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How to Title an Essay, Complete Guide

How to Title an Essay, Complete Guide

The Do's and don'ts to titling your academic paper. What are the most eye-catching ideas that make the 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.
Having problems with writing a title for an essay? Let EssayPro - professional essay writing service team know, and our experienced academic writers will offer the best examples and papers written from scratch for you!

Table of Contents

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

A title can make or break an essay paper. 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, the tutor will not grade it objectively. Having a catchy attention grabber is crucial when writing an essay as it is the primary thing that readers notice.

Naming an essay is different from titling a research paper. This type of academic assignment focuses more on attracting attention and impressing the reader. A research paper is about supporting a particular claim or finding solutions to the existing problem.
Each student should know how to choose a good title for an essay. Brainstorming is what comes first. When brainstorming, keep in mind your goal is to get the “Oh my god, I want to read the whole story” reaction. After reading a title, the reader should understand what the story will tell. The title is a concise summary of the main topic.
Before starting to sort out ideas in your head, learn more about features every title should have. A good headline must be:

things that must be in a good headline

  • Attention-grabbing
  • Credible
  • Coherent
  • Written in an active voice (in case it contains verbs)
  • Concise
  • Accurate

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

It doesn't take a sensei to compose a catchy essay title. There are a few core principles to be taken into account. The following tips will help you stay on track and avoid 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 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 must be strict and to the point.
If your topic is “Why do people like watching funny cat videos?”, feel free to craft a funny heading. Determine the tone of your essay and base your title on it, considering the topic.
The tone could be:

  • Serious
  • Funny
  • Friendly
  • Strict
  • Persuasive
  • Informative
  • Warm
  • Humorous
  • Melancholic
  • Etc.

Keep It Short and Simple

The main goal of the title is to name a paper. There is no need to tell the whole story in the beginning or provide any useless details. Sum up your paper in a few words! Another way is to sum up the 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 header for your favorite newspaper or a slogan for Coca-Cola.
Use Relevant Words
Do not 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 make any student and young writer benefit. While working on the title, detect the quote related to the central idea of the paper. Type the certain word in the search field of Google and add the word “quote.” A search engine will show numerous web pages with the 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 this way.

Get Help Online

If you are not ready to pay for the online tools, apply a free title generator offered by one of the academic services. Keep in mind such tools are not half as effective as professional writing services like EssayPro.

Final Tips

Discover several more tips from experts!
Never forget about “What,” “Who,” “When,” “How,” “Why,” and “Where” questions (if you start with one of these questions, your title has a chance to be noticed);
Come up with an unexpected image, not related to the selected topic;
Sometimes, starting with the lie increases the chances of a header to catch an eye;
Review our catchy essay title examples.

Bad vs. Good Essay Titles

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

example of a good and bad essay title

Bad: How Television Altered Our World.
GOOD: The Electronic Babysitter: A Social History of the Uses of Television Technology.

BAD: The Ara Pacis Augustae.
GOOD: The Modern Historical Significance of the Ara Pacis Augustae to the City of Rome.

BAD: The Most Poisonous Frog.
GOOD: A Deadly Beauty: The Evolution of Skin Coloration and Toxicity of the Poison Dart Frog.

BAD: A Brief History of Subcultures and How They Manifest Themselves in a Constantly Changing Socio-Economic Environment
GOOD: Reconsidering Counterculture in Contemporary Society

BAD: The Little Mermaid 29 Years Later: Selling a Harmful Sexist Message Through a Vivid and Attractive Image
GOOD: The Projection of Gender Stereotypes in The Little Mermaid

Bad titles fail to give the audience a sense of perspective. They are often generalized and thus 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 of the examples.

30 Catchy Essay Title Examples

Argumentative Essay Titles Examples

  • The importance of family ties
  • Prostitution should never be legalized
  • The Trojan Horse: A closer look at the event
  • It is just a painting: When art matters
  • The drinking age should be higher
  • No point in sentencing imprisoned juveniles
  • Gun ownership made legal to protect our lives
  • Cameras in public places: security measure or violation of privacy?
  • Why is cosmetic surgery a threat to modern teens?
  • Why a physician-assisted suicide (euthanasia) is unethical?

Persuasive Essay Titles Examples

  • Atheists as the most adequate religion
  • When sorrow feels better than excitement
  • Adventures of an introvert: It is better off alone than with other people
  • A tale of love and allergies: Reasons to avoid flowers in spring
  • Never judge an employee by its tattoos
  • Dreamers have a right to stay in the US
  • Heinous crimes deserve nothing but a death penalty
  • How schools can use video games in the learning process
  • It is time for the women to start wearing less-revealing clothing to curb men’s catcalling
  • Hiring a candidate who smokes: pros and cons

English Essay Titles Examples

  • The day I left my childhood behind
  • The power of music: The way heavy metal changed my life
  • Why Buffy the vampire slayer is my hero
  • The appropriate age to start discussing sex
  • Would children be better off alone when being paid for the grades?
  • What is the true age of a personal computer?
  • Which parenting styles work?
  • Various dialects of English language: The bridge between different worlds
  • The impact of same-sex couples on the modern world
  • Instagram: A breakthrough in social media

4 tips on how to title an essay

Need Some Help With Your Essay 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 EssayPro 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, write my essay title!

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