Why is it so hard to think of an appropriate essay? It turns out that coming up with a title isn’t easy, but there are some tips you can follow that will help you find one.
First off, don’t panic if you have no idea what the topic of your paper is going to be about before starting on the introduction section. A lot of times, people will start writing their introduction or even the whole essay first. Sometimes it’s easier to decide on a topic later on than before.
All the same, titling your essay ought not to be such a sweaty affair. The guidelines provided here will help you find a great essay title without breaking a sweat.
Components of Essay Title
|• The hook|
• Topic keywords
• Focus keywords
An essay title consists of a few words packed with the power to capture your reader’s attention and make them want to read your essay. Below are the three main components of an essay title: The hook, topic keywords, and focus keywords.
The hook is the part of your essay’s title that grabs the reader’s attention and makes them curious about what you will be writing about. You want the title to sound interesting. It can be anything from a quote to a rhetorical question or piece of information about something you’re about to discuss.
The topic keywords are the keywords of your essay that answer the “what” question. It helps readers know what they will learn after reading your essay.
Focus keywords are the words that describe most major points of your essay. They answer the why or when of the essay. These words should be highlighted in your title as these are the ones most important to your paper.
Valuable Tips on How to Title an Essay Correctly
A good essay makes the reader want to read more. One way to achieve this is through a well-structured title. Below are tips on how to title your paper effectively.
Essay first, title last
Some people prefer to write in reverse order, starting with the essay title and ending with the introduction. This technique is called the essay first, title last approach. It is the easiest way to write an essay because you don’t overthink the heading.
If you’re struggling to find a good essay topic, don’t force yourself to come up with one. Take your time and mull over the possibilities. Titling your essay after you have done most of the writing often makes it easier to come up with a good topic for your paper.
Make use of the thesis statement
The thesis statement is the sentence that you wrote in your introduction section. It will generally contain most of the keywords to be used in your essay title. Referring to your thesis statement during titling will allow you to highlight the most important words in your essay.
Embrace brevity and simplicity
Sometimes the simplest words speak volumes. Avoid using complicated words or strange phrases that will make your title hard to understand. Make sure that your essay’s topic keywords are easily identifiable.
Be brief enough to allow the topic keywords and focus keywords proper highlights. Nobody wants to read a whole paragraph in the name of a title.
Avoid short forms
Avoid using acronyms, abbreviations, or contractions. Instead of writing “N/A,” write “not applicable.” It is better to write “three weeks” rather than “3w”.
Short forms have their place, but using them in your title without explanation will confuse your reader.
Convey the tone of your writing
The topic keywords and focus keywords help to convey your essay’s tone. If you are writing a paper on “how to save money,” using words like “frugal” and “thrifty” will give your essay a more serious tone.
Also, if you’re handling a serious topic, avoid unnecessary humor in the title, as this may put off your readers before they even start. Most students miss it when it comes to reflecting the essay tone in the title.
Remember, not all your readers are conversant with your subject or field of specialization. Using complex words might put your readers off, yet a title is meant to woo them into reading the entire story. Professional writers know how to use simple words to create a great title.
Make it catchy and clever
Nobody wants to read a boring, run-of-the-mill title. The best titles are catchy and evocative. Some students casually lift a quote from their essay to the title, which is not always effective. The use of quotes should be supported by clever wording that makes your title attractive.
Avoid using tricky words or complicated terms that your readers might not be familiar with. Using such words will make you look bad and may lower your grading.
Use an active voice
Titles that use an active voice tend to be more interesting and express the writer’s confidence. The key to using the active voice is to avoid being too wordy. Also, opt for short words that will give your title a punch.
For example, instead of writing “There are two forms of active voice,” write “Active voice has two forms.”
Thoughtfully include a quote
Titles that are adorned with appropriate quotes get more attention. Quotes are great ways of pushing persuasive points without coming off too abrasive. However, avoid using quotes that other writers have used.
Imaginative and witty titles often stand out. The use of simple words to express complicated topics is a great way to create a compelling title. Creativity gives our title the punch that you need to stir the reader’s curiosity.
What are the Characteristics of a Good Essay Title?
• Short and simple
• Search engine appropriate
• Has the right words
• Answers the questions how and why
Attention-grabbing. A good essay title gets the attention of the reader. It should leave the reader wanting to know more about your writing.
Short and simple. Nobody wants to read long, drawn-out titles. Evocative but straightforward words are more effective than complicated ones.
Search engine appropriate. Ensure that the title is SEO-friendly if you want your writing to be seen by a wider audience. You ensure this by using keywords in your title.
It has the right words. Using appropriate words in your headline is mandatory for your title to play its attention-grabbing role in your paper.
It Answers the how and why questions. A good title should answer the questions of how and why. This will help your reader know that they are on the right track since you have answered their first two questions.
Succinct. A good title is easy to digest in one look. It should be short but accurate. Moreover, it is not overly descriptive.
Accurate. A good title is accurate and does not require clarification from the reader. Using long words that need clarification kills your title’s essence.
Why Care About the Essay Title?
Whether you’re doing commercial, fun, or academic writing, titles play a major role in your essay writing process. Your writing skills will be gauged right from the way you formulate your headings. A heading is a door that ushers readers into your work and bad titles fail in this role. Below are some of the main reasons why you should pay extra attention to your essay title:
- The title is the first thing that your reader sees. It is what draws them in and makes them want to read more about what you have written. If the title is unappealing, you might lose your reader’s attention and give them no reason to read further.
