How to identify Literary Allusion and Parody Titles in Newspapers and Magazines (Video)

The newspaper industry is very vibrant with many engaging in depth investigations to come up with good stories to attract audience attention. Headline writing is one key area where the competition is fierce and where audience patronage is often won. Newspapers take headline writing seriously because it does the first job of winning audience attention to a medium. Two of the most popular kinds of headlines are Literary allusion and Parody headlines. They are mostly used for feature stories. In this video we explained how you can easily identify these two headlines in newspapers and magazines.

Literary Allusion Headline

A headline that makes use of a quotation from a popular literary work (novel, movies, biographies etc.)

It is mostly used for feature stories

Example:

“Things Fall Apart”

This could be a title for a feature story talking about crisis in the parliament. It was taken from the popular novel by Chinua Achebe. That’s actually the title of the novel.

Parody Title

This is a title derived from a combination of the writer’s words and popular literary work (may be the title of a novel or quotation from a novel)

Example:

While writing about crisis in the Senate you could use a parody from Chinua Achebe’s novel.

Instead of “Things Fall Apart” you could say “Senate Falls Apart”

Instead of “There was a country” you could say “There was a State” or “There was a University” (while writing about backwardness in a State or University).

“Much Ado About National Budget” – This could be the title of a story about endless debate by the parliament over the nation’s budget. The title is derived from Shakespeare’s novel Much Ado About Nothing.

“The God’s Can Now be Blamed” – A parody derived from Ola Rotimi’s Novel.

Watch video for complete lecture;

The Author

Chinenye Nwabueze

Nwabueze is a communication researcher with several years of lecturing experience in Nigerian universities.

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