A Stylistic Exploration of Headlines in Ghanaian Newspaper Editorials

James Gyimah Manu ORCID iD , Wisdom Mawuli Awuttey & Philip Kwame Freitas

Issue: Vol.3  No.1  January 2022  Article 1 pp. 1-14
DOI : https://doi.org/10.38159/ehass.2022311  |   Published online 26th January, 2022.
© 2022 The Author(s). This is an open access article under the CCBY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).


Considering the role of newspaper editorials in shaping the opinions of the public on matters of national interest, the present study was carried out to explore how newspaper editorial headlines are constructed and packaged. A bottom-up stylistics approach was employed to ascertain some stylistic strategies or features in the headlines. It was revealed that Ghanaian editors employ several linguistic forms to trigger presuppositions and also use language devices or figures in order to affect the opinions of their readers, shape their understanding, and increase their interest to read the main text. The paper concludes that newspaper editorial headlines are not written arbitrarily but are carefully constructed to pack the greatest number of meanings in a small space. This study contributes to the existing knowledge in media discourse and stylistics in general. It presents headlines as independent text types which can be used as case studies in language classrooms to help students appreciate the application of language or literary concepts.

Keywords: Newspaper, editorial, headline, style and stylistics.

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James Gyimah Manu is an Assistant Lecturer at the Department of English, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana. He holds MPhil and BA in English from KNUST. His research interests cover topics in the areas of Stylistics, Syntax, Semantics and Pragmatics. Currently, his research is focused on how language is used within the Ghanaian media landscape.

Wisdom Mawuli Awuttey is an English Tutor at the Department of Languages, Okuapemman School, Akropong-Akuapem, Ghana. He holds MA in Communication and Media Studies from the University of Education, Winneba, Ghana, and BA in English from KNUST. His research interests cover issues in the area of media discourse and language use in general. His current research examined the newspaper reading habits among members of the debaters’ club of the Okuapemman School.

Philip Kwame Freitas is a former Teaching Assistant at the Department of English, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana and an MPhil Candidate in the same department. He has research interests in bildungsroman in African novels, postcolonial literature, and literature of the diaspora.

Gyimah Manu J., Awuttey W.M. & Frietas P.K. “A Stylistic Exploration of Headlines in Ghanaian Newspaper Editorials,” E-Journal of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences 3, no.1 (2022):1-14.  https://doi.org/10.38159/ehass.2022311

© 2022 The Author(s). Published and Maintained by Noyam Publishers. This is an open access article under the CCBY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).