How to Write a Newspaper Headline

The one thing that can make or break a newspaper article is the headline. A good newspaper headline is concise, informative and, at times, entertaining. When you write a newspaper headline, your goal is to hook the reader into reading the article. Writing a headline for your article is easy, if you follow these steps.

Reread your article; identify the underlying theme.

Express the theme in an active voice using as few words as possible. Active verbs lend immediacy to a story. If a reader sees a headline written in a passive voice, he or she might glance right over it.

Keep your headline in present tense.

Keep it simple. A headline is a short, direct sentence without extra adjectives or adverbs.

Provide enough information in the headline to give the casual reader an impression of the entire story.

  • Don't try to be overly witty.
  • Make sure you don't misrepresent the story by choosing a headline that doesn't cover the main subject of your piece.
  • Make sure the headline can stand on its own.
  • Always lead with the latest information, even if the story happened yesterday. This also lends a sense of immediacy to the story.
About the Author

This article was written by the Pen & the Pad team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about Pen & the Pad, contact us