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COPYREADING AND HEADLINE WRITING More than Just Marks and Words by g5o6047Y

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      More than Just Marks and Words
                           By Marnela Kathleen V. Pasamba

   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.

         It is the way of improving a story and making an appropriate headline for the

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
   8. Write the headline.

       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
   - The first number means that the headline will run across two columns of the
   - 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.

   -   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:
Name: __________________________________________________


Exercise I. Copyreading Signs and Symbols
Direction: Illustrate through signs and symbols   the   following    copy   fixer’s

  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

   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
                                   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.




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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