A Complete Guide On How To Write A Title For An Essay

Write title for essay

The recipe for a great essay begins with an eye-catching title. After all, it’s the first thing a reader or professor encounters when scrutinizing your essay. Thus, it has to be perfect in every possible way. Based on the title, people decide whether they are interested in reading your essay or not. Thus, a good title is a non-negotiable aspect of essay writing.

When you create an intriguing title, you have already generated interest and appeal among your audience. The title of the essay acts as a window to your mind and the thought process. It speaks volumes about your writing caliber. However, most students and writers treat their essay titles as an afterthought. 

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The valuable instrument that is an essay title is frequently overlooked or underutilized by writers. When authors are stuck, they may give up on coming up with a title and simply identify their writings by assignment sequence or task. A title that is either missing or vague is a missed opportunity.

So, how to create a compelling essay title that draws in your audience? We’ll tell you how in this comprehensive guide. We’ll discuss title ideas for essays as well as examples. After reading this article, you’ll learn all the tips and tricks that you can use to write provocative and creative titles for essays. 

The importance of a good essay title

Essay titles are a crucial essay element that provides insights and gains the attention of the readers. The title occupies a “privileged” position in the text since it commands the reader’s full attention. As an author, you can use this to your advantage.

The privileged position of the title can effectively explain or convey your views and articulate your argument. Good titles for essays assist writers in preparing readers to understand and trust the work that follows. Thus, it deserves equal attention as the other parts of the essay.

The following reasons aptly summarize the function of the title and the value it adds to your essay:

  • A strong title starts the process of informing and/or convincing the readers by identifying the essay’s topic, argument, and method. The title supports the central thesis statement or argument presented throughout the essay.
  • Furthermore, a great title shows your instructor that you comprehended the question and the related concepts. Whether or not the assignment question has been answered is one of the first things your instructor or marker will check for. A proper title convinces the reader or instructor that the essay answers the question.
  • Another purpose of the title is to pique readers’ interest by giving them a sense of the article and its central point.
  • A title selected early in the essay writing process may assist writers in staying on topic while writing. Thus, ensuring that the writer maintains the relevance of the topic throughout the writing process.

Given the importance of the title, a writer should always take the time to craft a catchy title. It will, in turn, set the tone for the rest of the essay and give a great first impression.

An essay title can be one of three types. Depending on the type of essay you are writing, your title will fall into one of the following categories:

  • Descriptive title- It’s typically used for essays with the same title and simply explains the topic of discussion.
  • Imaginative title-  Such titles include the writer’s unrealized thoughts, which may or may not come true in the future.
  • Personal title-  In the creation of the title, the author incorporates their personal experience.

What does a creative essay title look like?

The essay titles for academic papers tend to be quite long. Often, it is divided into two sections- a title and a subtitle. Every good essay title shares some common characteristics that set them apart from the rest. Take a look at the principal features of a good essay title:

Attention-grabbing:

Given the unlimited supply of reading material, a dull title would attract fewer readers than a catchy headline. So, even before you reveal your ideas, pique the reader’s interest in what you have to say with an attention-grabbing title.

Genuine:

Making the title so over-the-top in an attempt to make it catchy is a common mistake to avoid in essay writing. When you rely too much on flamboyance, you run the risk of steering the entire idea of the paper away from the truth. 

As a result, the primary theme of the essay becomes challenging to communicate to the audience. Thus, leaving the reading experience dissatisfactory and frustrating. We’ve established that capturing attention is critical. However, avoid basing your essay’s headline on misleading ideas.

Accessible:

Using unnecessarily complex sentences, structures, or unusual fonts in your title will turn off everyone, including your teacher. Make your title simple to understand. It should convey the topic of your paper in a single look.

Concise:

Since big headlines can be confusing, keep your essay title short. Long titles are difficult to follow and may turn off some readers. So, compose a concise title that reflects the essence of the essay.

Active voice:

Using an active voice in academic writing is a general thumb rule. Passive voice sentences tend to be vague. Hence, your instructor will always recommend you write your essays in an active voice. This logic is applicable to the essay title too.

