Exercise: Writing headlines and summaries 01

May 21, 2013 | By Jim Stovall | Filed in: exercises, headlines, teaching journalism.

This exercise includes two of the stories in exercise 7.3, page 186, of Writing for the Mass Media (7th ed).

Instructors: The purpose of this exercise is to provide students with some practice in writing headlines and summaries for the web. More writing for the web exercises can be found lower on this page.
Students: Write headlines and summaries for the stories below. You should read Headline writing for the web and Writing summaries here on JPROF.com before starting this exercise.

Refer to the headline and summary tips to the right as you do your work.

No headline can be more than 60 characters long.

You should limit your summaries to about 50 words. You have a maximum of 350 characters in the space allotted for the summary.

Once you start, do not refresh your page while you are working or you may lose your work.


Course Section

Date Instructor


Story 1 – Dwindling family farms


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Family farms in Ticonderoga County have been dwindling steadily for more than 40 years now, and agricultural officials say there is no comeback in sight.

“Our image is that the family farm is the backbone of America, the ultimate expression of American values,” Jeff Mackey, professor of sociology at Ticonderoga College, said.

“Unfortunately, the family farm is becoming as rare as the dinosaur,” he said.

That is certainly the case in Ticonderoga County, where in 1955 the U.S. Department of Agriculture said there were more than 800 working farms. A farm is defined by the department as land on which $1,000 worth of farm produce was made or could have been made during the year.

Story 2 – New hotel referendum


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Residents of Elizabeth City will be asked in June whether they approve of using public funds for a new downtown hotel and convention center, even though there is no specific recommendation for such a project.

In a technical compliance with a recommendation from the state Department of Elections, the Ticonderoga County Election Commission on Thursday voted to put the referendum on the ballot.

It will be on the June 5 ballot, and only city residents will be able to vote on the question. It will simply ask for a yes or no vote on whether public funds should be used for such a project.

Although City Commission members approved an ordinance to prohibit any public funding for a hotel and convention center shortly after the petition was certified, state Coordinator of Elections Bailey Throckton said the referendum still must be held.

“Putting this on the ballot is appropriate,” Ticonderoga County Commissioner of Elections McKenzie Martin said at Thursday’s meeting of the commission.

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