How to Title an Essay, Complete Guide

A title can make or break an essay. So, what are the most eye-catching ideas to make a target audience want to start reading your paper? The goal of this article is to explain how to title an essay, research paper, article, and even a book.

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How to Choose a Good Title for an Essay and Why Is It Important?

A boring headline does not catch anyone’s attention. Your headline should engage your teacher or reader and incentivize them to read the rest of the paper. Without reading the entire work, a teacher will not grade it objectively. Having a catchy attention grabber is crucial when writing an essay, as it is one of the first things that readers notice.

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Naming an essay is different from titling a research paper. An essay focuses more on attracting attention and impressing its readers. A research paper is about supporting a particular claim or finding solutions to an existing problem.

Every student should know how to choose a good title for an essay. Brainstorming is what comes first. When brainstorming, keep in mind that your goal is to get the “Oh my god, I want to read the entire story” reaction. After reading the title, a reader should understand what the paper is about. The title is a concise summary of the main topic. How long should a title be for an essay? Well, less is always better, but the title should indeed express the main point of your work.

Before starting to sort ideas out in your head, let’s learn more about the features every title should have. A good headline must be:

Here are other rules for how to create a good title:

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How to Come up with a Title for an Essay: Student’s Guide

Titling an essay can be easy, but there are a few core principles to be taken into account. The following tips will help you stay on track and avoid any common pitfalls.

Essay Goes First

Never start with a title! If you write it before the rest of the text, it will be based on it, and it should be vice versa. Writing an essay before choosing a heading will give you a clear understanding of what should make sense to the reader. Re-read the finished paper several times to decide on the title.
The last thing to create is a title – such strategy will give more time to spend on crafting an essay outline, conducting research, or writing the paper itself.

Take the Style of Your Paper Into Account

What are you writing about? What is the style of your paper, and is it an academic essay or a free-form essay like a narrative essay? If the topic of your essay is “Do people who commit heinous crimes deserve the death penalty?” your title should not be humorous; it should be strict and to the point.

If your topic is “Why do people like watching funny cat videos?”, feel free to craft a funny title. Determine the tone of your essay and base your title on it—in consideration with the essay’s topic.

The tone can be:

Keep It Short and Simple

The main goal of a title is to name its paper. There is no need to tell an entire story in the title, or provide any useless details. Sum up your paper in a few words! Another way to do this is to sum up your thesis statement, as it represents the main idea of your essay. Take your thesis and squeeze it into 3-4 words. Imagine that you are creating a title for your favourite newspaper or a slogan for Coca-Cola.

Use Relevant Words

Don’t use fancy words! Take 2-3 main words (keywords), put them together, and stop wasting your time. Avoid jargon and abbreviations.

Involve a Little Bit of SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is something that can help any student and young writer reap benefits. While working on a title, detect the words related to the central idea of the paper. Type the words into the search field of Google and add the word “quote.” A search engine will show numerous web pages with in-text quotations that could be useful. Select the fragment you like. It is possible to learn how to make a creative title for an essay in this way.

Get Help Online

If you are not ready to pay for any online tools, apply a free title generator offered by one of the academic services you can find on the web. Keep in mind that such tools are not half as effective as a professional writing service .

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Final Tips

Discover several more tips from experts:

Bad vs. Good Essay Titles

The best essay titles take papers and sum them up in a few words. To create a good one, a writer must consider their stylistic decisions and essay structure. Here are some examples from a veteran essay writer to show you what differentiates good and bad essay titles.

BAD: How Television has Changed Our World – Too vast and not informative.
GOOD: The Electronic Babysitter: A Social History of the Uses of the Television – Gives an exact description of what the essay will be about.

BAD: The Ara Pacis Augustae – Unclear for people who do not know Latin.
: The Modern Historical Significance of the Ara Pacis Augustae to the City of Rome – Here the reader understands what they will be reading about.

BAD: The Most Poisonous Frog – Not clear enough.
: A Deadly Beauty: The Evolution of Skin Coloration and Toxicity of the Poison Dart Frog – It’s clear.

BAD: A Brief History of Subcultures and How They Manifest Themselves in a Constantly Changing Socio-Economic Environment – Too long and complicated.
: Reconsidering Counterculture in Contemporary Society – Informative enough, brief, and to the point.

BAD: The Little Mermaid 29 Years Later: Selling a Harmful Sexist Message Through a Vivid and Attractive Image – Inappropriate language.
: The Projection of Gender Stereotypes in The Little Mermaid – Appropriate language.

Bad titles fail to give an audience a sense of perspective. They are often generalized and therefore incomplete. Adding key information and structure to a title will make it informative and convincing.

After exploring how to write a title for an essay, it is time to move on and review some examples.

Mistakes to Avoid

70 Catchy Essay Title Examples

Below are some good titles for essays to inspire you for creating your own title.

Examples of Argumentative Essay Titles

Examples of Persuasive  Essay Titles

Examples of Creative Essay Titles

Examples of Catchy Essay Titles 

Examples of Research Paper Titles

Examples of College Essay Titles

English Essay Titles Examples

Title-writing is a process, and you should treat it like that. While writing your essay, you may work like a painter who has space, but when creating your title, you need to compress your entire message and topic into just one simple, brief yet clear and catchy phrase. Take your time to not rush it—of course, if your deadline allows you.

Here are things you need to remember for your title:

Need Some Help With Your Essay’s Title?

Sometimes, even after reading your essay front to back, the title doesn’t pop into your head. Some concepts are hard to sum up in a couple of words. We get, we all have writer’s block some time. If you are really struggling to come up with a captivating essay title. Feel free to contact us and we will provide you with a writing help at a moment’s notice. With the years of essay writing experience, titling becomes second nature, so you no longer need to worry about having a catchy headline on your paper, just feel free to send the request: Please, do my homework title!

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