Showing vs. Telling (Example: "I like to win.")

Show, Don't (Just) TellI just wrote these examples on a student paper, in an attempt to reinforce a lesson in showing vs. telling.

1) Winning is important to me. It doesn’t matter to me what I do, so long as I win.

(That’s TELLING. Its dry and boring, and not at all convincing.)

2) On the shelf in my bedroom is a first-place football trophy, and a first-place chess trophy.  Above my bed on one side is the head of a four-point buck I shot when I was 16, and on the other side is a framed photo of me winning “Junior Chef of the Year.”  Before you ask me to play cards, you should have a full wallet.  If your son wants to play marbles with me, he should know I play for keeps.  If I start playing house with your daughter, I won’t stop playing until she stops crying, looks me in the eye, and admits, “You won!”

(That’s SHOWING a passion for winning. The examples all support the basic idea — “I like to win” — but they also show a deep passion, a broad range of talents, and a fierce competitive nature.)

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