As any journalism teacher and journalist worth their salt knows, news writing is structured like an inverted pyramid.
In the story’s lead, the writer offers the most important information. This is where to answer the who, what, where, when and how of the story. It gets right to the point in about 30 words. Most importantly, a good lead will include a hook to capture the reader’s attention. This might be an engaging description, a thought-provoking quote, a burning question, or an outstanding fact.
Note that sometimes, if the story is particularly complex and the lead requires two paragraphs, the writer might need to do a quick review of what has been discussed so far before the body. However, it’s best to save this for highly complex stories.
Finally, in the tail end of the story, the journalist will wrap it all up. This might include the journalist’s own analysis of the situation, or the summary of an industry expert. It might also include further questions for exploration.
Note the differences from and similarities to classic academic essay writing. There are introductory, body, and conclusion paragraphs, as well as a clear, logical flow of arguments. But those arguments — and the evidence for them — are more fluidly integrated into the story. What’s more, the best news stories appear to be told by the subjects themselves, rather than by the authoritative author.
Extracurriculars are an important part of any high schooler’s experience. Whereas schoolwork might feel draining at times, joining a club or activity based on your interests can be a great way to relax and unwind after a long school day—and it’s also helpful for showing schools what your passions are when it comes time to apply to college!
If you’re in high school, you may be wondering whether or not you should join Yearbook Club. After all, yearbooks are a classic part of life in high school, and there are many f benefits to joining, including the opportunity to build upon your unique skills and gain experience in lots of different areas. Read on to learn more about Yearbook Club!
Yearbook Club offers many benefits to those who join.
It’s a group activity that allows students to learn a variety of skills that will likely be useful to them in the future. Working with a group of students can help students improve their teamwork and coworking skills. Students also have the opportunity to try their hand at photography, graphic design, and Photoshop. There are even aspects of Yearbook Club that relate to journalism—you might have the opportunity to interview students and write about what they have to say on school-wide and current events!
In addition, some high schools offer Yearbook Club as an academic class for credit. You should check your school’s website or talk to your guidance counselor to see if this is the case. If it is, that’s all the more reason to consider joining.
Joining Yearbook Club also means that by the end of the school year, you will have produced a substantial and tangible product while on a deadline. Colleges like to see students with drive and strong time management skills, and working with a team to produce the school’s yearbook can be a great way to demonstrate your strengths in these areas.
Aside from building upon skills and strengthening your college applications, the school yearbook is unique in that it’s often kept as a keepsake and brought out again years later, so you’ll be able to look back fondly on your involvement in yearbook club for years to come. Most people keep a copy of their high school yearbook and look at it from time to time, but how many can say that they actually helped produce this enduring memento?
What Does Yearbook Club Involve?
There are many different components required in order to keep a high school Yearbook Club running smoothly. These requirements will vary from school to school, so if you want to know exactly how your high school’s Yearbook Club is run, you should talk to a current member of the club or maybe even attend a meeting!
In terms of basic requirements, most Yearbook Clubs will have meetings on some sort of regular basis, whether this is weekly, semi-weekly, or monthly. You should keep in mind that the time commitment for Yearbook Club might increase right before the deadline to submit the yearbook to the printer. It’s also worth noting that Yearbook Club might not always be a year-long activity. The deadline will likely be months in advance of the actual end of the school year. In addition, not everyone has the same jobs in yearbook club, so there will probably also be different time commitments based on what aspect of the yearbook you’re working on.
Different Roles Within Yearbook Club
One of the most compelling aspects of any high school yearbook is the pictures. These pictures are a great way to get a glimpse of what life was like back in high school (and these photos might even give former students the opportunity to laugh and themselves and remark at how much they’ve changed since high school). While professional photographers are usually used for student and group portraits, Yearbook Club members might be asked to take and contribute candid photographs from student events or from everyday student life. This position might require you to be present at school sports events or school dances to take photos, and you might also get the opportunity to edit photos before they are put into the yearbook.
The way that a yearbook is laid out is very important. Design editors typically use Photoshop, inDesign, and other software applications to arrange the photos, text, interviews, and any advertisements in the yearbook in a well-organized, visually appealing way. If you want to help make decisions about the yearbook’s appearance, you should think about joining the design team.
In Yearbook Club, writers will usually determine the titles and headers, as well as writing introductory text for different sections of the yearbook. If writing is your passion, this might be a great way to gain some publishing and editorial experience!
Business and marketing
Students who work on business and marketing for the yearbook are usually involved with selling the yearbook ad space to local businesses. These students will probably also work on marketing the yearbook and selling to other students, as well as keeping track of funds for the club.
How Do You Stand Out Within Yearbook Club?
One of the best ways to make a good impression is to offer the unique skills that you possess to help improve the yearbook. If you’re a design software guru, offer to work on the graphic design of the yearbook! It’s a win-win: you get to work on something that you’re good at and build upon one of your specialized skills, and the people at yearbook club get help that they might not have gotten otherwise.
Aside from taking roles that encompass your unique skill set, you should also try and take on roles within Yearbook Club that complement your skills and contribute overall to your college and career goals. If you’ve been dreaming of attending school for journalism, taking on the role of photographer, interviewer, or writer at Yearbook Club might be a good way to build upon these skills. Colleges enjoy seeing students with specialized extracurriculars, so if there’s an aspect of Yearbook Club that involves your specific career aspirations or goals, be sure to get involved with it! You can check out this article for more information about creating a coherent specialized college application.
You should definitely keep track of all the ways that the yearbook may have improved due to your involvement. For example, if yearbook sales rose because of your marketing project, remember this! Making a significant impact in a student group can be a great way to stand out to colleges and demonstrate to them your leadership skills, not to mention build your resume for relevant endeavors later on. Make sure you maintain a good relationship with the faculty advisor as well, since this person could be a valuable connection for your letters of recommendation.
It is a good idea to always be polite, professional, and reliable when participating in any sort of extracurricular activity. You don’t want to simply use the yearbook club as an opportunity to fill the yearbook with pictures of your friends or pull pranks that will reflect poorly on you as a professional and a student. Make sure that you only make a major commitment to Yearbook Club if you know that you’ll be able to keep it!
A big part of this is making sure that none of your other activities or obligations will conflict with your commitments to the yearbook. For example, if the yearbook is due at the printer at the same time as tech week for your school play, it’s probably not a good idea to take on both responsibilities at once. After all, it’s always best to take on a smaller amount of meaningful after-school activities rather than spreading yourself too thin across a bunch of different endeavors.
So, Should You Join?
Whether or not you get involved in the Yearbook Club is up to you. Keep in mind that this activity is a common and widely understood activity that will be familiar to colleges and allows for a variety of your different skill sets to shine. As with many activities, often, you get what you put in. If you think that Yearbook Club is something you could be passionate and excited about, then consider getting involved—you could end up making a difference and improving this priceless keepsake for years to come.
For more tips on managing extracurriculars while in high school, check out these articles:
What Counts as an Extracurricular?
How Much do Extracurricular Activities Matter in College Admissions?
Will Quitting an Extracurricular Reflect Poorly on my College Applications?
Your Resume, Revamped: Securing Leadership Positions and Perfecting your Extracurricular Profile
Senior Blogger at CollegeVine
Devin Barricklow is a Political Science and Creative Writing double major at Columbia University. She’s really excited to be able to share her expertise about the college process with students who need advice. When she isn’t writing for CollegeVine, she enjoys reading the poems of Mary Oliver, going to concerts in the city, or cooking (preferably something with lots of bok choy and ginger).