Curriculum ~ Writing Writing Headlines head’s up! It only makes sense that the largest type on the spread captures and keeps your readers’ interest with well-written and creatively designed headlines. Writing good headlines takes some thought and a lot of practice! However, headlines are what draw the reader to your page— so make them count!
Curriculum ~ Writing Writing Headlines verbal-visual connection Well-written headlines: ~Serve as an informational content entry point ~Capture and keep readers on the page with clever word play & specific details ~Reflect the dominant photo coverage ~Unify the visual elements on the page Well-designed headlines: ~Have a strong visual package of headline parts ~Effectively and creatively use of typography
Curriculum ~ Writing Writing Headlines parts of a headline Primary Headline: Captures readers’ attention with a hint of the story content Secondary Headline: Provides keen information and insights that dates coverage for that year
Curriculum ~ Writing Writing Headlines effective headlines Identify spread content Attract the readers’ attention Reflect the mood of the spread Tie into the action of the dominant photo
Curriculum ~ Writing Writing Headlines creative headlines Result from word play Use literary techniques such as alliteration, pun, antonym, synonym, homonym, onomatopoeia, rhyme Coordinate with the content of the dominant photo
Curriculum ~ Writing Writing Headlines Headline writing process List key words for a spread Focus on content angle and significance Example: Spirit Week: hurricane excitement cancellation wild spirit
Curriculum ~ Writing Writing Headlines Brainstorm key word rhyming words: week, cheek, peak, weak List phrases that use those rhyming words pinch your cheek peak of action a weak moment Transition those words into a clever headline Headline writing process
Curriculum ~ Writing Writing Headlines Headline writing process example: Step 1: Look at your page. For this example we’ll use a Summer spread. Step 2: List 10-15 words that have something to do with summer EXAMPLES: Hot, Fun, Travel, Family, Sweat, Thrills, Love, Curfew, Work, Tan, Swim, Lazy Step 3: Brainstorm rhyming/literary words EXAMPLES: Hot—not, knot, shot, trot, yacht Fun—run, sun Love—dove, shove, above, glove Step 4: List phrases that have rhyming words and key transition words EXAMPLES: Fan the flames Love in the 100 degrees Summer’s bummers
Curriculum ~ Writing Writing Headlines Tripod pattern 2 or more lines of secondary beside line(s) of primary The Call of the WILD “I couldn’t believe we had to cram all of Monday’s events into the rest of the week.” ~Senior Jason Chastain designing headlines
Curriculum ~ Writing Writing Headlines now, you try it! Using the 3 rd page of your handout, go through step 1, 2, and 3 for writing a headline: Write two different headlines (primary and secondary.) Using the topic you used in the last activity for your headline. Rewrite your headlines in the different pattern: Kicker, Wicket, Hammer, and Tripod. Write these on the right side of the 4 th page.
Curriculum ~ Writing Writing Headlines headline tips Revise/refine headlines for strong appeal -Keep headlines factual; no opinions -Use visual nouns and action verbs -Avoid repetition of words -Use a comma instead of “and” -Use single quote marks in headlines -Write headlines in present tense -Avoid school name, initials, mascot -Maintain style consistency with the rest of the book
Curriculum ~ Writing Writing Headlines practice makes perfect! assignment suggestions Break into small groups, give each group topics/activities that will be covered in the book (volleyball, business classes, National Honor Society, etc.), and have them brainstorm at least three clever headlines using the writing process from this power point. Write them down for future use. As an outside class assignment, have students head out to a mall for inspiration. Start looking at store and advertising signs for color, type, and layout ideas. Notice which signs don’t appeal to you and why, so you know what to avoid! Have students bring in pictures from their phones. Use magazines as a muse. Bring in magazines for your staff to look through. Mark headlines that are catchy, clever, creative, and cut them out. Put together into a “look book” for staff to look at when they suffer from headline burnout. Have staffers rewrite boring headlines from previous years’ books. Use the better headlines in this year’s book!