The Peculiarities Of The Newspaper Article Titles In The English Newspaper Discourse


Nowadays mass media, newspapers in particular, attract more and more readers. Unfortunately, not everyone understands the content of the article in a proper way. It is connected with the fact that the authors use different stylistic devices to attract attention of the audience. Though, not all readers catch the idea properly. This paper is devoted to the main features of the newspaper titles of the English newspapers because they contain the main idea of the article, and if the audience doesn’t understand the purpose right then the article won’t have the success among the readers. The knowledge of the peculiarities of the newspaper titles makes it easy for the audience to clarify the message of the article. The newspaper title has the specific character reflecting the prominent features of the newspaper, namely its efficiency, a genre palette. One of the main tendencies of the language development in the modern high-quality newspapers is a tendency to information intensification, which is clearly expressed in the evolution of the newspaper genre system and in the titles of the newspapers. Several classifications of the newspaper articles have been regarded in this paper. Moreover, the main stylistic features and functional aspects have been revealed in the article.

Keywords: Newspaper articlediscoursetitlecommunicative unitsyntactical model


The title has been regarded by many scientists. In this paper we follow Lenkova’s view (Lenkova, 2016) who defines the title as “the initial element of the structuring of the article, so how can you talk about some of the dependence of a vast array of articles and endings from successfully built the introductory unit. If the beginning of the material prepared in a professional way, the target audience reads the full article”.

In the last decades the term "discourse" (Fr. discourse — the speech, a reasoning) was widely used not only in the linguistic sphere, but also in various fields of science. In this regard there is no acceptable definition of this concept. Having considered various definitions of “a discourse”, we regard "a discourse" as the text (speech), with pragmatical, psychological and sociocultural features inherent in it (Arutyunova, 1990).

Problem Statement

One of the main tendencies of the language development in the modern high-quality newspapers is a tendency to information intensification, which is clearly expressed in the evolution of the newspaper genre system and in the titles of the newspapers.

Research Questions

The corps of the English texts of the newspaper discourse served as the material of this research, namely the titles of the English articles presented in the British and the American newspapers "The Guardian", "The Times", "New York Times, "The Wall Street Journal", "USA Today", that differ in original semantic potential, in non-standard formation and in a large variety of nominative constituents. The total number of the researched titles is 150 titles. The important problem at title studying is to define its peculiar characteristics, mainly stylistic one’s and its functional aspects. The titles of the articles of the English newspapers have not been thoroughly investigated from the angles mentioned above.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the research paper is to define the main structural components of the article titles of the English newspapers and also to find out the stylistic features of the titles regarded. The main functions of the article titles are also in the scope of our attention.

Research Methods

The choice of the research methods is closely connected with the topic, the aim of this paper: the method of choice to form the corps of the researched titles, a descriptive method, and the method of quantity calculations.


The newspaper is a means of the mass media and means of the belief. It is oriented on mass and very different audience which it should keep and force to read its works. The newspaper is usually read in conditions when it’s rather difficult to concentrate: in the subway, in a train, at breakfast, having a rest after work, on a lunch break, filling short time intervals, etc. So, the necessity to organize the newspaper information in such a way that to pass it quickly appears before the author; it should be compressed, informative, even if a note will not be read up to the end. It should produce emotional impact on the reader. The text of the article should not demand preliminary preparation from the reader, the dependence on a context should be minimal. At the same time alongside with usual, constantly repeating subjects in the newspaper there is practically any subject, for some reason or other that can be actual. Then these new situations and arguments also begin to repeat. This frequency, together with the fact that the journalist usually has no time for careful material reading, lead to frequent use of stamps. All this also creates an stylistic originality of the newspaper text.

The following characteristics are considered to be the basic features of the newspaper language:

  • the language means economy, statement laconism at an informative saturation;

  • the selection of the language means with installation on their clarity (the newspaper is the most widespread type of the mass media);

  • the use of political lexicon and phraseology, reconsideration of lexicon of other styles of a particular, terminological lexicon) for publicism aims;

  • the use of the characteristic speech stereotypes for the given style, cliche;

  • a genre variety and therefore the stylistic use of language means: polysemy of words, resources of word-formation (author's neologisms), emotionally-expressive lexicon;

  • overlapping of publicistic style features with the features of other styles (scientific, officially-business, literary and art, colloquial), caused by a variety of subjects and genres;

  • the use of graphic-expressive means of the language, in particular the means of stylistic syntax (rhetorical questions and exclamations, parallelism of construction, repetitions, inversion, etc.).

The main functional features of the English newspaper articles

Thus, the major functions of the newspaper are informative and influencing. The informative function of the newspaper is that the authors of such articles have to inform the wide audience about the burning problems in a society and about the sights of authors on these problems. Though, it has been discovered that some researchers consider “informative and stimulating functions as the dominant one’s” in the context of the titles of the English newspaper articles (Inozemtseva, 2015).

One of the basic tendencies in the development of the modern qualitative newspaper language is the tendency to strengthen the informativeness that is expressed most brightly in evolution of newspaper genres system and in the titles.

