August 10, 2015

How to Choose a Title for Your Essay

How to Choose a Title for Your Essay
Have you ever walked past a book in the bookstore, then immediately back-tracked to check it out because the title caught your eye? Maybe you’ve made a last minute decision to buy a magazine based one of the titles splashed across the cover. Writers and editors of a variety of publications use clever and compelling titles to hook the reader who will then, ideally, make a purchase.

Obviously you are not selling your essay, but the title is still a part of a piece of writing that is going to be graded. Why not put a bit of an effort into the title as well? Are you wondering how to choose a title for your essay? Well, we have a few tricks up our sleeves that we’re going to share to help everybody learn how to title an essay. If you are writing an essay on a serious subject or a light-hearted topic, we have some great ideas for you.

Leave the Title for Last

Don’t try to write your title first. You will spend the rest of your time attempting to tailor your writing to the title. This will only result in frustration. Your best course of action is to write the essay first, and then to allow the essay to influence the title. However, this does not mean that you should not consider the title at all while you are working. If you get ideas, by all means jot them down. The more potential titles you have on your list once you are done writing, the better off you will be.

Finding Good Titles for Essays

There are many options for selecting a title for an essay. One thing you can do is examine the writing you have done to determine if there is a particular phrase that appears in your essay. This might be a possible candidate for inclusion in a title. You can also look for an opportunity to use a play on words to create a title that is catchy, and that makes the reader stop and think for a moment. Some writers select titles that are send-ups of other well-known titles. These are great options for coming up with a creative title for an essay that is on a lighter subject.

Selecting a Title for a Serious Essay

When you choose a title for an essay that is written about a solemn topic, you do want your title to be compelling. What you want to avoid is being unintentionally cutesy or irreverent. One option that works quite well is to take a compelling fact and incorporate this into the title of your essay. Here is an example. “200 Deaths a Year: Violence in the Inner City”. Another option is to put an action item in your title. It could look something like this. “Solving the Problem of Inner City Violence”. A third option is to utilize an emotional appeal like this: “The Heartbreaking Reality of Inner City Violence”.

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