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History 305: Women & Gender in Premodern Europe: ThingLink

Writing Captions

Each tag on your Thinglink project should include a caption of 25-50 words.  In the library and museum worlds, these captions are viewed as interpretive acts.  You are not just conveying information; you are attempting to provoke a response in your audience.  When you have only a few words in which to do that, every word counts! 

Beverly Serrell, in her Exhibit Labels: An Interpretive Approach, 2nd edition (Rowan & Littlefield, 2015) suggests that you focus on trying to answer the following questions in your captions:

  • What am I looking at and why is it important?  [Start broad and then narrow down to specific elements as needed.]
  • What is the big idea here?  How does this one object figure into a larger narrative?
  • What is something significant about this object that the average viewer wouldn't know or couldn't know just by looking at the object?
  • Is there controversy about this object?
  • Are there unanswered questions about this object?

The Getty Museum's Guide to Adult Audience Interpretive Materials suggests a very similar set of questions:

  • What is it?
  • Why is it here and why should I care?
  • What is the story or symbolism?
  • How was it made?
  • How was it used?
  • What can I discover by looking more carefully?






1.  Go to and click "Start Now."

2.  Select "Create an account," and choose the "free teacher" account.

3.  Click "Create," then "upload image."  At this point you will upload the high quality image of the artifact you've chosen from the list.

4.  You are now ready to begin annotating your image!