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Transcript of Yearbook Copy
What IS copy?
Sports rosters are formatted with the row stated before the people in that row.
First row: Lucy Carmichael, Bea Taylor, Ethel Mertz, and Julie Andrews. Second row: Cindy Brady, Laura Petrie, and Jessica Fletcher.
What is expected of you when writing copy?
What about titles of people/sports?
Keep this in mind while writing
Students may not read every caption or copy right away, but eventually they will. What will they think of your copy then?
You are creating the ONLY permanent record for the entire year.
Although copy refers to any written portion of your book, when talking on a smaller scale the copy is the main body of words on your spread.
The description of who, what, when, where, why, and all background info necessary for a picture.
Aim for 4-8 sentences
Too long copies make the reader want to move on to something else yet too short copies lead a reader to being confused on whether it was a copy or a caption.
Colloquial (informal language) is not allowed.
There are some occasions allowed with phrases such as “State Champs: We got em’!” or when a quote says, “I think the Prairie Pig activities are cool because it gets the school really pumped for the annual event!” Besides this, slang (stoked, ain’t), texting lingo (lol, 2nite), contractions (can’t vs. cannot) are not acceptable. However, be careful not to use too complicated vocabulary (Like colloquial!) as it may confuse your readers.
Never use first person (I, me, etc.) or editorialize (state your opinion) when writing copy. As a yearbook staff member it is not your place to say what you think in the yearbook, nor do we say, “When I look at how our school has grown this year…” or “This year’s uniforms look like trash!” Save that for English class or the newspaper or the athletic director.
A rule of thumb for captions is to have the first sentence in present tense (Winding up to let the ball fly, Sarah Johnson concentrates on getting the third out.) The second sentence is in past tense with generally an interesting fact or extra information on the game. (Sarah, the only sophomore on the Varsity softball team, has played softball since she was five years old. OR: The Trojan ladies finished the game 6-5 and earned a spot in the state championships.) Give credit to the photographer in a caption too. (Example: Photo credit to Jason Duchow.)
Do not make assumptions when writing a caption. Example: “Lilly Morgan and Jackie Ronnells chat about their upcoming Key Club event when passing in the hall. Both are excited about graduating high school.” Unless you asked them whether or not they are excited about graduation, you have no idea. These girls could be devastated about separating paths once college hits. Another assumption is to use an acronym with clubs, colleges, events, etc. Not everyone knows that NIC stands for North Idaho College.
Stating the obvious can make a reader very bored. This is when interviewing becomes very crucial. By asking questions you may get some interesting tidbit about a student that your readers might enjoy. (Jason McKindrey painting in art class. Versus: Jason McKindrey, who hopes to acquire an Art degree at Boise State University, patiently works on his illustration of a giraffe during Mr. Kahler’s Art III class.)
Titles such as freshmen, sophomore, captain, coach, editor, etc. are not capitalized unless they are used as a part of their name. (As captain of the team, Junior Darrin Roberts looks forward to every game. Versus: A junior on the team, Captain Darrin Roberts looks forward to every game.)
Sports are not capitalized unless you are talking about a very specific league or school's sport. (Ex: "The soccer team stretches in unison before every game" vs. "The Inland Northwest Soccer League 5A Champions" or "Post Falls High School Boy's Soccer"
Based on Jim Harvey's speech structures
ALWAYS Triple Check Names
ALWAYS triple-check names and their spellings in the all-school list. It looks bad on everyone when someone’s name is misspelled. As well, we use only legal names. Although someone may call themselves Ty but their name is Henry, we must use their legal name. (Same with using an altered version of their name such as Sam instead of Samantha)
There, they're, and their....
Affect vs. Effect
The word "they're" is a contraction, hence the apostrophe ( ' ). It stands for the separate words "they" and "are".
"They" and "are" are best buddies. Think of the apostrophe as "they" and "are" holding hands. See the wee little apostrophe-hand?
We do not use contractions in yearbook because we write formally. In an informal piece of work, however, use they're ONLY if you are saying that they are doing something, going somewhere, etc.
"There" is used to descibe a specific fact or location. (Ex: There are 1500 students at PFHS. vs. We are going there.)
T rue fact
"Their" is used to show that two or more people possess something (Ex: Their dream is to achieve the highest honors in college).
Posess i on
Alot vs. A lot
"Alot" is a town in India. It does NOT mean "a large amount".
"A lot", however, DOES mean "a large amount".
We try not to use the words "a lot" generally because they are very bland. (Other words you can use; often, frequently, repeatedly, generally, etc.)
Solid writing tips
Try starting out with:
-odd twist (Ex: Teachers will do anything to keep kids quiet)
Avoid cliche quotes
-"Through hard work and determination"
-Fragments are okay for effect.
(Ex: The pitch. The hit.)
-Make the reader feel emotion when writing.
-LOTS of quotes from LOTS of sources.
_Great details can really interest a reader.