The use of active voice in the essay title leaves no room for questions in the reader’s mind. The audience immediately knows who is the subject that acts upon the verb. Thus, an active voice makes the title sound more appealing and direct.

Apposite:

Irrespective of what you’re writing about, make sure the title represents the overall theme of your entire work. Misleading your audience with exaggerated words and leading them to assume the theme is anything else than it is will only hurt your credibility and respect for your work. Therefore, keep your title apposite and relevant.

The vital components of a good essay title

Although there are various types of essays, practically all follow the same patterns and formulae for creating good essay titles. The following elements make up a good title:

A hook

A hook introduces the subject in the most engaging and innovative way possible. It functions as a lure to attract readers. Any decent title should pique your interest right away. The function of a heading is similar to that of icing on a cake. The icing makes the cake appear lovely to the public.

Topic keywords

The topic keyword describes the essay in question. It identifies the concept that is being examined. This section responds to the question, “What?”

Focus keywords

They are an essential part of your headline since they inform the reader about the “Where” and “When.” They’ll offer your work a polished and professional appearance. Additionally, it makes the title more presentable to the reader when used in conjunction with the topic keywords.

How to title an essay that impresses your readers?

Like any other piece of literature, a compelling title does not arise anywhere; it requires brainstorming and revision. When you compose a title for your essay, you’re essentially giving it a personality. 

Your readers will remember your essay by its title, which is why you should not skimp on it. We’ve prepared a list of successful strategies to come up with an intriguing and appealing title.

Approach the title after completing the essay

Rather than attempting to develop an intriguing title at the start of the writing process, compose your essay first and then title it. Finishing your academic essay first will help you find more appropriate ideas for the title. As you discover more information about the topic, you will be able to use that information to create a more gripping title.

You may keep a working title if you find it difficult to begin without one. However, you can modify the title after you’ve finished writing the essay if you think it’s not appropriate. The title, on the other hand, should correspond to the subject of your essay.

Utilize the thesis statement as an inspiration for your title

Your thesis statement serves as a writing guide for your essay and aids in creating your essay’s title. Since the thesis statement is the heart of your essay, you can use it to provide a clear understanding of the title. So it’s imperative to know how to write a thesis statement first.

Your thesis statement and essay title should be interdependent. Both the components draw focus to the central argument of your essay. Therefore, you can incorporate some of the sentences from the statement in the title of your essay.

Use cliches and catchphrases

To formulate your essay title, you can use popular catchphrases, puns, and cliches relevant to the topic. You may rework these phrases and words to correlate to your topic. Puns and play-on-words make the tile attractive and add creativity. 

A catchy pun or famous quote will charm your audience from the get-go. These phrases are popular, so your readers may already be aware of them, and they’re also engaging. It acts as an excellent introduction to your essay that highlights your creative and humorous side.

Consider your audience and the tone of the essay

When it comes to deciding on a title, the overall tone is crucial. Investigate the tone and mood of your essay as you work on the title. Different materials and titles are used in different types of essays. A title should complement the content of your essay while also guiding the reader. If the subject is serious, a frivolous, humorous, or grandiose title will detract from your credibility. 

If your article is more personal and friendly, choose a humorous, witty, and casual title. Thus, the tone of the title should be in sync with that of the essay. However, keep in mind that jargon and abbreviations should be avoided in the title.

Use the central idea or a relevant quote

Although this isn’t a universal rule, it’s helpful in certain circumstances. A quote or a fragment of a quote about the specific essay topic you’re writing about can be included in your title. 

Even a portion of a song lyric might serve the same purpose if appropriate and pertinent to the subject. When writing an essay about a book, a fragment of a thought-provoking quote from the book can be used.

Make it unique and original

Avoid plagiarizing the topic and title of another author. You can look and study them for ideas, but you should never copy them exactly as they are. If you come across an intriguing title, adapt it to your essay and use it.

Sum up the title in five words

When creating the title, try to summarize it in five words. Think of the five words that would give your readers an overview of the essay. Keep the title brief, as long headlines tend to be cumbersome. So, the key to an attractive title is to keep it concise.

