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Headline writing


Rules for headline writing

Heds should be a summary, not a label hed, as in the title of a novel.

Hed should really get at the meaning of the story, rather than be generic.

Content of hed should be taken from the lede for hard news stories.

Hed should give the same impression as the overall story.

Hed should contain nothing that isn’t in the story.

Hed should be stated positively rather than negatively.

Do not use any words in heds simply for filler.

A strong verb (does not include the verb to be) should be stated or implied in every hed.

Omit forms of the verb “to be.”

Use active voice.

Remember that present tense in heds indicates past action.

Infinitives (to + the verb) indicate future action.

Do not take up space in heds with a, an, and the unless they are essential.

Do not begin with a verb.

Check apostrophes, quotation marks, spelling, commas for correct style.