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Basic rules
of headline writing:
Never write a headline
without reading the entire story
first.
Headlines must tell the reader
what the story's about
If the story has a surprise
ending, don’t give it away in the
headline.
Build on words in the
story, paraphrasing.
When you write a headline remember:
• Include a subject and a
verb
• Use present tense of
verb
• Eliminate articles (the,
an, a)
• Don’t use “is” or “are”
• Use comma to indicate
“and” or a semicolon
The Science of Headline Writing
The headline can't say more than the story says
The headline needs to persuade the reader to
read the story.
Try to use one of the language effects in headlines:

 Puns, or plays on worlds
 Short phrases

 Humor
 Alliteration
 Rhyme
 Abbreviations
THE GREATEST HEADLINE
EVER WRITTEN
HEADLESS BODY FOUND IN TOPLESS BAR
– NEW YORK POST
Use no more than ten words to write a headline
based on the information provided below.
A fire in a classroom at Mallory College last

night left two students with minor injuries.
Authorities said the fire began just after
6:30 p.m. in a fifth floor classroom at the
College. Firefighters extinguished the blaze
by 7 p.m. The students suffered slight burns
when they tried to put out the fire.
The fire began in a trash basket and
spread to several desks and chairs. Damage
was estimated at $1,500.


A single-engine plane crash-landed near
Stinson Airport yesterday, damaging a few cars
but leaving the pilot and passenger with only
minor injuries.
The single-engine Beech craft Sierra
propeller plane struck three cars parked near a
Little League baseball game. No one on the
ground was injured.
The pilot, Herbert Young, 25, of
Atherton, suffered cuts and bruises. The
passenger, Sarah Shields, 19, of Clovia, was
held at Memorial Hospital for check of a
possible concussion. Young said the plane lost
power while he was practicing taking off and
landing.
Match the abbreviations.
 Old age pensioner
 In the afternoon
 Gross domestic product

 p.m.
 UK
 PIN

 United Kingdom

 DVD

 Genetically modified

 OAP

 Prime Minister

 PM

 Personal identification number

 UN

 Digital video disk
 Very important person
 United Nations

 GDP
 VIP
 GM

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Headlines

  • 1.
  • 3. Never write a headline without reading the entire story first.
  • 4. Headlines must tell the reader what the story's about
  • 5. If the story has a surprise ending, don’t give it away in the headline.
  • 6. Build on words in the story, paraphrasing.
  • 7. When you write a headline remember: • Include a subject and a verb • Use present tense of verb • Eliminate articles (the, an, a) • Don’t use “is” or “are” • Use comma to indicate “and” or a semicolon
  • 8. The Science of Headline Writing The headline can't say more than the story says The headline needs to persuade the reader to read the story.
  • 9. Try to use one of the language effects in headlines:  Puns, or plays on worlds  Short phrases  Humor  Alliteration  Rhyme  Abbreviations
  • 10.
  • 11. THE GREATEST HEADLINE EVER WRITTEN HEADLESS BODY FOUND IN TOPLESS BAR – NEW YORK POST
  • 12. Use no more than ten words to write a headline based on the information provided below. A fire in a classroom at Mallory College last night left two students with minor injuries. Authorities said the fire began just after 6:30 p.m. in a fifth floor classroom at the College. Firefighters extinguished the blaze by 7 p.m. The students suffered slight burns when they tried to put out the fire. The fire began in a trash basket and spread to several desks and chairs. Damage was estimated at $1,500.
  • 13.  A single-engine plane crash-landed near Stinson Airport yesterday, damaging a few cars but leaving the pilot and passenger with only minor injuries. The single-engine Beech craft Sierra propeller plane struck three cars parked near a Little League baseball game. No one on the ground was injured. The pilot, Herbert Young, 25, of Atherton, suffered cuts and bruises. The passenger, Sarah Shields, 19, of Clovia, was held at Memorial Hospital for check of a possible concussion. Young said the plane lost power while he was practicing taking off and landing.
  • 14. Match the abbreviations.  Old age pensioner  In the afternoon  Gross domestic product  p.m.  UK  PIN  United Kingdom  DVD  Genetically modified  OAP  Prime Minister  PM  Personal identification number  UN  Digital video disk  Very important person  United Nations  GDP  VIP  GM