Cutline Writing by lih18327


									Cutline Writing

-adapted from Herff Jones curriculum guide

Writing & Reporting Fall 2005

A Photo Is Worth 1,000 Words?

No photo can tell the readers the essential information without a cutline (caption) Photos need to tell stories as well
Cutlines tell the reader who, what, where, when, why and how as it relates to the pic



Parts Of A Cutline
 The
 1st  2nd


+ Sentence (s)

The Lead-in
 Could

be a graphic device (i.e. initial cap, bolded letters, symbol, line) or mini-headline that introduces the pic and grabs reader attention


st 1


 Answer

the important questions first: who, what, when, where in full detail—must be researched  Written in present tense  Identify the people/action of pic

The 2nd Sentence
 Answer

add’l questions like why and how  Provide info that is not obvious (Bkgd.)  May include a quote or “fun fact”  Written in past tense

Dos of Cutline Writing
 Identify

all people pictured (up to 5 and them just id main participants) state the obvious in an unobvious way to grab attention and link pic with rest of cutline the 5 W’s & H

 Lead-ins

 Include

 Consider

the action before and during the photo and the reaction to the event content factual

 Keep

 Interview

sources to get info just like you would for a story a variety of sentence patterns

 Use

Use Use Use

strong visual and specific nouns colorful, lively, vital action verbs

a variety of adverbs and adjectives

Don’ts of Cutline Writing
 Don’t
 Don’t  Don’t  Don’t

begin with names
use same pattern over & over begin with labels state the obvious

 Don’t

use cliché cutline phrases (pictured above, seems to, attempts to) excessive use of participial (ing) words

 Avoid

 Avoid

passive verbs (is, are, was,



pad cutline with useless info just to make it longer
Never Don’t

use “gag” or joke captions

comment, question or talk to the picture identify year in school in yearbook cutlines

Photo Stories
*trendy publications use longer cutlines/ shorter copy to tell the stories
 Make

cutlines 3+ sentences long  Include quotes from people in pic  Add details usually included in the story (when club meets/date of dance)  Give add’l info/bkgd. on people pictured

Sports Cutline Hints
 id

players by school & jersey number  State positions, quarter etc. for more detail  Consider those players which led up to the action in the shot  Give outcome of action/game

Group Captions
 Begin

with name of group  Identify from left to right  Use Bottom Row, Second Row, Top Row  Rows should be set off with type or parenthesis  Establish a style and use it

Smitty’s Seven Deadly Sins of Cutline Writing
(= Automatic Zero on Cutline)

1. Starting with a name 2. Pictured here, shown above etc.

3. Seems to, appears to, attempts
to etc.

Smitty’s Seven Deadly Sins of Cutline Writing
(= Automatic Zero on Cutline)

4. “This year” or “at Lafayette”
5. Someone “looks on”

Smitty’s Seven Deadly Sins of Cutline Writing
(= Automatic Zero on Cutline)

6.“Poses for/smiles for” any reference
to posing or smiling

7.“Works hard” “works diligently” etc.

Cutlines That Work
A Grand Love Towel in hand, Chris Jones checks the oil in his Grand Prix. He invested over $4,000 in new stereo equipment, an exhaust system and additions to his motor. “During the summer, I wash my car two to three times a week. I never let people in my car who have mud on their shoes,” Jones said. Identifies the action as well as the person in the photo Includes appropriate bkgd. Info Quote refers to the overall topic

Cutlines That Work
Music To Her Ears At Missouri Honor Band practice, Amber Twinn listens to Dr. Gerald Welker give directions. Eight students were selected from each area high school to perform as part of the band on Oct. 8. “As a sophomore, it was especially amazing to be selected as a member,” Twinn said. Identifies the action as well as the people in the photo Gives important details Quote highlights her reaction

Cutlines That Work
A Special Job Kneeling in front of the hostess stand at the Plaza Café in Bucksville, Laura Mink writes the dinner specials menu. Mink worked three days a week during the early evening shift. “I usually spend the first hour of my shift just getting organized for the dinner rush,” she said. Identifies the person, action and place Includes appropriate bkgd. Info about her job and schedule Quote refers to the action

Now You Try:
Who: Suzie Q, 9 What: Shaping a cup Where: Ceramics Class When: Sept. 8, 2005 Why: Final project for first unit in class How: could not use any tools to shape clay Extra Info: “It seemed like it would be easy, but it really took a lot of patience to get it smooth.”

Now You Try:
Who: Super Fans What: cheering on Lancer varsity football Where: LHS stands When: Sept. 8, 2005

Why: go to every varsity game
How: join club for $5 to get Tshirts, free admission Extra Info: tailgate before every game

Now You Try:
Who: Anna Can, 12 What: Organizing cans Where: outside Welcome Center When: Sept. 25, 2005 Why: STUCO canned food drive; students/area businesses donated How: collected 165,000 cans for Katrina shelters Extra Info: “We collected so many we had enough for shelters in St. Louis County and St. Charles County.”-Can

To top