Home > Uncategorized > Writing good headlines takes talent

Writing good headlines takes talent

This headline really made me want to read the story.

Writing headlines is an art. Think about how you decide whether or not to read a story. If the headline doesn’t capture your attention, chances are you’ll skip right over the story. But it’s not easy to capture a story and sell it to the reader in just a few words. The best headlines, like the one on the New York Times story pictured above, are intriguing. They make you want to know more about the story. Anne Glover, an editor at the  St. Petersburg Times, offers tips for writing good headlines. You may want to refer to the checklist that the American Press Institute created for headline writers. It offers 12 questions you should ask when you write a headline.

This week, I want you to think about why certain headlines draw you in to a story. Your assignment: By Thursday, find a headline you really liked in print or on a news Web site. In the comments section for your class, tell me what the headline says. Tell me where and when it was published. Tell me why you you liked it and why you think it worked. Remember when you post comments to the blog watch your spelling, grammar and punctuation. Your grade will drop if your work is sloppy. Post your answer by the beginning of class Thursday, March 11.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Will Latta
    March 11, 2010 at 1:57 am

    I went to one of my hometown newspapers; The Calgary Sun, for this assignment. The headline I found reads: “Alleged Killer Though Victim Was His Mom”
    I can’t speak on behalf of everyone, but I was certainly intrigued.
    This Headline was found on the home web page for the Calgary Sun at http://www.calgarysun.com/. I came across it specifically at 1:42 a.m. Thursday, March 11, 2010.
    This Headline works because it invokes an uneasy feeling of curiosity. We can’t deny that murder stories interest most of us, and when the headline points to interesting twists such as this most of us will be hooked. The idea that somebody would seek justification by claiming they thought their victim was their mother just pulls at our feelings of unease and interest in such an intriguing way. I for one, needed to know more!

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