Week 14: Effective Headlines
Effective copywriting allows marketers and advertisers to harness the power of words in order to sell you everything from cars to cereal, from homes to hair products. While traditionally, copywriting has been used in things like newspapers, magazine advertisements, billboards and direct sales letters, today copywriting is most prevalent in the digital world.
This guide (based on Dorothy Bowles’ and Diane Borden’s Creative Editing, 5th Edition) is most applicable to traditional newspaper headlines. A minimum standard should include: summarizing story, being clear and accurate, grabbing attention, 7 words or less.
- Headline Purpose
- Summarize story
- Capture readers’ attention
- Maintain story mood
- Indicate the relative importance of the story
- Characteristics of good headlines
- Accuracy in fact, tone, scope, and focus
- Clear, succinct, grammatical, easy to read and understand
- Constructing good headlines
- Write in present tense
- Provide a subject and verb for every headline
- Use effective verbs (vigorous, active voice)
- Punctuate headlines correctly (generally like regular sentence, but without period at the end)
- Use AP style for news publications
Lab Assignment, Tuesday, Week 14:
Please revisit the stories you constructed this semester and revise your headlines to make them more effective using the techniques listed above.
- Please create a new page, title it “11.26: Headline Rewrites” and add it to your Lab Work menu.
- On the new page you created, please write the original page headline (not your menu navigational title) and then write a new headline. You may format your page in any manner you wish, but it should be clear to me what your original headline stated as well as the revised headline.
- You do not need to change the titles on your pages.