Headings and subheadings

Headings in Essays -A Definitive Guide and Examples

Essay titles are not just for organization. They can be used to create a sense of progression, highlight key points and provide visual interest. This article will cover the basic types of essays, title examples of each type, characteristics of good titles, and much more.

Why are Headings Important?

The following are reasons why you should why the title page deserves more attention:

  • Headings break up the text
  • Headings help divide your essay into smaller, more manageable parts. This makes it easier to read and understand.
  • They highlight key points
  • Each heading gives the reader a hint of the section’s content. Use this to your advantage and pick headings that clearly state each paragraph’s main argument or theme.
  • They provide visual interest
  • Headings create interest because they help divide the paper into smaller chunks. Furthermore, there are many creative ways that you can present them to reflect your style and personality.
  • They help readers anticipate
  • Headings allow you to create a sense of progression and suspense. Try using headings that hint at the upcoming shift in tone, focus, or genre. This style will help grab and maintain the reader’s attention.
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How to Choose a Good Essay Title

• Consider the essay purpose
• Identify your area of interest
• Consider your audience
• Note down potential titles
• Choose your title

The best essay titles do not come from random sources. The writer must think through and research to find a befitting title. Below are general guidelines for choosing academic essays’ titles:

Consider the essay’s purpose

What is the point of your article? Why are you writing it? What do you want to achieve by creating this article? Identify your purpose first to guide you.

Identify your area of interest

What is your area of interest? Is it a specific theory, person, or event? Addressing these questions will allow you to get a better idea of what to title your essay. Writing an essay that interests you helps your ideas to flow naturally.

Consider your audience

If you choose an essay heading with your audience in mind, everything else will flow. An accurate essay title should reflect the kind of audience you have.

Note down potential titles

The more options you have, the easier it is to choose the best. Come up with a list of possible essay titles. Keep adding new ideas even after you’ve chosen one.

Pick your title

After making all the necessary considerations, choose the most suited title from your list.

Characteristics of a Good Essay Title

• Catchy
• Spot on
• Distinctive
• Hinty
• Stylish
• Without clichés
• Simple and precise
• Answers the 5 W’s

The title page comes first in most academic papers, and an academic essay is no exception. To capture the reader’s attention, you need a catchy and well-structured title. Below are the main qualities of great essay titles:

Catchy: A good title should captivate the reader. Write a topic sentence that stirs interest. Try to make a strong statement or ask a question that will make them want to read more to find out the answer.

Spot on: Make the readers understand what you’re writing about right from the start. A great essay title focuses on the central idea of your paper. Make the heading precise and accurate to ensure there’s no confusion as the reader continues.

Distinctive: It should be unique, and it doesn’t necessarily follow the rules of common English. This will make it stand out from the rest.

Give hints about the content: A good title suggests the content of the essay. It doesn’t give away everything but rather presents a general idea of what the article is about

Stylish: A creative title can help draw attention. Use formatting, punctuation, and capitalization to make it look unique.

Without clichés: Clichés are overused and outdated expressions. They don’t add anything new to the writing. It’s best to stay away from them when composing your essay title. Some examples include “The truth about…, the battle of…, a journey to…, an investigation into, etc.”

Simple and precise: The title should be clear and easy to understand. Don’t make it too long or complicated.

Answers the 5 W’s: The first step is to cover the “what, where, why, when, and how” of the essay. For example, an essay about a certain event should have a title that answers these questions:

• What happened?
• When did it happen?
• Where did it happen?
• Who participated in the event?
• Why did it happen?

Types of Essay Titles and Examples

Argumentative essay titles

Argumentative essays are those that express a point of view and support it. The following are some suggestions for titles:

1. Why violence should be used as a tool to end the conflict in Syria.
2. Why it’s a good idea to ignore the free will of others.
3. Chocolate is a better breakfast food than cereal.
4. Football is the most interesting sport in the world.
5. Homework should be abolished in elementary schools.
6. It’s better to use a Kindle than paper books.
7. Maintaining good grades in college is useless if it prevents you from getting a job.
8. Why social media harms teenagers more than it helps them.
9. Why you don’t need to own a car.
10. Why young adults shouldn’t eat fast food.

