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COPYREADING AND HEADLINE WRITING: More than Just Marks and Words By Marnela Kathleen V. Pasamba Objectives: 1. Define briefly what copyreading and headline writing is. 2. Describe the role of copyreaders and headline writers (copy fixers). 3. Give the checklist for editors. 4. Explain what headlines are. 5. Give some pointers and rules in writing headlines. 6. Teach the mechanics of headline writing. 7. Give some interactive exercises on the use of copyreading signs and symbols and headline writing. What is COPYREADING AND HEADLINE WRITING? It is the way of improving a story and making an appropriate headline for the article. The ROLE of Copy Fixers Good copy fixers keep the spirit and substance of the story. He/She basically brightens and polishes the article. He makes the story better by organizing it better than when it was submitted. 8-Step Checklist for Editors 1. Read the story quickly and get its main idea. 2. Correct obvious errors of facts or spelling. 3. Rewrite the lead, if necessary. 4. Break up long paragraphs into shorter ones. 5. Decide if the story is too long for its relative value. Trim it as needed. 6. Look for mistakes in punctuation, grammar and facts. 7. Watch for potentially libelous statements. Make sure it is accurate and fair to all sides. 8. Write the headline. What are HEADLINES? Headlines are display windows of newspapers. It is a quick source of information about the story. 7-Pointers in Headline Writing 1. Skeletonize it. Omit unnecessary words and articles. 2. Use present tense in stories that already happened and use the infinite form of the verb for future actions. 3. Use active voice. 4. Avoid “to be” words. 5. Be specific. Use precise words. 6. Be accurate and direct. 7. Avoid exclamation points or other punctuations. Rules in Headline Writing 1. The head should tell the gist of the story simply and clearly. 2. Apply the rule of capitalization. 3. Lines should not end with a preposition. 4. Never use “may.” 5. Assertions in a headline should have a source. 6. Don’t convert verbs into nouns. 7. Use shorter words whenever possible. Mechanics of Headline Writing A Technical Instruction or The Printer’s Directions 2-24 BB UN W/KICKER Meaning: - The first number means that the headline will run across two columns of the page. - The second number stands for the font size to be used. - BB (Bold Bodoni) indicates the font type. - UN stands for universe, a type style. - Kicker refers to the preliminary head. - The two lines below refer to the number of lines your headline will have. Headline Patterns 1. Crossline 2. Dropline 3. Flush Left 4. Hanging Indention 1 2 3 4 5 6 5. Inverted Pyramid 6. Flush Right Counting the Headline 1. All small letters except liftj and mw are counted as 1. 2. All capital letters except IMW are counted as 1½. 3. All punctuation marks except the –, ?, $ and % are counted as 1. 4. All figures and spaces are counted as 1. 5. Small m and w are counted as 1½. 6. Capital M and W are counted as 2. 7. Small liftj are counted as ½. See Supplemental Lectures for Additional Information It’s time for exercises. References: - The UST Varsitarian Campus Press Stylebook - Journalism for Filipinos Revised Edition by Alito L. Malinao - Campus and Community Journalism Handbook by Alito Malinao - Exercise article taken from this website: http://www.beaumontenterprise.com/news/local/west_nile_infected_mosq uitoes_found_in_orange_county_07-25-2008.html Name: __________________________________________________ COPYREADING AND HEADLINE WRITING EXERCISES Exercise I. Copyreading Signs and Symbols Direction: Illustrate through signs and symbols the following copy fixer’s actions/remarks. Copy fixer’s Actions/Remarks To Be Edited 1. Delete; take out Always mark all proofse 2. Insert space Always markproofs properly. 3. Insert letter(s) or word(s) Always mak profs properly. 4. Transpose letters or words Always proofs makr properly. 5. Close up; no space Always m ark proofs prop erly. 6. Align with left margin Always mark proof 7. Align with right margin Always mark proof 8. Center Mark Proofs 9. Start new paragraph Always mark proofs properly. 10. Do not start new paragraph Always mark proofs. Mark them properly. 11. Do not start new line Always mark proofs properly. 12. Do not make correction; Always mark proofs properly. Let stand as written 13. This is wrong; see copy Always mark proof 14. This is questionable; Never mark proofs properly Check or query author 15. Insert comma Proofs if properly marked 16. Insert period Always mark proof properly 17. Insert apostrophe The proofs in the proof mark. 18. Insert quotation marks He said, Mark proofs properly. 19. Insert hyphen The writer editor marks proofs. 20. Insert dash Always not sometimes marks. 21. Spell out Proofing is a no. 1 priority. 