Caption Writing

There are a bazillion resources on writing captions. The key is to constantly have your students practicing. And journalism one, during the photography unit, I open most class periods with caption writing. In yearbook, I will be fresh at least once to six weeks. Again, the most read thing in your book is/are caption.

Here’s my quick lesson. I like to use banquet. Walsworth also has a great video that uses the ABC D method.

Writing Captions

1st Sentence: Tell what’s going on in Present Tense

2nd Sentence: Give BANQUET

3rd Quote


Take all captions to the ‘Banquet.’
Extra Info

How to Write a Caption

  • List all people that can be seen in the picture – people love to see their name in print (but only if it is spelled correctly!)
  • Teaser/Title is required for every picture and is in bold
  • Use creative present tense verbs to tell what is going on in the photo – use past tense verbs for all other material
  • Captions should be in complete sentences
  • Use classifications with all names, set off by commas: Mark Johnson, 10, serves food to the…
  • Know if it’s freshmen, freshman, freshman team, etc . . .
  • Quote should have an opinion
  • Fact Check
  • Give reader info not known
  • Don’t state obvious


  • “Pose for a picture” or “Smile at the Camera”
  • Your mascot



Yearbook Soap Opera– John Black, 10,  Sami Brady, 9, and Lucas Roberts, 12, argue about which caption in the yearbook would be best on a band page. The 2006 yearbook was showcased in Taylor Publishing’s Yearbook Yearbook. To end the argument, staff members let editor Marilyn Scoggins decide. “I am proud of last year’s yearbook,” Scoggins said, “and I think students will like this year’s even more.”



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