Conventions of Composition Rule 215

Rule: In descriptive writing, SHOW the reader images and scenes rather than TELLING about them.


Weak: He's a nice man.

Better: He spends his spare time helping orphans and stray animals.

Weak: Daniela likes jumping on the trampoline.

Better: Daniela couldn't stop smiling for hours after she got to jump on the trampoline.

Practice showing rather than telling:

  1. Ebony is tall.
  2. Lola and Lucy have a lot of pets.
  3. Nan and Maverick didn't want to eat at a restaurant.

Resources for further instruction on how to show instead of tell:

The Write Practice's The Secrets to Show, Don't Tell

Daily Writing Tips' Show, Don't Tell

Jerz's Literacy Weblog's Show, Don't (Just) Tell