22. Align Alw ys mark oofs properly. a pr Exercise II. Word Equivalents Direction: Think of the shorter word that would mean the same as the words given below. Choose the words in the Word Bank provided. WORD BANK Hail Link Nix Lull Nab Feud Body Dip Probe/Grill Quiz Cite Junk Quit Accord Curb Cop Rift Hit Bid/Ask Bare 1. Agreement ____________________________ 2. Arrest ____________________________ 3. Expose, reveal ____________________________ 4. Enumerate, mention ____________________________ 5. Committee ____________________________ 6. Decrease, go down ____________________________ 7. Quarrel, dispute ____________________________ 8. Restrain, control ____________________________ 9. Invite, request ____________________________ 10. Investigate ____________________________ 11. Resign ____________________________ 12. Question ____________________________ 13. Policeman ____________________________ 14. Impede, thwart ____________________________ 15. Connect ____________________________ 16. To discard, throw away ____________________________ 17. Calm ____________________________ 18. Disagreement, quarrel ____________________________ 19. Without ____________________________ 20. Welcome ____________________________ Exercise III. Turning Complex to Simpler Words Direction: Choose from the Word Bank the common words that can best replace the highbrow words given below. WORD BANK Use Tell Get Give Ask Call Ill Buy Lie Jail Class Try Flood End Big Show Live See Go Stop Most Seat Help Star/Open 1. Indisposed ____________________________ 2. Monumental ____________________________ 3. Terminate ____________________________ 4. Witness ____________________________ 5. Purchase ____________________________ 6. Utilize ____________________________ 7. Majority ____________________________ 8. Reside ____________________________ 9. Procure ____________________________ 10. Proceed ____________________________ 11. Contribute ____________________________ 12. Inquire/Request ____________________________ 13. Endeavor/Attempt ____________________________ 14. Summon ____________________________ 15. Category ____________________________ 16. Prevaricate ____________________________ 17. Incarcerate ____________________________ 18. Inaugurate ____________________________ 19. Facilitate ____________________________ 20. Inundate ____________________________ 21. Demonstrate ____________________________ 22. Accommodate ____________________________ 23. Discontinue ____________________________ 24. Inform ____________________________ Exercise IV. Verbal Deadwoods Direction: Replace the wordy phrase to a preferable word. Use the Word Bank as your reference. WORD BANK Although Because Now/Today Signed Resigned Met Act If/When Scarce Married Now Escaped 1. Despite the fact ____________________________ 2. Take action on the issue ____________________________ 3. For the reason that ____________________________ 4. Tendered his resignation ____________________________ 5. Affixed his signature ____________________________ 6. Held a conference ____________________________ 7. In the event of ____________________________ 8. Make good his escape ____________________________ 9. At this moment in time ____________________________ 10. United in holy matrimony ____________________________ 11. In short supply ____________________________ 12. At the present time ____________________________ Exercise V. Spelling Time Direction: Please write the word dictated by the speaker. 1. ______________ 9. ______________ 2. ______________ 10. ______________ 3. ______________ 11. ______________ 4. ______________ 12. ______________ 5. ______________ 13. ______________ 6. ______________ 14. ______________ 7. ______________ 15. ______________ 8. ______________ Exercise VI. Headline Writing and Counting Direction: Write a headline in the short article given below. Count it and write the printer’s directions. Note: The headline should run in two columns and should not be more than 40 points. Headline: ______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ Two mosquitoes collected in Orange County have tested positive for West Nile virus, according to a Friday press release from the Orange County Mosquito Control District. The mosquitoes, collected from areas north and south of Interstate 10 between FM 1135 and Doty Road, are the first samples to test positive this year, according to the release. Residents are encouraged to take precautions such as using repellants containing DEET or picaridin and moving indoors at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active. People should wear light-colored and loose-fitting clothing and drain any standing water from property, according to the district. Symptoms of the virus appear from three to 14 days after someone has been bitten by an infected mosquito, according to the release. These symptoms include fever, headache, sore throat, body aches and fatigue. A more severe infection might result in stiff neck, disorientation, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, coma and paralysis.
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