As you name the boat, so shall it float. The same goes for essay titles.
If you have a task at your college class to write a free-format essay, the first challenge you’ll come across will be to give it a proper title.
So, if you are not a professional college essay writer how do you do it the right way? Where should you start?
No worries, we’ve got you covered with our tips and essay title examples for inspiration.
Let’s dive in!
How to Pick the Title for Your Essay?
First, let’s start with the general tips on how to come up with the name of your future paper. In general, you should build it on the topics your professor covers during their class. However, if your knowledge of that is not that profound yet, it might be a real challenge for you.
To make the job easier, we encourage you to follow these steps to find a perfect title for your essay.
1. Talk to your professor
If you have absolutely no idea where to start digging to find the perfect topic for your essay, your go-to person should be your professor, who gave you this task in the first place.
We know - you might feel a bit off asking your instructor to help you because it might make you appear stupid in their eyes, but you should push back these unnecessary worries. If anything, your professor will appreciate how dedicated you are to submitting a high-quality task and will guide you to the perfect topic and title for your essay.
2. Consider the characteristic features of a good title
What is a good title for an essay? Which features does it bear?
Knowing the answers to these questions will help you come up with a catchy topic. After all, the headline is the first thing your essay will be judged by.
Here are a few characteristics you should take into consideration:
- Short. The rule of thumb is five words for an essay title. However, consider the discipline you’re covering. If you’re writing about healthcare, for instance, the title might be longer.
- Credible. The title should reflect a specific topic within a particular discipline, which should be peer-reviewed and supported by trusted scientific resources.
- Nondeclarative. The headline should not give any conclusions.
- Actionable. The topic should encourage the reader to keep on scrolling through your essay.
- Straightforward. The reader should understand clearly what the paper will be about.
Obviously, it can take you quite a while to develop a solid title that fits all the five requirements. If you have no time to play around with different topics, you ask a term paper writer for help - they have vast experience working with different types of essays and will gladly assist you with finding the perfect topic for your task.
3. Think about the tone of your essay
The title should reflect the tone of the essay - it’s a crucial characteristic feature of a convincing headline. We decided to single it out in a separate section to give you some examples of good essay titles as well.
There are nine common tones in writing, which also apply to academic papers. Let’s give a topic example reflecting each of them:
- Formal - “The Legality of Gun Ownership in Protecting Our Lives”
- Informal - “The Event in My Live that I’d Like to Relive”
- Optimistic - “The Bright Future of the U.S. Economy”
- Worried - “The Uncertainty of the U.S. Student Debt: How the Current Administration is Handling the Issue”
- Friendly - “The Unmistakable Advantages of Immigrating to Norway”
- Curious - “How Can Foreigners Open Their Own Business in the U.S.?
- Assertive - “ X Convincing Reasons to Apply for an Internship”
- Encouraging - “The Outlook for the Future: Why the Next Generation will Live Better”
- Surprised - “Is the World Hooked on Populism and Propaganda?”
How can you know the tone of your essay if you haven’t written it yet?
Good point! And that’s precisely why you should not come up with the title until your paper is ready. It’s enough to know the topic and understand the idea to write the text and figure out the headline only after the essay is ready.
4. Keep your reader in mind
When the time comes to work on the title, another thing you need to consider is the person for whom your essay is intended.
The first thing that might come to mind is that it will be your professor. However, it’s not always the case. First of all, your essay might get published somewhere or placed in the college library for others to read. Your instructor might also offer to publish it. Or, you might simply be asked to read your paper in front of the class.
So, make sure you craft a title that lets the reader understand clearly what the essay is about and what value it carries for them.
5. Use copywriting tricks for a catchy headline
To polish your title to perfection, you can employ some copywriting tricks that will make it more catchy and appealing. Let’s take a look at some of the best tips:
- Ask a question. This way, you will leave the answer hanging in the air and encourage the reader to continue with your essay.
- Spark curiosity. Craft the title in a way that would nudge the reader to keep looking for more answers to satisfy the feeling of curiosity.
- Offer a clear benefit. There should be clear value in an essay for the reader, and the title needs to reflect that.
- Use action verbs. These words should motivate you to keep reading and exploring your essay.
