Rules for Headline Writing. Basic rules for writing captivating, correct headlines. Material property of the AR Dept. of Education Distance Learning Center. It may be used for non-profit, educational use only after contacting the ADE DLC at http://dlc.k12.ar.us ER.
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Basic rules for writing captivating, correct headlines.
Material property of the AR Dept. of Education Distance Learning Center. It may be used for non-profit, educational use only after contacting the ADE DLC at http://dlc.k12.ar.us ER
Use contrasting type styles between primary and secondary heads: bold and italic, for example
Do not split an infinitive or prepositional phrase from one line to the next.
Don’t split a word with a hyphen from one line to the next.
There should not be any opinions in a news headline.
There should not be information in the headline that is not in the story.
Don’t split a verb phrase, prepositional phrase or infinitive phrase from one line to another.
Use numerals rather than spelled out number names
Don’t abbreviate unless the readers will understand.
Headline should use simple construction: Subject, verb, direct object.
Avoid using the name of the school or mascot in the headlines.
Do not include the “when” in the headline.
Do not repeat key words from one part of the headline to the other.
Use literary techniques such as alliteration, puns, satire if appropriate.
Quotes make great secondary heads, but not primary headlines.
Avoid abbreviations in a headline. Use initials only if your readers will know what they stand for.
Use “can” or “may” instead of “will.” Predictions change.
Write in future tense or use infinitive (to + verb) to show that something will happen in the future.
Primary headlines do not necessarily have to have a subject and verb – if there is a secondary headline included.
Secondary headlines should always have a subject and a verb.
Keep punctuation to a minimum. Use single quotes instead of doubles. Use a comma instead of word ‘and.’ Use a colon instead of word ‘said.’