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Copy reading and

Headline Writing

What is
Copyreading is much like the work of an English
teacher correcting compositions, except that
the copyreader uses appropriate copyreading
symbols universally known by printers.

Functions of Copy Editor

1. Check facts.
2. Correct errors in grammar, spelling, punctuation, usage, oranization
and others.
3. Improve news value.
4. Write effective lead.
5. Cut or delete irrelevant materials.
6. Delete editorializing materials in a news.
7.Guard against libelous statement.
8. Write headlines and decide its typography.
9. Make copy simple and clear.
10. Make copy conform to the newspaper style sheets
11. Give instruction to the typesetter regarding font type and font size
to be used and the number of columns and ems.
12. Indicate corrections by using the copyreading marks.

Copyreading Procedures
1. Double or triple space-typewrite all copy on

standard 8 by 11-inch paper. The spaces

between the lines are for writing corrections.
2. In the upper left-hand corner of the paper,
about one-half inch from the top, write your
name and a guideline or slug to indicate the
nature of the story. For example kidnap for
news about kidnapping, typhoon for a typhoon
story and GMA for news about Pres. Gloria
Macapagal Arroyo. The slug is used for
identifiction and for record purposes.

3. Start typing the story about three or four

inches from the top of the page, leaving oneinch margin at the left and right sides. The
margin at the top is for instruction to
typesetter and for headline.
4. Indent five or ten spaces at the start of
each paragraph.

5. end each page with a paragraph. Do not

cut paragraph and continue on the next page.

6. Write more at the bottom of the page of
unfinished story and continue on the next
sheet. Do not use the back page of the paper.
7. On the second page, instead of numbering
as page 2, label it first add or add one
followed by the slug. Example, First add

8. End the story with number 30 or (#).

9. After typing the story, through the use of

soft-leaded pencil and copyreading marks,

correct errors and improve it.
10. If the copy could hardly be read because
of so many corrections, retype it if time
permits to facilitate editing and typesetting.

Copyreading Marks
Capitalize letter

My Brother

Objectives of the Newspaper

1. To attract the readers
2. To tell the readers what the news is all

3. To persuade the readers what the news is
all about
4. To add variety and attractiveness to the
5. To create distinction or personality of the

Qualities of a Good Headline

1. It attracts the readers eye and directs its

attention to the story beneath it.

2. It is concisely constructed to save space.
Articles and other unnecessary words are
3. It must be positive and active. Active verb in
the present or future tense is used because aside
from being a short word, it is also the tense of
immediacy and it is more vivid.
4. It is adjusted to a predetermined typographical
style of paper.

Steps in Headline Writing

1. Read the whole story to understand its message.
2. Underline key words from its lead, for headline

3. Using the key words from the lead, write a short
telegraphic sentences summary of the news.
4. Use the shortest words possible. Substitute simple
effective synonyms to fit the headline within the allotted
5. Divide it according to unit of thoughts into the
number of required lines or decks.
6. Use colorful noun and vigorous and active verb.
7. Starts with noun followed by a verb.

Kinds of Headline
1. Flush Left- two or more lines of headline are aligned at the left edge

of the column
|Malacaang considers
|Abat adventure over
2. Flush right- two or more lines of headline are aligned at the right
edge of the column
Malacaang considers|
Abat adventure over |
3. Dropline- two or three lines of headline, usually of the same length
and arraged diagonally
Dole Philippines donates
arm chairs to Sarangani

4. Hanging indention- usually three or more lines of headline, the first line
set flush to both margins and the succeeding lines are indented or beginning
several spaces in from the left margin, thus hanging as if from the first
|Military ready to step in
|if anti-govt protest
| turn violent
5. Crossline or barline- a single line of headline running over two or more
Grenade blast kills 2 kids
6. Inverted pyramid- two or more lines of headline with the first line
flushed to both margins and the succeeding lines getting shorter and centered
\DepEd sets new guidelines/
\for teacher-applicants/

7. Flushline or full line- consists of two or

more lines of the same length

|Garci names solons |
|who also called him|
8. Streamer- striking boldface head extending
across the top of the page
9. Umbrella- a streamer that is placed at the
very top of the page above the nameplate of the
10. Binder- a streamer at the top of an inside

11. Boxed head- the headline in boxed

either for prominence or to avoid tombstoning

a. full box

ICT to generate 1M jobs

b. half box
c. quarter box

ICT to generate 1M jobs

ICT to generate 1M jobs

12. Jump head (run-over head) headline

of a news story, which is cut and continued on
the inside page; it is followed by the words
from page____ or the like

13. Subhead- a short title of a portion of

news story to break the monotony of gray
text; set in foldface and occupies more than
half the column width

14. Tagline, kicker or teaser- a short single

line placed above the main head, may be of
smaller type, underlined and set flush left or
15. Hammer- if the tagline or kicker is bigger
than the headline.