If you’re not familiar with how to apply these copywriting tips, you can ask for college paper help - professional writers will aid you with crafting a perfect title that will reflect the nature and value of your essay.
Dos and Don’ts of Crafting an Essay Title
Now that you have a better idea of how to title an essay, let’s round up the main dos and don'ts. Apart from the main rules of not making the title too long and focusing on the reader, you should follow these best practices:
- Do be specific in your title
- Don’t use a topic that’s too broad
- Do make the title clear and straightforward
- Don’t use overcomplicated jargon the reader might not understand
- Do make your title look and sound academic
- Don’t neglect your instructor’s requirements
Let’s compare the following five essay topics and decide what makes them good and bad:
|Bad Essay Titles||Good Essay Titles|
|How Technology Has Impacted Our Lives (too broad and vague)||How Technology Has Impacted The Development of K-12 Education in the U.S. (specific, focused on a particular niche)|
|Casus Belli in Afghan War (uses jargon without explanation)||Casus Belli, or Act of War in Afghan Conflict in 1978-1992 (specific topic, explanation of jargon)|
|The Most Complex Programming Language (not specific, not clear enough)||Malbolge Programming Language and the Complication of Instructing It (clear and straightforward)|
|The Problem of Student Debt in the U.S. and How the Government Has Handled It So Far (too long)||The Problem of Student Debt: Roots of the Issue and Possible Solutions (brief and clear)|
|Harassment and Sexist Attitudes Towards Women in Silicon Valley (contains inappropriate lexicon)||The Roots of the Harassment Due to Gender Stereotypes in Silicon Valley (specific, appropriate)|
As you can see, there’s a clear distinction between a good and a bad essay title, but you can always improve any topic by making it shorter and more straightforward. And, if you have a tough time with your task, you can always get help writing a paper - a professional writer will guide you through the entire process, from devising a title to finishing the essay and putting together the list of resources.
15 Great Essay Title Ideas
Now, let’s take a look at a few creative titles for essays you can steal. We broke all of them down into categories based on the main essay types.
This essay type asks a student to prepare a text describing another person, an object, an experience, an event, or an abstract notion. The goal is to test the student’s general writing skills and the ability to build a logical narrative.
- An Influencer I Look Up to and Why
- 7 Things My Pet Has Taught Me
- What Does It Mean to Appreciate Someone?
- 10 Things I’ve Learned from Traveling to Other Countries
- My Most Prominent Memory from Childhood
As you can see, the descriptive essay topics are mostly focused on the personal experiences of a student. Thus, their goal is to evaluate the level of a student’s writing abilities.
Narrative essays are similar to the descriptive type; their goal is to check how well a student can tell a story. Essay titles can touch upon personal matters and cover broad subject-related topics.
Here are some ideas:
- The Rebellious Act of Guy Fawkes
- The Importance of Discovering of Radium and Polonium for Modern Science
- The Most Common Causes for Natural Disasters
- The Origins of Catholic Wedding Traditions
- An Event that Market a Crucial Turning Point in My Life
The topics for these essays will be more general than, for instance, for the argumentative ones, but they still should focus on a clear subject matter.
Argumentative essays require a student to investigate the topic deeper, provide references and resources to support the statements, and to come to their own logical conclusion. This task tests a student’s critical thinking.
These are just a few examples of argumentative essays:
- Will Reinstating Death Penalty Benefit Democratic Countries in Europe?
- Why Is Politics Almost Always Influenced by Religion?
- X Cases When Art Saved Lives
- Socialism vs. Capitalism: Which One is Better for the U.S. Society?
- The Roots of Inequality in the United States.
These topics require in-depth research and expect a student to express their own opinion on the matter.
Now, as we introduced you to tips and recommendations, you won’t have any problems coming up with a catchy and engaging essay title. Let’s recap these recommendations one more time:
- Ask your professor for help if you don’t feel confident about the topic.
- Consider the characteristics of a good title; it should be short, credible, nondeclarative, actionable, and straightforward.
- Create a title that matches the tone of your essay.
- Keep your reader in mind.
- Use copywriting tricks, such as asking a question, appealing to the reader’s curiosity, offering a clear benefit, and using action verbs.
Hopefully, our small guide will help you craft an essay title that will bring you that A+ you deserve!