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Implicit and explicit information

Implicit and explicit information

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Explicit and Implicit writing

​​In a nutshell

In writing, explicit means when something is presented clearly, whereas implicit is more nuanced and infers a statement rather than presenting it clearly to the reader.


Explicit information leaves no ambiguity; the writing is clearly stated and leaves no room for discussion. In an explicit sentence, the reader should have a clear image presented to them that gives them the facts. While explicit can also be confusing, the main body of work should be clear with its image. Communicating information and eliciting responses are important benefits of explicit writing as it allows the writer to control precisely the response a reader will have. 


Implicit writing is more subversive than explicit writing. It suggests information to the reader but allows room for inference and different ideas. A reader must be able to comprehend implicit information and facts based on other clues in the text. As such, implicit information is used to hint and foreshadow without stating it plainly, as explicit information does. 




"Maya hates the rain."

"Maya turned from the wet windowsill and groaned."

Implicit writing allows the reader to piece information together themselves and make their own conclusions. Through the language used, you can guess it is raining by the words "wet windowsill" and you can infer Maya's feelings towards the rain  when she "groaned." Yet, it is never fully stated that Maya hates the rain. 

How to use them 

In bodies of writing, such as essays or important documents, explicit writing is solely used as it has the most clarity. That being said, explicit writing is also used in fiction as it can guide the reader to the author's desired location. In scientific and non-fiction writing, you should use explicit facts and information because they are clear and unmistakable, and it is crucial the reader doesn't guess your meaning.

Implicit language often helps you appear more natural, and it can be an effective, albeit more roundabout, way to make your point. This style of writing is often used in fiction as a way of navigating the reader subtly without directing them completely. When you use implicit information, you must remember that your reader has to guess your meaning based on clues and information given in the text. If you don't have the correct framework in place, implicit writing can fail to navigate your reader.




"Take the dog out for a walk over the field at 5."

"The dog needs to be walked today."

"Peter Pan never aged."

"All children, except one, grow up." Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie

"Curley's like a lot of little guys. He hates big guys." Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

"Curley, who was 5'6, turned from Lenny, 6'5, with a scowl."

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FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions

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