Titles pretty much form the basis for what your whole essay is going to be like. A good title would encourage your readers to continue reading and pay attention to what you have to say in your essay. Whether it is your professor who is reading it or anyone else, you want them to see a title that would interest them and appropriately reflect the content and the views that you present in your essay.
Choosing the right title can be a difficult task at first. However, once you get the hang of it it shouldn’t be too difficult. Here are some points to remember when drafting a title for your essay:
- Grab attention. One of the main purposes of your title is to immediately grab your reader’s attention and draw them to read your entire essay. Your title is one of the first things anyone notices about your work, which means that no matter how interesting your first introduction paragraph is, if your title isn’t good enough, chances are you won’t get many readers.
- Don’t use too many words. A title is best when it’s short, concise and covers the gist and purpose of the essay successfully. Long titles can often get boring and make the reader lose interest. Keep in mind that, with the title, you’re supposed to be giving your readers only a rough idea of what your essay could be about, not a whole summary!
- Use simple words. An unnecessarily cluttered and complicated title would only make the reader feel overwhelmed and confused, making them more likely to put the essay down. A simple and concise title that doesn’t require too much effort to read at a glance is what you should aim for.
- Make sure it is accurate. Your title needs to properly reflect and represent what your essay is about. Don’t over exaggerate or hyperbolize the content of your essay in the title. Make sure your title is honest and straightforward. It’s no good submitting an essay with a “clickbait” title.
- Make sure the tone of the title matches the tone of the essay. Your title should be themed and structured according to the theme and tone of your essay. If you’re writing a really serious and formal essay, then ensure that your title is also appropriately toned. On the other hand, if you’re writing something more lighthearted or casual, you want to keep the title light and casual as well.
- Make it creative. Try using imagery or jokes in your title to make it more unique and catchy. The title ought to make your readers curious about your essay. Make a statement, a pun, or an interesting reference that would immediately grab your readers’ attention.
- Try using quotes for your title. Incorporating or adding a famous quote into your title can be a good way to grab attention. Try to play with words in famous quotes and make new phrases of your own―for example, “To Bake or Not to Bake: The Kitchen Dilemma.”
- Capitalize and make sure there are no errors. Last, but in no way the least, you want to absolutely make sure that you have capitalized the key words in the title. In most cases, all words except articles, conjunctions, and short prepositions are capitalized. Make sure you check with your style guide, like the MLA, APA, or Chicago style of formatting, for capitalization norms for titles. Needless to say, you must also make sure there are no spelling or punctuation errors in your title. This is, afterall, the first impression your essay will make on your readers, and as the saying goes, first impressions last. An error in the title can put readers off, and they might never get to reading your essay.
Titling is a fun process. It gives you a sense of closure after you finish your writing. It’s like the final ribbon you tie on top of your work before you present it to readers. This is why it is usually recommended to save this task for the end when your essay is completely done. And although it sometimes can take quite a while to figure out a good enough title, it isn’t a difficult task, and like other creative processes, there is no one fixed way to do it.