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.