- An essay title gives the reader an idea of what to expect in the rest of the paper. A reader decides if the essay is relevant to them from the headline.
- The title is what inspires your reader to highlight or share your work. The best essays inspire others, which you achieve by making your title interesting and creative.
- A well-optimized heading helps place your essay on the search engine’s map. By using the proper focus and topic keywords, the search engines can quickly locate your piece and avail it to your target audience.
Different Types of Essays and How to Title Them like an Expert
There are various essay types, and we will explore them to show you how to use the correct heading.
|• How-to essays|
How-to essays: The title should include a verb and be in the first person singular and present tense form. For example: “How to make a perfect chocolate cake.”
Persuasive essays: Your title should emphasize the benefits of your topic. It should also include a strong word to grab your audience’s attention. For example: “Unpacking How adverts are killing our society.”
Descriptive essays: A descriptive essay provides detailed information on a particular issue. Your title should explain the topic by not limiting it to the name of the subject. For example: “The world as I see it.”
Expository essays: In an expository essay, it is important to be informative. Your title should include the specific subject that you will be writing about in your paper. For example: “How time management can build your career.”
Argumentative essays: An excellent argumentative essay aims to convince the reader of your point. Argumentative essay titles usually include a strong word like “Why” or a strong phrase like “The reason behind it.” For example: “Why we need to stop the use of plastic.”
Narrative essays: A narrative essay is usually written in an anecdotal style. It is a mix of feelings and thoughts on a particular event or experience. In narrative essays, your title should include the plot of your story and characters. For example: “The day my family almost died.”
Reflective essays: A reflective essay is where you write about your personal experiences. The paper reflects on how the event transformed your life. Your title should include the transformation of your life because of the event. For example: “The day my life turned upside down.”
How to Title an Essay Optimally Using Keywords
Keywords are essential in your essay’s title because they carry the information you want to give to the reader. You can use keywords when writing an essay title by placing them at the beginning of each word. The use of keywords enables your essay to be found easily by search engines.
Identify the most important keywords in your essay and highlight them with a different color. You can also bold them for emphasis.
For example, “How to make a perfect chocolate cake.”
You can change the title by adding the keyword “chocolate” at the beginning of each word.
Your new title will be “Chocolate: How to make a perfect cake.”
This step makes the keywords more memorable and understandable.
How to Write a Good Essay Title with a Creative Approach
Your essay’s title needs to be catchy and creative to attract your audience to the topic.
Creatively writing your essay title can be done in the following ways:
- Using a quote from the topic. Using a famous saying and adding a twist to it. Making a play on words.
For example, let’s take the essay topic “Is time management really important?”
Instead of writing the essay title “How to manage time,” you can use the quote “Time management is important” and twist it into “Time Management is Timeless.”
This simple tweak makes your essay more interesting to read by putting the time management theory into practice.
- You can also make a play on words by changing the punctuation.
For example, instead of “My family is my backbone,” you can write “My Family, My Backbone.”
This technique makes your essay’s title more creative and catchy.
- The last way to make your essay title creative is by using an analogy.
For example, instead of “How to write a winning essay,” you can use the analogy “How to catch a dream.”
It makes the essay title more relatable to your topic by relating it to your analogies.
Things to Avoid When Titling your Essay
|• Too many keywords|
• Unvaried keywords
• Colloquial or slang words
• Complex language
• Misleading or false keywords
- Too many keywords– Overused keywords make your title look like spam, and search engines will ignore it.
- Unvaried keywords-Repeating keywords in the headings is boring. The readers and the search engines won’t like it. Try to use different variations of the focus keywords in the headings after the main.
- Colloquial or slang words– Colloquial or slang words make the reader feel alienated if they aren’t familiar with such language.
- Writing in complex language– Using complicated words makes it hard for the audience to understand what your essay is about.
- Including misleading or false keywords– Misleading keywords make readers think your paper is about one thing, only to find that it’s about a completely different thing. Such an experience puts off the reader and can cost you an audience, especially if you’re a commercial writer.
- Vagueness-A title should be specific to the point where your readers should know what they should expect from it. Vagueness also comes from being too general in your title. For example, “How to get organized” is too broad because it can mean anything. Instead, write, “How to organize your working space.”
Some essay title examples you can explore:
“Digital Communication is Dying.” (Sarcastic)
“Why Marriage is More Important Today.”
“How to Win an Argument”
“Can you really be Funny on Google?”
“Is time management really important?”
“The day my life turned upside-down.”
“How to catch a dream.”
“My family, my backbone.”
“Chocolate: How to make a perfect cake.”
“Why censorship is actually good for us. (Satire)”
“Death is only the beginning.”
“How to build a pyramid.”
“What if books went extinct?”
“How to win your ex-girlfriend back.”
“Is it possible to go on a diet without exercising?”
“Are selfies bad for us?”
Titles are important because they give the readers an idea about what to expect or where to focus their attention. Knowing how to title an essay will help you highlight your topic keywords and draw your readers into reading more of it.
Remember, keep it simple, informative, and engaging. For titles, avoid swearing, jargon, long strings of symbols, and boring terms like “essay,” “paper,” etc. Your title is your essay’s face. Make it count.