Knowing which words to capitalize in your headline can be confounding -- but consistency is important to keep your blog or publication looking as professional as possible. Learn the simple rules for title case and sentence case headlines in this video tutorial from journalist and writing coach Starshine Roshell.
- [Voiceover] Once you know what your headline…is going to say,…you need to think about what it looks like.…Yep, looks matter.…Take into consideration the rest of your pages…or publication's design.…Are you going for a more formal and traditional look…like the New York Times?…Or a more casual and modern one…like, say, Mashable?…Traditionally, headlines are typed out…in what's called title case.…That means they look like the title of a work of art,…a song title, a book title, a movie title.…In other words, all the major words within the headline,…or title, are capitalized.…
For example,…Thunderstorm Kicks off Film Festival with a Boom.…With title case, small words like a, the, or, if,…but, and, on, in, of, or in this example, off and with,…are not capitalized.…Those words are articles, conjunctions, and prepositions…for you grammar fans keeping score at home.…However, all verbs, even small verbs, are capitalized.…Because, as I mentioned in another video,…verbs are big deal.…
They bring action to the phrase.…They're the engine that drives your headline.…
How do you sum up an entire story in a few words? Starshine shows you how to preview a story, pull out the relevant benefits, and pack them into a pithy headline. Find out how to use style to engage your readers—writing with vibrant, active language, being truthful, and telling readers what they need to know in a timely way. She also stresses the importance of mechanics, showing you how to correctly and effectively use punctuation and capitalization in headlines. Plus, get details on when to write subheads, how to employ keywords for SEO, and the background on headline trends, all with loads of examples along the way.
- Construct attention-grabbing headlines.
- List the four Us of great headlines.
- Name three problems that arise from using long headlines.
- Explain how to use active verbs to enhance a headline.
- Identify trends that are helpful in creating fresh headlines.
- Use proper mechanics to craft grammatically correct headlines.
- Compose a subhead to share additional critical details.
- Summarize the benefits of using strong keywords in headlines.