If you’re arguing one side of a topic, your title should reflect that position while remaining concise and interesting. If you’re arguing both sides of a topic, it’s best to split the essay into two different titles, one for each argument.

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Persuasive essay titles

Persuasive essays encourage readers to believe something. The following are some examples of persuasive essay titles:

1. Why you should attend college.
2. What are the benefits are of purchasing a sewing machine.
3. Why you should visit Australia.
4. Why you should consider the vegetarian diet.
5. Why it’s beneficial to eat healthily and exercise daily.
6. Why everyone should have a hobby.
7. Why students should take breakfast daily
8. The benefits of drinking at least eight glasses of water daily
9. Why ladies should get married before thirty years of age
10. The benefits of teaching your children how to swim before they’re five

If you’re writing about the benefits of something, be sure to mention it in your title. If you’re writing about the detriments of something, mention that in your title as well.

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Narrative essay titles

Narrative essays share an event from a personal perspective. These are perfect for stories about travel, new experiences, and personal journeys. Some examples of narrative essay titles are as follows:

1. The day I discovered my mom used to be a drug addict.
2. Why I almost missed the trip of a lifetime.
3. My first day of high school in Japan did not go as expected.
4. The day my father got arrested for fraud.
5. How to go camping with a toddler.
6. My summer at the circus school.
7. How I survived a car crash.
8. How to get over your fear of flying.
8. My experience of being the only black student in an all-white school.
9. The day my parents got divorced.

When writing about a personal experience, your title should reflect that. It can be funny, thought-provoking, or both.

Expository essay titles

Expository essays are those that describe something. You can explore the following examples of expository essay titles:

1. The history of origami.
2. The history of the Paralympics.
3. All about the digestive system.
4. A detailed explanation of the female reproductive system.
5. How the internet changed our lives.
6. All about rainforests.
7. The history of chocolate.
8. The functions of the cardiovascular system, the nervous system, and the immune system.
9. The different types of flowers.
10. A detailed explanation of the teenage brain

If your essay is about history, be sure to mention it in your title. You can also mention what you’re writing about more specifically.

Academic essay titles

When you’re writing an academic essay, your title should reflect that. You can write about different things when it comes to academic essays. The following are examples of academic essay titles:

1. Ten reasons why sports are stupid.
2. Twelve ways to get better grades without studying.
3. A letter to my high school principal about the lack of food in the cafeteria.
4. Five reasons why education is pointless.
5. The benefits of setting goals.
6. A list of five ways to make money as a student.
7. The possible pros and cons of online education.
8. Five reasons why high school is the best time of your life.
9. Benefits of having group studies
10. Ten reasons why male tutors shouldn’t tutor female students

Academic essays fall under the formal writing category, so ensure that your topics are ethical and that you stay on topic.

Informative essay titles

Informative essays are those that explain something. These are great for learning about new topics, sharing research on a topic, or communicating ideas. Below are some examples of informative essay titles:

1. How to write a college admissions essay.
2. Why you should purchase a sewing machine.
3. The advantages of traveling alone.
4. Ten tips for starting your own business.
5. Why you should never use public transportation.
6. Seven reasons to travel before turning thirty years of age.
7. A detailed explanation of the life cycle of a butterfly.
8. Four ways to finance your studies.
9. A guide on how to build a chicken coop.
10. Four ways to pass your finals without studying.

When writing an informative essay, you can use your title to explain the main idea of the piece. This will help readers navigate the content and make it easier to find exactly what they’re looking for.

Descriptive essay titles

Descriptive titles use adjectives and give the reader a sense of what to expect. They often start with “how, why, what, when, or where. Examples are:

1. Why you should visit Australia.
2. How to find your way home in a new city.
3. What it’s like to attend a party in Thailand.
4. When to go to the beach in Costa Rica.
5. Where you should visit when in Germany.
6. How a day in the life of a veterinarian technician goes.
7. How to paint a masterpiece.
8. Where to go in Greece.
9. How to travel on a budget.
10. What it’s like to attend a party in Mexico.

Descriptive titles allow the reader to get an idea of what to expect in the essay. It’s an effective way to offer insight into your perspective without giving too much away.