What to avoid when writing a title?

We have talked about how to produce a solid essay title. And now it’s time to talk about what a writer shouldn’t do while choosing a proper name. Below is a list of actions that you should avoid when writing a title:

  1. Avoid discussing delicate, immoral, or unethical themes in academic work. It is hard to speak positively about them.
  2. Make sure you ask the right questions. If a writer fails to respond to pertinent questions about their field of study, they risk picking the wrong topic.
  3. Make sure you don’t come out as too personal. As a writer, you should avoid being personal, even if the article is introspective. Avoid concepts that could reveal personal information.
  4. Keep in mind while titling an article that harsh rhetoric such as racism and sexism should be avoided.

Formatting your essay title as per guidelines

It’s very important that you format an essay in different styles as each and every educational institution mandates that academic papers be formatted according to a specific writing style. The APA and MLA formats are the most prominent among a wide range of citation styles.

When it comes to essay title formats, there are a lot of precise requirements. So, let’s have a look at these different styles.

For APA style

The APA style requires the title page at the start of your research report. The reader’s first encounter with the heading is here. The following should be included on the title page:

  • The essay’s title. Centered, bold, capitalized, 3-4 lines below the top margin.
  • The writer’s name (first name, middle initial, last name). Centered at the page, not bold, two lines below the title.
  • The author’s affiliations. Centered, not bold, immediately after the name.
  • Number and name of the course.
  • The instructor’s name and title.
  • The date.
  • Page number in the top right corner.

For MLA style 

Usually, there is no need for a separate title page in MLA format. However, there are specific formatting guidelines that must be followed to the letter.

  • In MLA format, the paper should start one inch from the top of the document, towards the left.
  • Write the writer’s name, the instructor’s name, the course number, and the submission date.
  • Each of the items should be on a separate double-spaced line.
  • Add the title of your essay. It should be centered and capitalized.
  • Do not use quotation marks, underline, italicize, or boldface your essay title. 

Essential rules to follow when composing a sensational title

  1. Instead of focusing on the theme, the title should encompass the entire document.
  2. Your title should answer the questions “What,” “Who,” “When,” and “Where.”
  3. Think about how your title can answer the questions “How” and “Why.”
  4. Create a title that conveys the message of your work to your audience.
  5. Don’t only concentrate on the subject. Write some words that define the assignment in more detail than the title.
  6. Except for articles, pronouns, conjunctions, and prepositions, type each word with a capital letter.
  7. Your title should never be underlined. Make the title bold. However, never put these words in brackets or italicize them. In any situation, a reader will notice a good title.
  8. A clever title should not harm the writer’s professionalism. Only use quotation marks around the words in your title if they belong to another author.
  9. Try to write a title that follows the “colon rule” to separate an intriguing topic from a more extensive discussion.
  10. Look for examples from other well-known essayists and evaluate how they construct their writings.
  11. Titles are usually in the form of a phrase but can also be in the form of a question. However, avoid including several questions as it makes the title look authoritative.
  12. Avoid phrases like “study of,” “analysis of,” or similar composition.
  13. Keep the title limited to 10 to 15 substantive words.
  14. If the title is long, then include a subtitle.

Things to keep in mind when composing creative titles for essay

While searching for title ideas for essays, keep the following pointers in mind:

Add your creative touch

The emphasis in academic writing is on being informative. So, it’s imperative to make your title as straightforward as possible since you’re writing for a broad readership (not just your instructor). It’s always good to add little creative touches to form an exciting title. However, avoid titles that are overly cheesy or theatrical at all costs.

Include questions

It’s relatively common to use questions as essay titles. It implores the reader to think deeply about the theme of the essay. However, you must be careful as questions can make the tone of your essay more casual. Also, using too many questions in the title and subtitle may look unprofessional.

Use colon

A colon is frequently used in academic titles to connect concepts and phrases. Before the colon, most people use clever phrases or short quotations. This approach will help you correlate the ideas together effortlessly.

