Show, Don’t Tell ◦ The baseball player argued with the umpire. ◦ The ace pitcher hurled his glove at the mound, then spit words at the man behind the plate. Which sentence shows what happened? Which sentence tells what happened?
A good writer should: Be concise. Avoid repetition. Use words correctly. Use powerful action verbs. Use specific descriptive nouns. Use slang and clichés sparingly Use language that is natural and not overdone. Use adjectives that are as descriptive as possible. Use words that create a mental picture for the reader.
Connotation is Important Negative ConnotationNeutralPositive Connotation stingyeconomicalthrifty penny-pinchingfrugal miserlybudget-minded What are some word choice changes to describe someone who saves money? How about to describe someone who is smart? Negative ConnotationNeutralPositive Connotation
Choosing Precise Words The young child was______________. My house is ____________________. I like my car because it is __________. Her pet dog was ________________.
Strong Verbs: Strong verbs help make a mental picture in the reader’s head. Look at the sentence: The ace pitcher hurled his glove at the mound, then spit words at the man behind the plate. Hurled and Spit are much stronger verbs than “argued” which was used in the first sentence. Look at the verbs below: With a partner, find at least three stronger verbs to replace that one. Example: Eat-(gobble, nibble, taste) ◦ talk ◦ yell ◦ jump ◦ see ◦ close ◦ laugh
Strong Adjectives: Strong adjectives help make a mental picture in the reader’s head. Look at the sentence: The ace pitcher hurled his leather glove at the mound, then spit words at the arrogant man behind the plate. These three adjectives make the sentence much more descriptive. Look at the adjectives below: With a partner, find at least two stronger adjectives to replace the ones below. Example: pretty (beautiful, gorgeous) ◦ Slow ◦ bad
Show, Don’t Tell Write the following sentences on a piece of paper and leave room under each. ◦ The basement floor was flooded. ◦ The toddler was angry. ◦ The cars crashed. ◦ I ate the chocolate doughnut. ◦ The painting was an antique. With a partner, change the sentences from telling to showing. Remember to add descriptive nouns, adjectives and verbs.
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