Modern newspaper speech has taken much from conversation expression and from fiction expressiveness. The newspaper today is in search of expressive means, in search of something new. Novelty attracts the attention, an interest, it creates the certain mood. Process of recurrence (repeated topics in the newspaper) is inevitably accompanied also by the process of updating. Journalists tend to attract the reader and make him feel freshness of the form and thought.

Thus they give much attention to the art of newspaper title as to means of attention attraction to the text of the publication.

The title in the newspaper, unlike the names of the radio-and telecasts, is a communicative unit, it briefly informs the reader on the content of the newspaper, it informs about the value, the character and a degree of importance of the events which are on the pages of the newspaper. According to the title of the article, the reportage, the feuilleton, the correspondence one can speak about the attitude of the author to the events described, and also about edition’s point of view. One can say that it takes a stylistically strong position. The person seldom reads the newspaper "from cover to cover", he chooses only that material that interests him, taking into account the titles of the publications (the researches of the psychologists show, that 80 % of readers pay attention only to the titles).

The informativeness is the important title parameter, drawing reader's attention to specific article. The purpose of the newspaper discourse lies not only in information transfer, but also in its interpretation. One comes to the conclusion that in the newspaper text an information-substantial function is combined with the function of persuasion, emotional influence. It is important to note one more feature: the newspaper article is directed to the most active perception, understanding and reaction. Among the basic characteristics of the newspaper text existing one can find probably the heterogeneity of the readers according to their national, social, political and other features; the absence of rigid social or other dependence between the addresser and the addressee; the absence, as well as in any written text, the direct contact of the speakers and an operative feedback between them; the generalized scheme concept of the author about characteristics of the recipient (Lukanina, 2003).

Studying of a newspaper discourse reveals the communication between the language and non-language characteristics not only as dependence of the first on the second, but also as their interdependence. In other words the publicistic text is considered to be a derivative of the certain set of extralinguistic circumstances, and as language correlate of these circumstances.

Thus, the newspaper discourse takes special place among other styles because the means of press display the state of the modern language. It is a system of interconnected, interdependent language elements which have been directed on the realization of a definite purpose – to inform the reader in the simplest way. The newspaper discourse realized by mass media, in particular by press, designs the world of people and their actions as event. The newspaper discourse is a communicative event, an environment in which the newspaper text "ripens" and is created. The newspaper discourse is a dynamic cognitive-communicative phenomenon, a process and result of the speech communication in printed mass-media. The newspaper discourse is a component of mass-communicative space as a social pragmatically interpreted interactive system. In conditions of a mass communication newspaper texts act as a product of discourse activity, making an exchange of socially meaningful actual information possible (Arutyunova, 1990).

Classifications of the English newspaper articles

We have regarded several classifications of the newspaper titles, but the most full and extended to our point of view, is the division of the titles given by I.V. Arnold (Arnold, 1965):

1. Informative titles

Such titles briefly transform the content. The specific features are the omission of the verb, the use of the letter abbreviation. The reader shouldn’t have any knowledge. For example:

Woman to face acid attack charges (Jackson, 2013).

2. The titles which are based on the already known information.

For example:

Lamont Peterson's comeback highlights boxing's sterility over steroids (Mitchell, 2013).

In such cases one can speak about the awareness of the reader about the situation, he is looking for the news concerning the sportsman who returns after disqualification because of taking doping.

3. Rhymed titles

Such titles are easily remembered due to the rhythm and it’s very important because as a rule the articles which are below them are agitated. For example,

Coffee from an elephant's gut fills a $50 cup (Bagli & Belson, 2012)

4. Emotionally coloured titles.

The titles of this kind give a very vague idea about the topic of the article, though they give the reader orientation concerning the described facts, their estimation.

For example,

Don’t let the “quick buck” brigade prosper (Wighton, 2013)

5. Sensation titles.

Such kind of titles is aimed at those who like sensation accidents. The essence of the action is held in one sentence and it is transmitted exactly, but rather mysterious and it makes the reader get acquainted with it. For example,

Breaking news! Amazon launches Kindle Love Stories podcast (Smith, 2013).


In conclusion, the title of the newspaper is a communicative unit, the title shortly informs the reader of the content of the newspaper material, it gives hints on the meaning, character and a degree of the event importance, which are represented on the newspaper pages. Such characteristics of the newspaper discourse as emotional colouring, an informative factor are clearly expressed in the title. The reader should be well-aware of the stylistic means that can be used in the titles of such newspaper articles to be able to interpret their meanings right.

Moreover, the practical value of this research is that its material and the results can be used in the process of education of such disciplines as Stylistics, Language Theory, Mass Media Language.


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30 April 2018

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Sociolinguistics, linguistics, semantics, discourse analysis, translation, interpretation

Cite this article as:

Minekhatovich, A. A., & Vladimirovna, I. N. (2018). The Peculiarities Of The Newspaper Article Titles In The English Newspaper Discourse. In I. V. Denisova (Ed.), Word, Utterance, Text: Cognitive, Pragmatic and Cultural Aspects, vol 39. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 739-744). Future Academy.