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Sub-Titles

Sub-titles are often used to supplement and amplify the titles. They are the counterparts of the "decks" and "banks" in news headlines

Sub-titles are often used to supplement and amplify the titles. They are the counterparts of the "decks" and "banks" in news headlines. Their purpose is to give additional information, to arouse greater interest, and to assist in carrying the reader over, as it were, to the beginning of the article.

Since sub-titles follow immediately after the title, any repetition of important words is usually avoided. It is desirable to maintain the same tone in both title and sub-title. Occasionally the two together make a continuous statement. The length of the sub-title is generally about twice that of the title; that is, the average sub-title consists of from ten to twelve words, including articles and connectives.

The articles, "a," "an," and "the," are not as consistently excluded from sub-titles as they are from newspaper headlines.

Some Types of Titles. Attempts to classify all kinds of headlines and titles involve difficulties similar to those already encountered in the effort to classify all types of beginnings. Nevertheless, a separation of titles into fairly distinct, if not mutually exclusive, groups may prove helpful to inexperienced writers. The following are the nine most distinctive types of titles: (1) label; (2) "how" and "why" statement; (3) striking statement, including figure of speech, paradox, and expression of great magnitude; (4) quotation and paraphrase of quotation; (5) question; (6) direct address, particularly in imperative form; (7) alliteration; (8) rhyme; (9) balance.

The label title is a simple, direct statement of the subject. It has only as much interest and attractiveness as the subject itself possesses. Such titles are the following: (1) RAISING GUINEA PIGS FOR A LIVING One Missouri Man Finds a Ready Market for All He Can Sell (2) HUMAN NATURE AS SEEN BY A PULLMAN PORTER (3) THE FINANCIAL SIDE OF FOOTBALL (4) CONFESSIONS OF AN UNDERGRADUATE (5) BEE-KEEPING ON SHARES (6) A COMMUNITY WOOD-CHOPPING DAY (7) WHAT A WOMAN ON THE FARM THINKS OF PRICE FIXING The "how-to-do-something" article may be given a "how" title that indicates the character of the contents; for example: (1) HOW I FOUND HEALTH IN THE DENTIST'S CHAIR (2) HOW TO STORE YOUR CAR IN WINTER (3) HOW A FARMER'S WIFE MADE $55 EXTRA (4) HOW TO SUCCEED AS A WRITER Woman Who "Knew She Could Write" Tells How She Began and Finally Got on the Right Road The "how" title may also be used for an article that explains some phenomenon or process. Examples of such titles are these: (1) HOW A NETTLE STINGS (2) HOW RIPE OLIVES ARE MADE (3) HOW THE FREIGHT CAR GETS HOME Articles that undertake to give causes and reasons are appropriately given "why" titles like the following: (1) WHY CAVIAR COSTS SO MUCH (2) WHY I LIKE A ROUND BARN (3) WHY THE COAL SUPPLY IS SHORT A title may attract attention because of the striking character of the idea it expresses; for example: (1) WANTED: $50,000 MEN (2) 200 BUSHELS OF CORN PER ACRE (3) FIRE WRITES A HEART'S RECORD (4) THE PSYCHOLOGY OF SECOND HELPINGS The paradoxical form of title piques curiosity by seeming to make a selfcontradictory statement, as, for example, the following: (1) SHIPS OF STONE Seaworthy Concrete Vessels an Accomplished Fact (2) CHRISTIAN PAGANS (3) A TELESCOPE THAT POINTS DOWNWARD (4) SEEING WITH YOUR EARS (5) MAKING SAILORS WITHOUT SHIPS (6) HOW TO BE AT HOME WHILE TRAVELING (7) CANAL-BOATS THAT CLIMB HILLS A striking figure of speech in a title stimulates the reader's imagination and arouses his interest; for example: (1) PULLING THE RIVER'S TEETH (2) THE OLD HOUSE WITH TWO FACES (3) THE HONEY-BEE SAVINGS BANK (4) RIDING ON BUBBLES (5) THE ROMANCE OF NITROGEN A familiar quotation may be used for the title and may stand alone, but often a sub-title is desirable to show the application of the quotation to the subject, thus: (1) THE SHOT HEARD 'ROUND THE WORLD America's First Victory in France (2) "ALL WOOL AND A YARD WIDE" What "All Wool" Really Means and Why Shoddy is Necessary (3) THE SERVANT IN THE HOUSE And Why She Won't Stay in the House A well-known quotation or common saying may be paraphrased in a novel way to attract attention; for example: (1) FORWARD! THE TRACTOR BRIGADE (2) IT'S LO, THE RICH INDIAN (3) LEARNING BY UNDOING (4) THE GUILELESS SPIDER AND THE WILY FLY Entomology Modifies our Ideas of the Famous Parlor Since every question is like a riddle, a title in question form naturally leads the reader to seek the answer in the article itself. The directness of appeal may be heightened by addressing the question to the reader with "you," "your," or by presenting it from the reader's point of view with the use of "I," "we," or "ours." The sub-title may be another question or an affirmation, but should not attempt to answer the question. The following are typical question titles and sub-titles: (1) WHAT IS A FAIR PRICE FOR MILK? (2) HOW MUCH HEAT IS THERE IN YOUR COAL? (3) WHO'S THE BEST BOSS? Would You Rather Work For a Man or For a Machine? (4) "SHE SANK BY THE BOW"—BUT WHY? (5) HOW SHALL WE KEEP WARM THIS WINTER? (6) DOES DEEP PLOWING PAY? What Some Recent Tests Have Demonstrated (7) SHALL I START A CANNING BUSINESS? The reader may be addressed in an imperative form of title, as well as in a question, as the following titles show: (1) BLAME THE SUN SPOTS Solar Upheavals That Make Mischief on the Earth (2) EAT SHARKS AND TAN THEIR SKINS (3) HOE! HOE! FOR UNCLE SAM (4) DON'T JUMP OUT OF BED Give Your Subconscious Self a Chance to Awake Gradually (5) RAISE FISH ON YOUR FARM (6) BETTER STOP! LOOK! AND LISTEN! The attractiveness of titles may be heightened by such combinations of sounds as alliteration and rhyme, or by rhythm such as is produced by balanced elements.

The following examples illustrate the use of alliteration, rhyme, and balance: (1) THE LURE OF THE LATCH (2) THE DIMINISHING DOLLAR (3) TRACING TELEPHONE TROUBLES (4) BOY CULTURE AND AGRICULTURE (5) A LITTLE BILL AGAINST BILLBOARDS (6) EVERY CAMPUS A CAMP (7) LABOR-LIGHTENERS AND HOME-BRIGHTENERS (8) THE ARTILLERY MILL AT OLD FORT SILL How Uncle Sam is Training His Field Artillery Officers (9) SCHOLARS VS. DOLLARS (10) WAR ON PESTS When the Spray Gun's Away, Crop Enemies Play (11) MORE HEAT AND LESS COAL (12) GRAIN ALCOHOL FROM GREEN GARBAG.

Reference book: How To Write Special Feature Articles

Tags: writing, articles, magazine, Reading,

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