POLICE CHASE WINDS THROUGH THREE TOWNS *Are “chase” and “winds” verbs or nouns?
USD #269 BOARD OF EDUCATION MEETS Wait…who did what!?
POTENTIAL WITNESS TO MURDER DRUNK So, now we can murder drunks legally? Oh, now I see, it's a potential witness to a murder who happened to be drunk?
You get the point… Downtown hogs grant cash Sisters reunited after 18 years in checkout line at supermarket Senate presses vets suits Pope plans headache S. Florida illegal aliens in half by new law
EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT THEM! What are they? A way to GRAB readers’ attention! A line or lines of text, usually set in a larger typeface than body copy, that introduce articles
Things that make up good headlines: VERBS Effective headlines usually involve logical sentence structure, active voice and strong present-tense verbs. They do not include “headlinese.” As with any good writing, good headlines are driven by good verbs. Examples: “New burger targeted for McLean times “ “Gates admits mistake “
Be informative You want to encapsulate the story but you also want your reader to keep reading! Polly want a cracker?” Don't just parrot the lead of the story, and try to avoid stealing the reporter's thunder on a feature story. A good headline captures the essence of the story without pillaging — and, therefore, dulling — the writer's punch. Don’t be cute, unless cute is called for: Don't yield to the temptation to write cute headlines or to use faddish or commercial slogans unless doing so fits especially well with the content and tone of the story.
Connotative Diction (aka make conscious word choices!) Pick words that reflect what you’re saying and don’t use words you wouldn’t use normally Example:“Micks nix pix!” – Huh? – (Mickey Rourke and Mick Jagger turn down roles in same movie) Good examples: U.S. rips Ryder Cup from Europeans' grasp Halloween scares up snow across much of Michigan
Watch out for double meaning Be especially careful to read for hidden meanings Example (of double entendre): The following is a famous headline. Not only does it have a double entendre, but the bad break at the end of the first line contributes to the problem. Street sales for the newspaper were extraordinary that day; the edition sold out in a remarkably short time. Read the head and you’ll see why: Textron Inc. Makes Offer To Screw Co. Stockholders
Be Clear Don't use proper names in headlines unless the name is well-known enough to be recognized immediately. The same is true for abbreviations. Example (bad): Jones to fillwho’s Jones? vacancy on city council Example (good): McCain-Obama debate today on Michigan radio
Last but not least Do not capitalize every word! Only Pronouns and first word. Do not editorialize, exaggerate, generalize or use long words. Keep it simple and direct. Headlines, like poetry and songs, should have a rhythm about them. Play with words, they are your friend