Headline Writing guidelines

For Journalism B


–      Give each headline an action verb: “Attorney showdown heats up”

–      Do not capitalize each word in the headline; only the first word and proper nouns. Do not end with a period. Avoid articles (a, an, the) as much as possible

–      Use present tense for past events: “Coppell names new principal” rather than “Coppell principal named yesterday”

–      Use the following for future events: “Bush to visit Coppell”

–      Use short words. Be creative, especially with mascots or names: “Cowboys corral Dragons in upset win”

–      Use comma for ‘and’ and a semicolon for a period: “Parcells resigns; Phillips named new coach”

–      To preserve space, use the numerical figure regarding numbers: “Schools to close for 5 days”

–      Do not use more than one acronym (DECA, SADD, FCA, NTHS) per headline

–      Be careful with negatives. You want the headline to be objective

–      Do not repeat any words – this includes repetition from a main headline to a secondary headline


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