Creating Good College Essay Titles: Effective Techniques
If you knew how important your title really was, you’d put a lot more effort into making it great. It contributes to whether or not you get accepted into a certain program, it contributes to a better final grade, and it contributes to a better impression of the content of your paper.
How does one arrive at an effective essay title?
Some of the characteristics you should be looking to put into your title are:
- It should describe the overall content of your paper
- Should reflect the main themes of your paper
- Should draw attention and interest
Once you’ve written the title, be open to changing it if you think of a better idea. Also, look into the different types of titles so you can choose which type would best suit the type of paper you’re writing.
Types of titles and techniques to write them
- Placeholder titles – this is only a temporary title. It’s something you write to stand in for the perfect title, which you haven’t created yet. Your best title will come to you as you write your paper, or even after you’ve finished. Writing the title can be one of the last steps in writing the paper. The title should be proofread as carefully as the rest of the paper.
- Key terms – this technique for making a title for your paper uses a strategy where you take two key terms and combine them into a title. For example, if you are writing a paper about your high school life and how you wrote poetry during the lonely times, you could form a title like, Writing poetry during my Solitary Years. The two key words are writing poetry and solitary years.
- Asking questions – a question in the title does increase reader interest. Make sure you answer the question in the paper. You could even make a compound title with a short question followed by a short answer. Beware of making your title too long. An example of a compound title might be, Can Greece Recover? Economic Development after Financial Collapse.
- Debate Focus – this technique works well for an argument or persuasion type essay. If you are writing a debate-focused paper, try to reflect both sides of the issue in the title.
Spending the necessary time perfecting your title will be worth it in the long run. Try several of the above styles if you’re not sure which is the best one for you and then compare the results.
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