentence like “Texting while driving is bad” if you can instead SHOW your point, through well-chosen details (such as statistics, specific examples, or personal stories) that SHOW in a persuasive way. Let’s consider this point: “This tired child needs a nap.” That’s pretty dry, so let’s try to make it more vivid and persuasive. 2) Give the Reader a Reason to Feel Your Emotions If you are writing a set of instructions or a professional e-mail, you don’t want to tease the reader by SHOWING indirectly. To convey complex technical details, TELL (“insert tab A into slot B”) and be done with it. But if you want to engage the reader’s heart, mind, and imagination, SHOW with vivid details that generate, in your reader, the emotions you want to express. 3) Encourage the Reader’s Involvement: Show Details that Imply the Main Point 4) Show with Informative Details and/or Emotional Language 5) “Telling” states facts or observations.

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/writing/creative1/showing/

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