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Journalism I
Final Exam Writing Review
Headlines, News Writing,
and Editorials
Headline Writing Rules
 Use specific phrasing—choose your words carefully
 Each must contain a subject and a verb
 Emphasis should be on ACTION verbs
 No articles—a, an or the
 Use a comma to replace and
 Use present or future tense
 Avoid bad splits—subject and verb, adjective and noun,
adverb and verb, parts of a verb, prepositional phrases
 Don’t repeat words
 Avoid names (unless well known) and weird abbreviations
News Writing
 Use the inverted pyramid—most important to least
DO NOT write news stories in chronological order!
Leads should include the 5 Ws—possibly the H—don’t use
creativity. Get straight to the point!
Avoid editorializing—NO OPINION!
Use AP style
Attribute and identify sources properly
Omit extraneous information
Use tight writing with active verbs
 Intro presents the problem and the staff’s stance
 Lead/intro grabs reader’s attention
 Staff stance is supported with evidence
 Avoid direct quotes unless absolutely necessary
 Present other viewpoints in addition to staff viewpoints
 Solution(s) is provided when necessary
 Conclusion recaps staff’s position and includes call to action
when appropriate
 Tone is fair and mature
 Avoid preachiness