05 writing captions
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05 writing captions

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Short writing should be the best writing in your book. Create strong captions, and your readers will appreciate the effort you put in.

Short writing should be the best writing in your book. Create strong captions, and your readers will appreciate the effort you put in.

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    05 writing captions 05 writing captions Presentation Transcript

    • Writing Captions that Captivate Lizabeth A. Walsh, MJE
    • Worth a 1,000 words… oh no, they’re not!Photographs are worth so much more than that Photographs represent: The events that happened The people who attended them The action they capture The reactions to what happened The emotions associated with them The history of the school and the community The memories of the year
    • Okay,you’ve guilted me into it What structures can I use to caption?  Identification (Who?)  Explanation (Who is doing what?)  Detailed (When, where, why, or how?)  Storytelling (Let the picture talk)
    • Identification When you’re trying to get more people into the book, you’re going to have many smaller photos with less design space for large captions. Find a place for telling us who those people are, and do it consistently.
    • Explanation Tellthe reader who is doing what in a single sentence. Use present tense to capture the “action.” Don’t even think about writing a “duh factor” caption.  Sophomore Susie Smith smiles for the camera.  Really? We had no idea what she was doing. Thanks, pal. We were lost without your brilliant explanation.
    • Detailed Providethe 5 Ws and H for the photograph, giving readers context and providing historical value. Use one present tense sentence for the action (Explanation portion) and another in past tense for the remaining details.  Why mix tenses? The present tense captures action, and the past provides information about an event that has clearly already happened.
    • CONFERENCE CHAMPS. With unprecedented support Sophomores Tricia Keane, Helen Lanning, Liz Grabo CONFERENCE CHAMPS. With unprecedented support from both Trainers Emily Grady, senior; and Sam Grabo, junior; running back Lawrence Nichols, senior from both the school and the community, the football team rallied from a 20 point deficit to defeat Fairview 28-27 in the conference the school and the community, the football team rallied fromchampionship game on Nov. 3. Fans were brought to their feet when injured running back Lawrence a 20 point deficit to defeat Fairview 28-27 in the conference Nichols returned to the game after pulling the a calf muscle in the opening minutes of the second championship game on Nov. 3. Fans were brought to their feet half. when injured running back Lawrence Nichols returned to the game after pulling the a calf muscle in the opening minutes of the second half. Dance team juniors 2006 Pioneer Conference Champions
    • Storytelling All of the above parts of the detailed caption  PLUSA quote from an interview about the event  Now, the picture talks- it’s like turning up the sound and hearing the audio to match the video.
    • CONFERENCE CHAMPS. With unprecedented support from both the school and the community, the football teamrallied from a 20 point deficit to defeat Fairview 28-27 in CONFERENCE CHAMPS. With unprecedented support from both the school and the community, the football team rallied from a 20 the conference championship game on Nov. 3. Fans werebrought to their feet when injured running back Lawrence Nichols returned to the game after pulling the a calf muscle in the opening minutes of the second half. “When we were presented the championship trophy, all I could Sophomores Tricia Keane, Helen Lanning, Liz Grabo point deficit to defeat Fairview 28-27 in the conference Trainers Emily Grady, senior; and Sam Grabo, junior; running back Lawrence Nichols, senior think of was the speech that Jon Germuska gave in the locker room at half-time. He talked about believing inourselves. After all the setbacks as a result of injuries, we championship game on Nov. 3. Fans were brought to their feet showed that we are a team that has character. We had another chance to prove that we are a team that never backs down and never gives up. It was awesome to come when injured running back Lawrence Nichols returned to the gamefrom behind and beat Fairview,” said kicker Jonah Martin, senior. after pulling the a calf muscle in the opening minutes of the second half. “When we were presented the championship trophy, all I could think of was the speech that Jon Germuska gave in the locker room at half-time. He talked about believing in ourselves. After all the setbacks as a result of injuries, we showed that we are a team that has character. We had another chance to prove that we are a team that never backs down and never gives up. It was awesome to come from behind and beat Fairview,” kicker Jonah Martin, senior, said. Dance team juniors2006 Pioneer Conference Champions