Guidelines for Writing headlines

1. The head should tell the gist of the story

simply and accurately.

2. It should contain a verb, but not start with
3. Be in the active voice.
4. be in the present, the historical present or
the future tense.

5. Avoid the use of articles to begin a headline

6. Use no abbreviations except those

generally known ones.

7. The first line of two-line or three-line
headline should not end with a preposition,
conjunction, articles or any form of the verb to
be, unless the preposition goes with the verb,
as in the word call up.

8. Be specific. Avoid generalities.

Wrong: Student wins contest

Right: Metrian scribe wins natl
essay writing tilt
9. Avoid label head
Wrong: Auctioned
Right: Imelda jewelry auctioned
10. Do not editorialize your headline.
Wrong: Metrian shows great
performance in DSPC
Right: Metrian wins 6 out of 7 in
DSPC writing contest

11. Do not use the same word twice in the

headline or kicker.
Gun haul
Gensan cops seize 24 guns
from suspected bandits
12. Never use the word may. It denotes the
uncertain element of the story.

13. To use direct quotation as head, use any of the

following forms instead of the traditional quotation

a. Using the dash instead of the quotation
Example: Truth commission repugnantMirriam
b. Using the colon
Example: Sto Tomas: Brain drain just a
c. Using narrative form
Example: Garci is back, says wife

14. Do not be negative.

Wrong: Metrian festival wont be held

Right: Metrian festival cancelled
15. The first letter of the word and proper
nouns are generally capitalized.
16. Avoid awkward verbal breaks.
Wrong: Gensan SPED bebaters to
Join natl tilt in Manila
Right: Gensan SPED debaters to join
Natl tilt in Manila

17. Mention only the name of person, who is

Wrong: Jacoba wins Microsoft global
Right: Filipino wins Microsoft global
18. Use M for million and B for billion.
Example: Philhealth lost P 520M to
fraudulent claims, says chief
19. Use comma instead of and.
Example: GMA, Bush skip rape issue in
Busan meet

20. Separate double headline by a semicolon.

Example: Bomb explodes at GenSan

market; 13 killed, 53 hurt
21. Do not end the headline by a period.
22. Use the infinitive for future events.
Example: GMA to visit Saudi on way to
23. Avoid splitting compound word
Wrong: GMA to award taxi
Driver for honesty
Right: GMA to award taxi driver for honesty.

24. Avoid splitting words that naturally go

Wrong: Metrians celebrate Buwan
ng Wika with beauty tilt
Right: Metrians hold Buwan ng Wika
with beauty contest
25. Do not mix up typefaces in making
headlines to avoid clutter. Do not use four to
eight kinds of fonts of headlines on a page.
The maximum font type that you can use on a
page is two unrelated fonts except for
featuring stories.

Unit Count in Headline

All small letters (except j,l,I,f,t,m and w)
Small letters j,l,I,f,t
Small letters m and w

= 1 unit
= unit

All capital letter (except I,M and W)
= 1 unit
Capital letter I
= unit
Capital letters M and W
= 2 unit
All punctuation marks (except the dash,
Question mark, dollar, peso and per cent sign) = unit
Dash, question mark, dollar peso and per cent sign =1 unit
All number figures from 0 to 9 ( except 1)
= 1 unit
Number 1
All spaces
= 1 unit


Topic of the writer


Technical Instruction
Sample: 2-20 TNRB W/KICKER

Number 2 means the head will run

across two columns of the page. Number
20 stands for the font size to be used.
TNRB refers to the font type Times New
Roman Bold and KICKER means a
preliminary head. The line below refers
to the number of line or deck the
headline will have.
The final headline will look like this:
Gawad Pangulo sa Kapaligiran

GenSan braces for top slot

Kicker refers to the preliminary head.

A deck is a secondary headline that is

positioned under the main headline and is

typically a teller.