Showing Not Telling

Skill: Showing not Telling- instead of telling us something, show us!


Telling: Roger is mean.

Showing: Roger tripped me in the hallway. At lunch, in between harassing freshmen, he was throwing french fries at our table.

Telling: The girls were excited.

Showing: Giggles and screams filled the arena. The soft curls were now damp with perspiration and the anticipation of the event. They held tight to each other in a mock effort to contain themselves. Arms flailed upward, and voices echoed in varying tones. The moment was here.

Telling: The room was vacant.

Showing: The door opened with a resounding echo that seemed to fill the house. Cob webs once attached flowed freely in the air as the open door brought light to a well worn floor. The light gave notice to the peeling paint on the walls and to the silhouettes once covered by pictures. The new air gave life to a stuffiness that entrapped the room. Faded and torn white sheets covered once new furniture now drowning in dust.

More in depth discussion Herehere, here, and here,

5 Responses to “Showing Not Telling”


  1. Non Fiction Friday; Return Memoirs; Discuss Extended Metaphor Piece | Mr. Funk's Web Site - September 19, 2014

    […] Showing not Telling- instead of telling us something, show […]

  2. Technical Thursday-Showing not Telling; Work on Essays | Mr. Funk's Web Site - October 9, 2014

    […] in class we will spend a few minutes discussing Showing and Not Telling.  This is a great skill to use for your college/personal essays.  It can take your story from […]

  3. Blog Pursuit #2: Your First Steps | Mr. Funk's Web Site - December 9, 2016

    […] Detail the first steps you have taken in your pursuit. Be as specific as possible. If you used internet articles and/or videos, provide links. *Bonus points for showing not telling. […]

  4. Of Mice and Men; Thoreau Quotes and Anecdotes | Mr. Funk's Web Site - February 6, 2017

    […] relate to the Henry David Thoreau quote you chose. Go into detail about the story. Use imagery and showing not telling to tell the story. Explain how the story relates to the quote you […]

  5. Finishing Up Tribute Pieces | Mr. Funk's Web Site - December 17, 2019

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