Comparative essay titles

Comparative titles compare two items and explain how they’re different as well as similar. Some comparative title ideas are:

1. The similarities between India and Mexico.
2. What do America and France have in common?
3. How Thailand is like Canada.
4. The differences between Canada and China.
5. How India is like the United States.
6. What do France and Japan have in common?
7. Why Thailand is not like Canada.
8. A list of things that Thailand has in common with Korea.
9. Why America is not like India.
10. How America is different than France.

Comparative titles are effective ways to show how two subjects are alike. They also provide insight into anything different, which can be interesting or useful for readers.

Concluding titles

The concluding title will sum up your argument. It’s the last thing you write in an essay, so it needs to be strong. Concluding titles often start with “in conclusion,” “to conclude,” or “as a result.” Some examples are:

1. In conclusion, there are a few ways to make money as a student.
2. To conclude, traveling before turning thirty is a good idea.
3. As a result, you should visit Vietnam before turning thirty.
4. Lastly, it’s important to research colleges before applying.
5. In conclusion, the sky is blue.
6. To conclude, check out these tips for writing an essay.
7. As a result, I’m excited about college and can’t wait to go back.
8. Lastly, good luck with your studies!
9. Finally, keep these tips in mind when writing an essay.
10. To sum it up, make sure you stay on track when writing an essay.

Concluding titles provide a sense of closure for the reader and let them know that the information has been exhausted. These essays are often interesting to read, and many people desire to learn more about a topic after reading an informative essay.

What is the Importance of Subheadings in an Essay?

  • Subheadings act as guideposts that help readers understand the structure of your article.
  • They also indicate to readers what they can expect in each section.
  • Subheadings bring clarity to the flow of your writing and make it easier for readers to get through.
  • They make it easier for readers to identify the key points and topics discussed in each section.

Some common types of subheadings include the following:

  • Lists
  • Quotes
  • Paragraphs
  • Steps or instructions
  • Formatting
  • Both proofreading and editing
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How to Structure an Essay

Most essays have a similar structure but may exhibit some differences depending on the formatting style used.

APA format for an essay

The essay begins with an introduction that includes a thesis statement. Next are the body paragraphs, and finally, end with a conclusion.

The main body of an essay may include:

  • A topic sentence (possibly more than one)
  • Thesis statement (optional)
  • Subtopics/examples (optional)

Heading levels using the APA or MLA style

Level 1 Heading: The main heading should be centered on the page with one-inch margins. It should be bold, capitalized, and in Times New Roman 12 pt. Font.

Level 2 heading: This should be flush left, bold (not underlined), capitalized, and in Times New Roman 10 pt. Font.

Level 3 heading: It should be indented and italic, not underlined, bold (not capitalized), and in Times New Roman 10 pt. Font.

Level 4 heading: This should be flush left, italic, not underlined, bold (not capitalized), and in Times New Roman 10 pt. Font.

MLA format for an essay

The MLA-style essay begins with a topic sentence that is followed by a colon. The thesis statement comes next, and it usually includes three parts: the general statement, the specific example, and the explanation.

The general statement covers an area of study and is usually a broad topic. The specific example narrows the area of study, focusing on one idea. The explanation explains or analyzes the example that has been set up in the thesis statement. The main body of the essay is then followed by a conclusion that restates the thesis statement.

Sometimes, essays may also have supplementary material in addition to the main body.

The Essay Writing Process

The essay writing process can be summarized in the following steps:

Step 1: Choose an interesting topic.

Step 2: Find a place where you can write, free from distractions.

Step 3: Brainstorm ideas before you start writing.

Step 4: Create an essay outline

Step 5: Draft the essay.

Step 6: Revise until you are happy with the final result.

Bottom Line

As a student, your academic writing skills play a major role in your academic success. This is because you are expected to write several papers in one academic year. Essay writing is one of the most common assignments that students have to undertake.

A great title can make or break your paper. It sets the tone for the rest of your writing and provides valuable information to the reader. The title is the first thing the reader sees, and it should make them want to read more. Choose a great title to avoid writer’s block and other writing woes.

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