Which Picture Should I Use? | Choosing the Best Picture to Use for Composition!
Welcome back! I am Mr Joel, an English teacher at Lil’ but Mighty. In this blog post, I will be discussing how we can choose the best picture to use for our composition!
Have you ever struggled with choosing a picture to use during your composition? Have you written a story halfway only to realise that you did not really have much to write for that picture, or that there was a better picture that you could have used?
Well, I sure have had that experience before!
If you are doing a practice paper, you can simply switch pictures and write a brand-new composition (although not everyone would be keen to do that, am I right?). However, what happens if you are taking an examination or test? It would not be feasible for you to switch pictures and start a composition from scratch! There would simply not be enough time!
Hence, I always say it’s important to look at each picture carefully before choosing the best one to use for your story. Essentially, there’s no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ picture to use. So what do we mean when we say that we should choose the best one for the story that we want to write?
When choosing a picture to use, these are the few things that we should consider:
Which Picture Is the Best for Us Based on Our Experiences
All of us have different experiences! After all, we all live our lives differently – no two people have the exact same experiences in life (not even twins!).
How does this relate to choosing a picture when writing a composition? One way you can decide which picture is best is to write something based on the experiences that you have had. This means that you might be able to think of an amazing idea for a particular picture because you have encountered a similar situation depicted in the picture.
For example, if you have been on a camping trip before, you would find a picture about a tent or a camping site easy to develop! This is because much of the details that you need to include in the story can be drawn from the experiences that you have had while camping.
On the other hand, you might have some difficulty coming up with an idea related to the same picture if you have little or no experience going camping. In this case, you might be better off choosing another picture and developing a different idea.
However, it is important to note that even if you haven’t had that experience first-hand, but you’ve read up about it or heard about it from a friend or family member, you can still draw on these experiences to write a story.
Which Picture Is the Best for Us Based on Our Vocabulary
Another thing to consider is our own vocabulary. Ask yourself – if I were to choose this picture, would I have the necessary words and phrases to describe it effectively in my story and in a manner that would engage the reader? For instance, some students might find it easier to select a picture of a carnival and use it as the main setting of their story because they know a variety of words related to a carnival (e.g. carousel, the Ferris wheel, bumper cars, cotton candy etc.). With that in mind, try to pick a picture that you have the vocabulary for as this would give you an advantage in writing.
Does this mean that you should always avoid choosing a picture just because you do not have the vocabulary for it? Not necessarily! What it simply means is that you should use this opportunity to expand your vocabulary so that there are a wider range of topics for you to write about. You can read up more about the topic or listen to others talk about it so as to learn new words and terms that could be useful later on should you wish to write about it.
Which Picture Is the Best for Us Based on Previous Stories
By now, I’m sure we would have written a handful of compositions before. Even if you haven’t, I’m sure you have read quite a few stories written by others. You can choose which picture to write based on the story you’ve written or read before – that’s also known as adaptation!
Let’s say you have previously read a story about a person who faced a moral dilemma – he found a huge sum of money belonging to his boss and was unsure of whether he should keep or return the money. One way to adapt this story is if you are given a picture of a wallet for a new composition topic. What you need to make sure is that the adapted story addresses the topic and the picture of the wallet is used meaningfully in the story.
Adapting a story in this way is beneficial in several ways. You save time as you do not need to come up with an entirely new plot, and saving time is especially crucial when you are sitting for an examination. You would also already have the vocabulary related to the picture or topic since you have
read or written about it before. As such, do “collect” as many stories as you can. You might never know when they will come in handy!
Before I end the post, consider this important tip: Don’t pick the first picture that catches your attention! Sometimes, it may seem like an interesting picture to use, but upon thinking deeper, you might realise that that picture might not be the easiest to develop!
Once you have considered these options, you are good to go! Pick the best picture based on factors such as your experience or the vocabulary you are comfortable with, and plan an amazing story. The bottom line is, always ensure that the story is clearly related to the topic and that the picture is used meaningfully.
Did you find this helpful? Do try it out the next time you are writing a composition! Spending some time to think through these ideas would definitely help you to be more decisive in choosing a good picture to write about!
Till the next time, happy writing!