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Copy and Captions

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by

Joelle Sexton

on 27 July 2016

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Transcript of Copy and Captions

Use stylistic devices or information from your lead to bring the readers full circle.

Find the perfect summarizing quote.



TIP #8:


Write in past tense
Write in third person
Include specific details like
names, dates, scores, costs



TIP #6:


Present the details and the facts without commenting on them.

Be careful of adjectives and adverbs that
offer an opinion.



TIP #5:

As the rain poured down, senior Ryan Holt watched the final play of the game against Mason. After three years as part of the starting line, his high school football career had ended.

NARRATIVE HOOK

She stands a mere five feet, one inch, a full foot shorter than most of her teammates. But junior Samantha Smith towers over the rest of the varsity football team when it comes to kicking ability.

COMPARE/CONTRAST

It looked like an episode of “Friday Night Lights.”As the Spartans took the field against arch-rival the Barbs, the fans erupted, filling the stadium with noise.

ALLUSION


You’ve only got a few words to get their attention
Focus on what’s most interesting
Avoid “this year” and vague words like “many”



TIP #3:

DEVELOP A FEATURE ANGLE
Find a focus


TIP #2:

DO YOUR HOMEWORK
Research
Interview
Be there


TIP #1:

The yearbook is the
only permanent written record
of the school year.


THINK ABOUT IT

…that yearbooks need words
in addition to pictures to tell
the complete story of the year.
FIRST, LET’S AGREE…

…yearbook copy that’s:
Grammatically correct
Well-thought out
Third-person
Past-tense
~specific angles tied to the school/theme
~begin with enticing leads
~filled with great quotes- variety of sources ~specific details that add to the photos


GO FORTH AND WRITE

Learn from the professionals

Practice

Be open to revision and editing




1 OR 2 MORE THINGS


Say “John scored the touchdown,”not “The touchdown was scored by John.”

Give students a voice ---
and get more of them in the book

Be sure the quotes are meaningful



TIP #4:

It started as a sprinkle, then built to a shower and finally became a downpour. The rumble of thunder, distant at first, became louder. With just three minutes left, the refs postponed the game.

SUSPENSE/TEASER

Three sprained ankles, a broken arm, two concussions and one heat stroke. All were the result of the first week of varsity football practice.

“I heard my shin bone crack and knew that my season was over,” senior Joe Jones said.

DIRECT QUOTATION

Smells of sweaty bodies punctuated the steamy locker room as players hung their heads, slumping in silence after their loss to Hudson.

DESCRIPTIVE

Allusion
Compare/contrast
Descriptive
Direct quotation
Narrative hook
Shocking statement
Suspense/teaser



TYPES OF LEADS

WHAT SOME SAY…

…if you write great copy, they will read it.

Here are six tips for writing amazing copy:


DESPITE

The Write Stuff!

WRITE TIGHT
Keep sentences simple
Keep paragraphs short
Keep the fluff out



TIP #7:

CONCLUDE WITH POWER


WRITE TIGHT

KEEP YOUR OPINIONS TO YOURSELF

ADD LIFE WITH ACTIVE VOICE AND GREAT QUOTES

Allusion Compare/contrast Descriptive Direct quotation Narrative hook Shocking statement Suspense/teaser

GRAB ‘EM WITH THE LEAD:2-4 sentences using

DEVELOP A FEATURE ANGLE
Find a focus

DO YOUR HOMEWORK
Research Interview Be there

Writing Copy and Captions that people will read!!
Write about what you know!
GRAB ‘EM WITH THE LEAD
Alluding to a favorite person, event, line or song
To be effective, the allusion must be familiar
enough for the audience to recognize.
Points out opposites or extremes
Paints a vivid word picture by describing
sights, sounds, smells, tastes and feels
Uses a direct quotation
To be effective, it must be a powerful, memorable quote
Create a situation
Can be either factual or fictional
Uses an unusual or shocking fact
Aims to catch the reader off guard
SHOCKING STATEMENT

Holds back on the main focus of the story to build suspense
ADD LIFE WITH ACTIVE VOICE AND GREAT QUOTES
KEEP YOUR OPINIONS TO YOURSELF
REMEMBER, YOU’RE RECORDING HISTORY
CONCLUDE WITH POWER
Allusion*Compare/Contrast*Descriptive*Narrative Hook
Shocking Statement*Suspense/Teaser
captions create the complete story of the year.
AN EFFECTIVE CAPTION
•answers the who, what, where, when and why
of every photo in the book

•draws the readers into the spread

•is always factual

Ineffective captions: “What’s my line?” or “Smile for the camera!”
Effective caption: The Glass Menagerie gets an updated look as Sophomore English 10 Honors student Aaron Tyres films his group’s scene for their project. Aaron and four classmates not only modernized the plot, but used iMovie to film these scenes during the first week of October. “Mrs. Emerson gave us three weeks to write and one week to film, and we earned an A on the project,” said Aaron.
Consider an impact lead of one or two words or a short phrase to begin the caption and establish its relationship with the photo.
POSSIBLE LEAD-INS:
Clear sailing.
Putting her best foot forward.
All clear!
The end is in sight.

FOR GOOD CAPTIONS
Choose strong photographs
Research to learn the facts
Tell what happens before, during and after the action in the photo
Include the 5 Ws
Avoid writing the obvious
Use strong, specific nouns and lively action verbs
Grab attention with verbal or visual lead-ins
GOOD CAPTIONS ALSO
Avoid editorializing
Use a variety of sentence structures
Make use of complete sentences
Identify all the main participants
with complete names
Use present tense for the sentence that captures
the action of the photo (usually the first sentence)
Use past tense for all subsequent sentences in the caption

These photos were taken at the same track meet.
Which one tells a more interesting story?

Choose strong photographs with storytelling appeal.
OBVIOUS: She is running over a hurdle.

NOT OBVIOUS: Her name and grade, details of this specific race (including the result), where and when the meet took place and the opponent.

CAPTION: All Clear! In her last meet as a middle school runner, eighth grader Nan Pearson clears the last hurdle in the 100 meters. She won the race against South Middle School on September 20 and finished the season undefeated in this event.

Compare/Contrast
MORE CAPTION TIPS

~Interview the people in the photo.
Don’t assume you know what they are doing or thinking.
~Check and recheck the spelling of people’s names.
~To add variety to caption leads, consider beginning captions on spreads with
each of the 5 Ws.
GOOD SPORTS CAPTIONS
~Identify all players by name and jersey number.
~Include the position of the player (guard, forward, goalie) to add depth to the description.
~If relevant, include the plays and players that led up to the image.
~Be sure to include the result of the play shown or the outcome of the game or match.

The reader wants to know
What happened because of the
action shown?
Who was involved?

CLUSTER CAPTION RULES
•Design the spread to provide adequate room for thorough, story-telling captions. Just because they are all in one block does not mean that each one does not need to provide all answers for each photo.
•Provide a clear reference from the caption to the specific photograph (i.e. through directional information, numbers, letters).

Consider a lead-in to visually draw your reader into the caption.
Each section should have its own consistent device: a drop letter, an all-caps phrase or an echo of the headline can unify the spread and set the captions apart.

Notice the depth of detail that this staff included in their captions. Not only do the captions include the obvious, but they allow the reader to learn even more about the people in the photos.

Joelle Sexton
Herff Jones

jsexton70@gmail.com
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