Pick up any tabloid newspaper today and take note of how many article headlines are phrased as a question. I understand that these headlines are an attempt to pique our interest (or the result of lazy copy editors/writers), but are they a good idea? What is the end result of using a question as a headline or article title?
Now we know, thanks toÂ Betteridge’s Law of Headlines:
Any headline which ends in a question mark can be answered by the word ‘no’.
Because of a simple principle of headline writing: if a story has enough sources to have a high chance of accuracy, a headline will be assertive (e.g. “Microsoft to release OS update on Friday”).Â If sources are weak, or only a single source is found, headline writers will hedge their bets by posing the headline as a question (e.g. “Will Microsoft release an OS update on Friday?”).