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Writing Jami De Vries, Heritage High School, Littleton, CO.

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Presentation on theme: "Writing Jami De Vries, Heritage High School, Littleton, CO."— Presentation transcript:

1 Writing Jami De Vries, Heritage High School, Littleton, CO

2 Writing does Matter Two purposes for journalistic writing: 1. Writing should inspire (read Rick Reilley (SI) for examples) 2. In the next examples, you’ll see that writing should provide key information that can’t be given in a photo

3 In Mr. Rudolph’s AP Physics class, students fill Ziploc bags as full as possible with water and then poke different colored pencils through the bag. The result? The water doesn’t spill out, along with the fact that the pencils look bent because the speed of light is slower through water. Mr. Rudolph, Hannah Gazzett ‘14, and Mikaela Lieb ‘15 froze the bag as a joke, hoping to play around with a new experiment. “The labs help because we actually get to apply what we learning, as well as physically see how each thing works,” says Lauren Huggins ‘14.

4 3,000 runners representing 90 teams from across the state showed up in droves for the annual Liberty Bell, the largest Cross Country Meet in the state. Even with such an immense amount of participants, Jenna Pinto ‘16 didn’t have any problems standing out, as she received eighth overall for the Varsity girls. Though others like Matthew Charles ‘14 didn’t place in the top ten, this race meant a lot after running for four consecutive years on the team. “My favorite memory and most proud moment is lettering all four years at the Liberty Bell.” All other teams did exceedingly well: JV boys took 1 st, Varsity Boys took 9 th, and Varsity Girls placed 11 th.

5 Before you write… In order to write a caption or story, what MUST take place first? That’s right? The interview! o The interview is the most crucial part of the writing process…Why? The more you ask, the more you know, and the more you know, the more you can include in your book-more information also gives you more to work with (So…make sure you pay close attention to Tina’s interview session today!)

6 Once the reporting is done… Writing 101 Again, the writing does matter Captions tell the stories of your unique year, and students actually DO read them! The problem with captions? The problem with captions?! No one is jumping up and down to write them or read them…just yet! Your goal as a staff should be write captions that your student body will WANT to read. You have to MAKE them read.

7 Types of Captions ident: name and very brief description summary: who, what, when, where, why quote: first-person, word-for-word commentary expanded: in-depth, summary+quote collection: describe a photo package group: idents by row

8 Ident Caption 1.Kyle Smith, state long jump champion. 2.Kyle Smith sets school, state long jump record. 3. At Central H.S.: Kyle Smith attempts long jump. Which one would NOT be a good ident caption?

9 Summary Caption Jammin’ Jump. Setting a school and state long jump record at 25 feet, 8 inches, senior Kyle Smith stretches the distance in his first attempt of the meet.

10 Expanded Caption Format: It’s as easy as “ABCD”ABCD Attention Getter (or, a Lead In): Grab your readers’ attention by using a cleaver phrase or idea related to your photo. BASIC info: This first sentence should try to answer all of the 5W’s…in other words, state the necessary information. Complimentary info: The next 1-3 sentences should include background information/facts about the event, people which provides insight (something NOT obvious by looking at the picture) Direct Quote: Include insightful quote from someone related to the photo (doesn’t necessarily have to be IN the photo)

11 Expanded Caption Jammin’ Jump! Posting his personal best performance and setting new school and state long jump records, senior Kyle Smith makes his first attempt for the long jump title at the state competition at Rocky Peak High School on Oct. 30. Smith was one of 10 qualifiers for the state competition. “Since he was our first team member to go to state in school history, we were really excited for Kyle to do well. He’s personally an inspiration for me-he’s reliable, hard working, and always, always has a positive attitude,” recalls senior captain John Herman.

12 Caption No No’s Never start with the subject’s name-be creative! Refrain from saying “pictured above,” “attempts to,” “appears to” Never misspell a name! Always triple check your spelling, especially the names. Print off a list of your student body, so your staff can have a resource readily available. Never state the obvious-give reader something he/she can’t SEE in the photo

13 Most Important No No’s 1. Never use a weak quote: “If someone else can say it, it’s not a good quote.” “John is a good athlete.” VERSUS “Since he was our first team member to go to state in school history, we were really excited for Kyle to do well. He’s personally an inspiration for me-he’s reliable, hard working, and always, always has a positive attitude.”

