Headlines are the largest textual element in a news article and often the first line a reader sees. Therefore, writing an honest yet catchy headline is extremely important to drawing readers and providing the main idea of your article.
Example: University reinstates soft opening for spring semester
Headlines have their own structure. The guidelines to structure a headline appropriately are numbered below to help you follow examples of the guidelines in action.
- denote complete thoughts but don’t end with a period.
- have a subject noun and an active verb.
- have present tense verbs (no –ing verbs)
- follow a sentence case; only the first word and proper nouns are capitalized.
- when conveying future action, the preposition “to” is added before the verb.
Example of guideline 1, 2 and 3
Harris County1 lowers2 COVID threat level
- Active verb in present tense
Example of guideline 4
University1 kicks off Black History Month2 on South Deck2
- First word is capitalized
- Proper nouns are capitalized
Example of guideline 5
NASA to announce next Mars exploration
Find more AP Style guidelines specific to headlines: