To help clarify your thought and expression, collect images from the start!

  • “A picture is worth a thousand words”

Learn from the pros

Analyzing an image or diagram

To find those thousand words, show and explain your images to someone and write down your explanations

  • State what you think the image shows
  • Describe 2-3 parts of the image
  • Explain the image’s context, where you found it and what the authors are trying to show by it
  • Identify what in the image supports your argument
  • Compare this image to others (and look for them
  • Save the URL in your Mendeley bibliography
  • Identify some potentially revealing element and search for more

Phrases you might use

  • “In this image we see … Walk your reader through the major elements, identify 2-3 things, tell a story about each, then arrange them meaningfully
  • “The figure stands for … Interpret, explain what things stand for ..

Screenshot Methods

  • Your OS has built-in tools, but sometimes you might like to use dedicated applications like Jing
  • When using Google Search, select Image, then More/Size/Large for images at least 640 pixels wide, best choose larger than 1024 and resize (search “image resize yourOS)
  • Save your files using searchable, memorable filenames and learn how to search (WIN, OSX)

Screenshot Annotations

Make annotated screenshots, like this or this, will help you clarify thought, prepare for discussion, and guide conversation

  • Selecting what to work up as we can’t talk about everything, your audience expects you to prioritize, so first list the candidates, rank them in importance, and work on the most important first.
  • Cropping to isolate essentials, eliminate distractions, and balance margins so the eye is led immediately to the central element and issue.
  • Underlining to focus attention, because a simple, clean thin underline often does the most with the least (a principle of economy)
  • Annotating to guide reading, and keep it short, memorable, to the point, and sweet!
  • Discussion in the caption or text and don’t just jammer with the thing behind you, but Walk through the illustration as if rehearsing a conversation



Great writing about images