Writing for an Audience


Whats the difference between explicit and implicit information?

3 years ago


55 Replies




Stanley Simonis

55 Answers

Jodie Profile Picture
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Explicit is the clear meaning of the word or phrase. Implicit is what is implied. For example if you say, ‘It’s cold in here.’ You are explicitly saying that the temperature is cold and that it has affected you. You feel cold. The implied meaning might be that you are subtlety asking for someone to close the window.

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Implicit – An idea may be suggested though not fully expressed.

Explicit - stated clearly and in detail, leaving no room for confusion or doubt.

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Lydia Pazzi-Axworthy

Implicit information is where the meaning of the text is suggested but is not stated directly. ‘Implicit’ comes from the word ‘implied’, so it is information that implies further meaning.

Explicit information is the opposite and is directly expressed so that the reader does not need to draw anything further from the text.

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Explicit information is information that is stated or communicated obviously or clearly. Implicit information is information that is subtextual. In other words, it is not immediate or obvious.

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Athena Atherton

Explicit information is information that obviously details what it wants to get across ie. in two hours the sun will go down. This information is clearly stated without any hidden meanings. Implicit information is the opposite. Implicit information conveys an idea rather than stating outright what is happening. In fiction, it is often used for character description so the reader gains an impression of the character without the author explicitly telling them.

Sarah Hodge

Explicit information is what you read in the text. It can't be argued because it is there in black and white. Implicit information is the meaning that is implied with in the text. The writer gives you clues and hints as to the hidden meanings, point of view or argument they are trying to convey.

Marcus G

The main difference is how obvious the information is, both in presentation and in content. Explicit information is shared or broadcast publically, usually with the aim of convincing someone. A great example is when you want to buy a car, and they tell you that it's got low finance rates. This is something the salesman would like you to know, because he thinks it would be nice for you and because he wants to sell the car. Implicit information, on the other hand, is often not communicated very clearly. Explicit information is put out there, and when you see it there's no ambiguity. You might not see implicit information to begin with as it may not be shared, but even if you see it you might not understand. Again with our car sale, say that you notice a small disclaimer at the bottom of a form. It mentions something about cancelation of premium finance rates in the event of an accident. This information was hard to see, you weren't told about it, and you may not understand it. The salesman has no advantage to share it; in this case, cancelled rates mean that if your payment will change if you get into an accident.

Cia Chhabra

Explicit and implicit are adjectives with opposite meanings. If something is explicit, it’s clearly understood. If something is suggested or not clearly defined, it’s implicit. Explicit information is information that is stated and obvious, whereas implicit information is not obviously stated. It is up to the reader, most of the time, to figure out the implicit meaning of a piece of text. For example, in the sentence "The girl wore a red dress," the explicit information is what it is you exactly read: the fact that a girl is wearing a red dress. Yet, the implicit information here is whatever you can interpret from a girl wearing a red dress. A reader can ask questions about the explicit information here, such as: why is the color red? Why a dress, in particular? This would lead them to figure out the implicit meaning. For example, the color red is rich and sensual, so it may symbolize danger or passion, possibly meaning the girl illuminates femme fatale energy. This would be the implicit meaning of 'The girl wore a red dress'!.

Eva Cox Jones

Explicit information is information that has been clearly stated within the text. This type of information will be more obvious, often stated in detail, and will not leave room for questions. Implicit information is information that is implied rather than stated. This type of information is not directly expressed, instead it is alluded to. For example, it could be social criticism or emotional complexity.

Jock Lockhart

Explicit describes something that is very clear and without vagueness or ambiguity. Implicit often functions as the opposite, referring to something that is understood, but not described clearly or directly, and often using implication or assumption.

Tayo Holder

Explicit means obvious meaning while Implicit means unobvious meaning. So if something was explicit in a text, it means that the information is clearly stated for you. 

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implicit ....implied, suggested, hinted at.

explicit...clear, defined, clearly stated.

She implied that the food was burnt by sniffing the air in distaste.

He was explicit with his instructions on how to plant the onion seeds.

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Kristina Profile Picture
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Explicit information is what I like to call the "base layer of information". It is the direct and obvious information that we are given. Then we add in implicit information, which I call "the detailed layer of information" as it gives us greater detail about what is happening.

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Hollie Gilligan

Hi Stanley! The difference between explicit and implicit information is the delivery of the information. Explicit information is information that is directly stated to the audience or reader, such as "Miles does not like dogs." Implicit information is information which is suggested, but never directly stated. Implicit information is implied to the reader, for example, "Miles moved away from the dog. He had never had a pet dog." It is suggested that Miles does not like dogs because he moves away from the dog, but it is never directly stated.

Katrina Smale

Explicit information will be the information that you can see on the page - the 'obvious'.

Implicit information, is what is suggested - what lays between the lines.

For example, in a story, a male character may gift his love interest a red rose.

Explicit: We know he is interested in her because he has given her a gift, that gift is a rose.

Implicit: A red rose symbolises love, but often associate the colour red with blood, and we associate blood with the heart. Therefore, by giving his love interest a red rose, we can suggest that the male character is giving her his heart.

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