Use metadiscourse sparingly

The term “metadiscourse” refers to a type of language that describes how people think and write. You don’t always have to call attention to the fact that you’re conducting research. Thus, metadiscourse can be utilized in certain situations. But, avoid overusing metadiscourse as it can be trite.

Tips on creating a good essay title

Keep it simple

Make an effort to be precise. The primary purpose of any essay title is to give the document a name. That doesn’t mean you have to tell the complete tale straight away. Consider writing a one or two-sentence synopsis. Be succinct while also being informative. 

Consider a headline in your favorite newspaper or a blockbuster’s motto. Simply utilize a few sensible words to get your reader to the point.

Use the correct terminology

While it’s a good idea to use advanced vocabulary to add spice to your title, it’s equally important to know how to use complex words correctly. If you’re unsure, then it’s always better to stick to more common words. 

You must strike the appropriate balance of simple and complex terminology. Keep in mind that good titles should not have any unnecessary complex word constructions in them. Don’t waste time and just get to the essential point. Use some of the topic keywords as hooks to keep your reader interested in continuing to read.

Avoid jargon and abbreviations

It is not a good idea to use jargon or slang language in academic writing. Also, try to eliminate abbreviations that aren’t well-known. You can use those that are related to the central theme but don’t go overboard. 

Keep in mind that elaborate explanations and superfluous acronyms should not be used to intimidate your reader. If you complicate the title too much, there is always the possibility of turning away your audience. So, stick to something straightforward that is easy to read and understand.

40 Excellent essay titles and examples

We have compiled good essay titles examples that you can use for your next essay:

Argumentative essay title examples

  • Can you learn creativity, or is it an inborn talent?
  • Euthanasia: Is it ethical or unethical?
  • Privatization of government services: Is it a boon or a bane?
  • Diet culture is unhealthy and toxic.
  • Billionaires should not exist.
  • The consequences of drug addiction on the economy and society.
  • The responsibility of global nations to fight terrorism.
  • Dating apps are perpetually changing how we view and behave in relationships.
  • Should the government levy a fat tax on fast food products?
  • The World’s Happiest Countries.

Persuasive essay title examples

  • Overpopulation is not the primary driver of climate change.
  • You are what you eat- Your diet is more important than you realize.
  • The mental health crisis is the next epidemic.
  • The threat of technology to our future generations.
  • The end is near: Why must we stop using plastic?
  • Gun control is crucial for the safety of our children.
  • Why should you consider going vegan?
  • It’s time to legalize the use of marijuana.
  • Plastic surgery is a personal choice.
  • Fat shaming is detrimental to mental health.

Creative essay title examples

  • What makes The Office the most incredible television show?
  • The power of music: How music heals people.
  • The best parenting style.
  • Traveling alone is a self-discovery journey.
  • Social media influencers: The new age superstars of Gen Z.
  • How to decode art? A layman’s guide to the creative arts.
  • The evergreen style icons of every generation.
  • A Cinderella Story: My rags to riches story.
  • What not to do in a marriage?
  • Procrastination: We are our worst enemies.

Expository essay title examples

  • Artificial intelligence is the future of technology.
  • How did Ancient Rome shape the modern world?
  • GMOs can end global hunger.
  • The severe repercussions of the 2008 financial crisis on Millennials and Generation Z.
  • The consequences of World War I and World War II.
  • The Greats of the Renaissance period.
  • The incredible story of Silicon Valley.
  • Indian Elections: How the largest democracy in the world holds elections?
  • How do Ivy League colleges give preference to the rich, white, and famous?
  • The US Tax System is rigged to favor the rich and powerful.

Conclusion

Although titles and headers are frequently overlooked, they are critical components of your essay writing task. They pique your reader’s interest right away and hold it throughout your essay. Investing time in creating excellent titles and headers can help you take your work to the next level.

Finally, if you’re still having difficulties deciding on an essay title, then hire an essay writer. Remember that there’s no shame in asking for help from experienced essay writers. There are a plethora of custom essay writing services available to assist you. They can help you in creating an essay or polishing the one you already have. And most of them charge extremely affordable rates for their services.

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