14 Most Important No No’s 2. Keep opinions out of the copy. The show was a spectacular performance. The team didn’t disappoint. The crowd showed great support. NOTE: If you included any of these lines with a name and “ ” around them, now we have a different scenario…and you WOULD be able to USE these ideas because you have taken opinion and added in a direct quote.

15 Pratice, Practice, Practice Using the info and photo on the next slide, write your best expanded caption. Think about the format for an expanded caption (check your notes) and remember the caption no no’s. Good luck! But….before we get started, let’s establish what we KNOW about the photo. In 1-2 sentences, write what you KNOW by looking at this photo…

16 Let’s see what ‘cha got! Now, here’s the kicker, you are only allowed to use that BASIC info in the first sentence, combined with the 5 W’s below for clarity. (Pop quiz: Why do you need this info? Why should it be limited to the first sentence?) 5 w’s: Varsity LAX game, Girls, April 14, 2014, LPS Stadium, to play their 8 th game of season against Arapahoe HS Quotes: “Winning this game means everything to me. It is my last year, and I have worked so hard to push myself to be the best player I can be.” –Jillian Rodel “I am so proud of my team. We played and fought hard for this win. I couldn’t imagine it happening any other way- Kudos to Jillian for her amazing score!” –Aubrey Gilliman “The Arapahoe girls have such a strong program, and to see these two teams go head to head, with a win for us, is a monumental deal.” –Athletic Director, Ben Becker Background Info: HHS playing rival, AHS; #29 Jillian Rodel scored goal in last 3 seconds to take the win, highest attending game in HHS’s history, game put them into the playoffs, hot and muggy day, coach was crying during interview post-game

17 Once caption is done… Now, you have to write a HEADLINE. “ 8 out of 10 people will read your headline. Only 2 out of those 10 will read the copy.” Case in point: The title to anything is KEY (think about songs, books, blogs, screen names, etc). Titles should be funny, clever, thought- provoking or confusing for a purpose. You should begin and end every headline with this question: “Would this make me want to read on?” Follow these 5 simple tips to help you write catchy headlines, and your student body will definitely be reading your captions!

18 Tip 1: Use Numbers Do an experiment: Go to the grocery store, and scan the magazines in the checkout lane. Look at the front-page article headlines. It doesn’t matter if it’s a fitness magazine or a tabloid; many of them will be using numerals to start off the headline. There aren’t really any rules (as far as I know) regarding what numbers work best, but people typically only remember three to five points. That said, sometimes a really obscure number like 19 or 37 can catch people’s attention!

19 Tip 2: Use Interesting Adjectives TurbulentIncredibleZealous PainstakingEssentialGlamorous FunAbsoluteThundering FreeStrangePuny DowdyEgregiousVoracious IrksomeEffortlessJocular What others can you think of? (And they don’t even have to be adjectives-bottom line: try to make every word interesting!)

20 Tip 3: Doo-Dah Apply the “doo-dah” rule. Headlines are like poetry and songs: they should have a rhythm about them. To check? Read your headline aloud, to the tune, and afterwards, you should be able to say “doo dah, doo dah.” Examples: More bang for your buck Heritage end of school picnic Investing in their future

21 Tip 4: Be picky Space is limited: don’t use articles, or, and No, not this kind of pick-teehee

22 Tip 5: Engage the Senses Engage as many senses as possible (sight, sound, smell, touch, taste) to vividly engage the readers imagination!imagination Remember, " Don't sell the steak, sell the sizzle ". It's not merely a chunk of meat sitting there, it's the fragrance of hickory, of searing juices spattering and hissing upon the red-hot coals, the succulent aroma of tender sirloin, dripping with flavor, and the barbecue sauce staining the front of proud "Dad's the Cook" crisp new Birthday Apron.sirloinbarbecueApron

23 Final Thoughts Remember, WRITING MATTERS! Give your captions and headlines the time and effort they need! Try your best ALWAYS…don’t get sloppy or lazy with your writing! Best wishes for your year-have fun! Questions or comments:


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