Sunday, November 16, 2014

More Headlines

After these last two weeks I have realized how difficult it is to write headlines, and how it is almost impossible to write a great headline.  I have never thought about writing headlines as an “art”, but it really is.  I think it takes a certain knack and writing style to do it well.  It takes a totally different mindset to write headlines than it does to write a story or even a title for a paper. 

I am not great at writing headlines but the best the method I have found for me is, writing out a full sentence to summarize the story.  After I write out an entire sentence I then start to edit it down from there.  I take out words and try to find more interesting verbs to use.  A lot of times I don’t use the original sentence but by putting the words down and working with them I can usually spark other ideas from that point.  After about 5 or 10 sentences I can get something that works. 

I am an Org Comm major with my emphasis in Training or Development so I don’t know how often I will be writing headlines but I am glad I got this opportunity to look at writing from a different perspective.  As I look through the newspaper at work, I look at it with a different attitude.  Instead of just looking for stories that interest me I analyze the headlines.  I try to learn from them and I try to see if I could write it differently. 

Editing Experience of the Week

My thought process has really changed over the course of this semester.  I used to fear grammar and punctuation.  Although it still makes me a little nervous I no longer fear it.  I find that now instead of avoiding it I try to understand it. 

For my book report I have been reading “Eats, Shoots and Leaves.”  The author of that book discusses how being a grammar geek can make this world a tough place to live because you are constantly surround by bad grammar and punctuation.  Although I haven’t reached this point yet I have noticed this week how much my mindset has changed.  I constantly analyze everything I read.  I look at the punctuation marks in everything I read and try to decide if I would have punctuated it correctly if I had written it.  If there is something that I would have missed I try to figure out why it is the way it is and how I can get it right the next time.  I’m not a grammar geek yet but I think I am starting to tip toe the line. 


  1. I agree that writing headlines is an art. It is a lot harder to get someones interest with a headline than it is with a lead.

  2. I agree! It really is an art! Even going over by one letter is still going over. I cannot imagine the frustration that would come with regularly having to write headlines.