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Chapter 4: Yearbook Writing

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1 Chapter 4: Yearbook Writing
Interviewing, Captions, Headlines, and Body Copy

2 Interviewing essential for any good writer

3 Two Types of Questions Closed-ended Open-ended
Can be answered with a yes or no or one or two words Do not invite discussion, opinions, or elaboration by interviewee Often puts the interviewer’s opinion into the interviewee’s mouth Open-ended Answered with more than one word response Requires elaboration by interviewee Typically begin with “how?” or “why?” Why do you want to use open-ended questions in your interviews?

4 Points to Remember with Questions
Concentrate on human interest aspects of the group Ask questions that make interviewee think The better the questions, the better the quotes Put yourself in a reader’s shoes—what would a reader care about? What will readers forget as they age? Use lots of HOW and WHY questions…describe for me…tell me more about… Be prepared to ask follow up questions

5 Interview Essentials Complete your beat sheet prior to the interview
This includes creating questions for the faculty advisor/coach Schedule a time to meet with the faculty advisor first After you’ve talked with the teacher, then design questions for the students involved in the club, sport, or class Set up a time to meet with the student leaders Then prepare your survey questions for all members Remind students to complete your survey DO NOT BE LATE TO OR MISS AN INTERVIEW APPOINTMENT! Doing so will hurt your reputation, the reputation of the staff, make people not want to buy a yearbook, and negatively impact your grade Dress appropriately Say “thank you”

6 Interview Pointers Do not ever just say, “Give me a quote.”
Do not just limit yourself to your pre-written questions Ask interviewee permission to voice record the interview Ask follow up questions, so that you can obtain specifics Always do your research before going to the interview Don’t go to the interview not knowing anything about the group or the interviewee Don’t be afraid to ask for more explanation Don’t be afraid to ask for time to write down what is said Give the interviewee time to answer your question honestly When possible conduct the interview face-to-face Try to have a conversation, not a firing squad of questions

7 Writing Your Story from interview to body copy

8 Transition – Interview to Writing
Write your first draft as soon as you can after the interview Make sure you have completed all of your interviews Remember you’re writing to express not impress It’s your job to find and relate the details to the reader Most students spend about three minutes or less reading copy Don’t forget the memories…not just the facts Avoid clichés Pick out your best quotes to use in the story

9 Organization Lead (p. 57) Body (p. 58) Conclusion (p. 59)
25 words or less Must pull reader in – make her want to read second sentence 3-4 Catchy Words Sensory descriptive sentence Unusual, though-provoking question Interesting quote Body (p. 58) Show depth and attention to detail Use a transition – quote – transition format Cover all sides of the group/story Use familiar words not fancy ones Conclusion (p. 59) Don’t write about future Resist praising the team, sport, or club Not an “essay” conclusion

10 Style and Grammar Use past tense Active voice Third person
No editorializing, jokes, or sarcasm Don’t use “THIS YEAR” Use lots of quotes Be short, concise, and to the point Use Subject-Verb-Object sentences Use section colors so student names in stories stand out Focus on VOICE from the 6-Traits Use 12 point font Use Mr. Greg Molzahn first and then Molzahn thereafter Use senior Sarah Peters first and then Peters thereafter

11 Do not use apostrophes in boys and girls
Boys swimming and diving Girls cross country Use “said” for quote attribution Use “stated” if you read the quote someplace first and it wasn’t directly spoken to you Use other active verbs if and only if they are 100% appropriate Don’t say, “when asked” or “in response to…” It is acceptable to fix grammatical errors in quotes/statements Use quotation marks Periods and commas = inside “ ” ! and ? can go inside or outside “ ” Start body copy with drop cap (2 lines deep) Full justification

12 Captions most read text in the yearbook

13 Photo Stories – the new caption
Tell the reader more than what is visible Include quotes from people within the photo Give additional background about people and action in picture Helps to take notes while you’re taking pictures Formula First sentence = lead Second sentence = background info about picture Third sentence = quote directly connected to the people in picture

14 Caption DO’s Answer the 5W’s and an H Use present tense
Use active verbs and descriptive nouns Use people’s first and last names Identify everyone even if they are not students Follow same title and class rules as body copy Use 10 point font Learn how to spell the four grade levels – freshman vs. men and sophomores

15 Caption DON’Ts Don’t begin with names, grade in school, or prepositions Don’t use “be” verbs Don’t use gag captions, jokes, sarcasm, or inside jokes Don’t mention the photographer or the camera or smiling Don’t editorialize Don’t talk to the picture or the people within it Don’t repeat information that is elsewhere on the page Don’t identify names of non-students Don’t use “left to right” – we already read that way

16 Headlines they state more than the obvious

17 Headline 101 They should draw readers into looking at and reading the page Should be specific and positive Do more than just label the page Should do more than state the obvious Don’t use A, An, The, And (use comma in place of “and”) Should tie into one of the photographs (dominant one?) Typically 2-5 words in length Can be a play on words Should have a main and secondary headline Try to tie it back to the yearbook theme

18 Headline 102 Use Present tense Don’t use it to fill up white space
Select typefaces that complement each other Use strong, active verbs (don’t use “be” verbs) Avoid abbreviations

19 Practice happy homework

20 Write captions for these pictures…








28 Write Headlines for these pages…
Football team making it to the state championship game Teacher of the year Freshmen Mentor Program Basketball player sets a state all-time points record Tech Ed students build race car that won at state fair

29 Write a 20-Sentence story about…
New Teachers at CHS

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