What punctuation marks to put at the end of a headline

There are five punctuation marks that appear at the end of headings: period, exclamation and question marks, ellipsis and a colon. We will understand which of them and when it is worth using.


Until the 1930s, the dot at the end of the title was considered the norm, now it is a blunder. In the “Handbook of the Corrector” by L. I. Servivov for 1932 it is written: “After the heading and subtitles it is necessary to put a full stop”.

Modern standards of recruitment are subject to the rules of the "Directory of the publisher and author" A. Milchin and L. Cheltsova:

"The point in the headline, rendered in a separate line, is omitted, with the exception of publications for beginners to read children (for example, in the primer), so as not to interfere with the reinforcement of the stereotype: at the end of the sentence, you must put a full stop."

If the title is on a separate line from the text - a dot at the end is not put.

If the title is on the same line with the text - a dot is put at the end.



Headline Text

The dot at the end of the title indicates the illiteracy of the author.

Exclamation mark

The rules of the Russian language do not prohibit putting an exclamation mark at the end of the title. But it is better not to do it. Exclaim in the title of a good article to anything. But to draw attention to the "cheap" material with an exclamation - the most it. Therefore, an exclamation mark in headlines is often used in "yellow" publications and in advertising of low-quality goods.

See also: 9 errors in the layout of the article, because of which you lose readers

Question mark

The question mark is used in the text when asked a direct question, in some doubt or wonder. In the headlines of informational articles - when we explain something to the reader - there is no place for a direct question, doubts and surprises.

If we write an article in which we give tips on setting up an advertising campaign on Facebook, then the question mark in the title will be superfluous. Because we do not ask the reader about anything, we tell him. If we do not know how to set up an advertising campaign or doubt it, then we put a question mark.

If we tell

If we ask

How to set up an advertising campaign on Facebook

How to increase sales

How to set up an advertising campaign on Facebook?

How to increase sales?

A question mark is often appropriate at the end of an analytical article heading. Because they are analyzing some events, and not a statement.

This article does not state what will happen in France, but rather cites the state of affairs in the country. There are doubts - there is a question mark.

And here is another article:

There are no doubts here, they explain it here, so they do not put a question mark.

Another case where the question mark is placed at the end of the heading is the question-answer format. For example, cards in Medusa or section FAQ on the site. Due to the peculiarities of the format in these headers a question mark is necessary.

If you do not ask a direct question to the reader, then the question mark at the end of the heading is not needed.


In Russian, dots indicate incompleteness of the statement. On the one hand, the title just can be something not to talk, to interest and lure the reader into the text:

But on the other hand, if we want to be honest with our reader and use the heading not to spoof, but to tell about the content of the article, then it is better not to use ellipses.

The only situation where you can honestly use dots in the title is if you use an unfinished quotation as the title. If you want to be honest with your reader, do not use the dots at the end of the title. , optimize and create an article


The colon is rarely found at the end of the header. More often it is used at the end of subtitles.

If you remove the colon, then nothing will change: we will not break the rules, and the meaning will not be lost.

The colon at the end of the header is superfluous and is easily removed without losing meaning.

Most often, punctuation marks at the end of headings and subheadings are not needed. Therefore, if there is a desire to put a punctuation mark at the end of the heading, think again: is it necessary here, how will it affect the perception of the article, will you violate the rules of the Russian language, will it not be better to remove the punctuation mark

Watch the video: How to Copyread and Write Headlines (March 2020).


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