    • Start by headlining it (aka Lead-in) Should be clever Go beyond the expected Have a clear visual-verbal connection Remember to design your spread to accommodate whatever types of captions you’re writing.
    • Practice List words or phrases that come to mind Think of something clever- not just “Hey, look at that kid in the glasses!”
    • So now that I know what they are, how do I create them?  Follow the A-B-C method  Action Lead  Basic Information  Complementary Information
    • A — Action Lead-In B — Basic Information C — Complementary Information
    • Practice Time Who: Seniors Amy Antal and Josh Fouse What: Amy paints Josh’s face in blue and gold at the “Rally in the Alley.” Where: The “Rally in the Alley” started in 2003 and was held at a senior’s home. The entire school was invited to a barbeque before each home game. When: The picture was taken before the first home football game of the season against the Canon MacMillan, “Big Macs.” Detail: The final score was 33-14.
    • Fine tune your writing Make each caption begin in a different way. Variety is spicy. Re-writeyour caption using each of the following grammatical approaches:  Adjective, adverb, infinitive, preposition, verbal, causal, and conditional
    • Adjective - Real crowd pleasers, the drum line performs “Martian Mambo” before the Westlake game.Adverb - Colorfully dressed as aliens, the drum line performs “Martian Mambo” before the Westlake game.Infinitive - To engage the crowd before the Westlake game, the drum line performs “Martian Mambo” in alien attire.Prepositional - Before the Westlake game, the drum line performs “Martian Mambo” in alien attire.Verbal (Present Participle) - Playing the “Martian Mambo,” the drum line, dressed in alien attire, warms up the pre-game crowd.Verbal (Past Participle) - Dressed as aliens, the drum line performs “Martian Mambo” before the Westlake game.Causal - Since the half-time show had a Star Wars theme, the drum line previewed the performance for the pre-game crowd with the “Martian Mambo.”Conditional - If the drum line performed their pre-game warm-up in alien attire, the Band Boosters promised the percussionists five extra large pizzas.
    • Now add the remaining details Why: The number 44 on Amy’s face was to support her friend, senior running back and linebacker, Tyler Beitel. How: Students painted up, cooked dogs and burgers, and listened to student rock bands. The tradition has moved several times. This particular picture was taken at senior Angelea Kuruc’s grandmother’s house, the location of this year’s “Rally in the Alley.” Quote from Antal: “The worst part was when the paint dried and cracked all over everyone’s skin. It really hurt.”
    • Now mix things up How about just an identification & quote? Could we just use the quote and explain a bit afterwards to give it context? How about moving the quote up in the caption and moving some details down?
    • Revise & Proof for Quality  Check all name spellings  Verify quoted material is accurate  Remove any non-specific pronouns - many, some, a few  Make sure that you read the entire spread- only one caption per spread may use a particular lead sentence style
    • More Quality Concerns
    • More Quality Concerns Consider retaining the spelled out class descriptions (freshman, sophomore, junior, senior) because it doesn’t interrupt eye flow for the reader. Retain subject-verb order in attributions  “I like pie,” sophomore Susie Smith said. Consider embedding attribution within longer quotes, so everything doesn’t end in said.  “I like pie because it’s so yummy,” sophomore Susie Smith said. “My favorite is cherry, but really, I’ll eat almost any flavor.”
    • All materials presented… Remain the property and copyright of the various owners of the original works. These yearbook samples were presented at BALFOUR workshops for the benefit of their clients and customers. Please do not alter these presentations. Use of these shows is intended only for individual adviser-to-staff classroom teaching, not for publication or reproduction in any form for any type of presentation at a conference, camp, convention, or gathering of multiple schools’ staffs.