Each and every student who is working diligently toward their degree should aspire to produce a well written essay when they are required to do so. They should strive to accomplish this task because they realize their grades will depend on how well their paper is written. Unfortunately, the truth is, all too often students rush through these papers simply to hand them in on time. For some students, even creating a well written essay can prove difficult because they lack the confidence in their writing skills to create a high quality paper. Other students are merely unaware or unfamiliar with the tools and resources available that can help them improve their writing and enhance the appeal, as well as the effectiveness of their papers.
One of the more creative and effective tools in writing a successful essay is the technique of 'Show, not Tell'. This technique was developed by Rebekah Kaplan with the purpose of assisting students everywhere write an engaging essay from beginning to end, leaving a memorable and lasting impression on the reader.
The technique of 'Show not Tell' follows a simple rule of thumb... choose descriptive words for your essay which will appeal to the reader's senses. The writer will want to conjure up images in the reader's mind incorporating all the senses while writing about the topic at hand.
- Use dialogue whenever possible - Dialogue enables the reader to learn more about the mood, emotion, and characterization of what or who you are writing about.
For instance: rather than telling the reader a father is angry with his daughter - let the reader hear it for themselves- "Mary Elizabeth!" dad roared, "come here this minute!"
- Be descriptive in choosing the words to convey your meaning
For instance: Telling - the girl was crying on the steps.
Showing - She was shaking like a leaf as tears flowed down her rosy cheeks, smacking on the concrete like the first raindrops from a storm.
- Write specifics - Avoid being too vague in your writing. As the writer, explain how you feel, give details about what you see, describe what you hear and taste. Your paper will be much more effective if you do.
Any student can enhance the quality and effectiveness of their paper by using the 'Show not Tell' technique. While telling can be necessary at times, showing is crucial to a well written paper. Finding a proper balance between the two will turn a boring repetitious writing assignment into an exciting piece of work which will interest you reader from beginning to end and leave him wanting more!