Solid Advice On How To Name Your Essay

When you are writing an essay, whether it is narrative, descriptive, expository or persuasive, one of the most important parts of the essay is the title, which can also be one of the most difficult components to write. You can seek professional assistance with your title, you can write it on your own, or you can combine both methods. Either way, your title should:

  1. Make your essay stand out and intrigue your potential readers
  2. Give your reader an idea of what to expect

Start with a working title and write your essay. When your essay is complete, you will have all of the information you need to create your title. There are a couple of general rules for titles: don’t make them too short or too long, have the tone of the title match the tone of the essay and make sure that the title represents what your essay actually says. And remember that just because you finalize your title after the paper is finished, that does not make it an afterthought.

When your essay is complete, you can pay someone to create your title for you, or you can seek the help of an expert in your school: another professor or teacher, a librarian or writing instructor. Expert help is also available online. There are several services that will work with you, or you can take your chances with a title generator. These are very inconsistent about providing proper results, but they can give you a starting point. One generator, when given “cancer” as the essay topic, produced the title, “Suppressing Nice Objectification: Verisimilitude and Setting in Cancer.” Rest assured, you can do better than that on your own!

There are three aspects to title that you will want to follow: hook, key terms, and setting:

  • Hook: The hook is the creativity that draws readers in. Use quotes, keywords, puns, imagery, pop culture references, metaphor, irony or contradictions – whatever is appropriate for your intended audience. For example, a paper about nuclear weapons may be titled, “The Nuclear Issue Explodes,” or you could borrow a tagline from the show “Scandal,” and write, “The Secret is Out: Congressional Perks and their Consequences for the US Budget.”
  • Key Words: Include keywords from your essay in the title to tie it all together. Look for synonyms that will pack more punch. If your essay is about children who don’t get enough to eat, don’t say, “Starving children in US cities.” Use keywords from your essay and create the title: “Food Insecurity, Urban Agriculture, and After-School Programs: Feeding the Children of the United States.”
  • Setting: Where, who, and when is the essay about? Include the appropriate information to give your reader context. In the above example, the reader knows that you are talking about children and that they live in the United States, most likely in cities.

The title is the first thing that people see of your essay; give them a good idea of what they will be reading about, and draw them in with a captivating, accurate title that will tell them what to expect.

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