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How to Title your Paper

How to Title your Paper

The title of your paper determines if your target audience will want to read your paper. A title can make or break your essay. It is, therefore, necessary to use an eye-catching title for your essay. The purpose of this article is to explain how to title your essay, research paper, article, or even a book. 

Importance of a Good Title for your Paper

A good headline draws the attention of the reader. A good title will engage your teacher or target audience and incentivize them to read the rest of your material. A good headline will encourage your teacher to read the rest of your material and grade your paper objectively.  Titling an essay is different from titling a research paper. The title of an essay focuses on attracting attention. On the other hand, the title of a research paper captures the claim of the paper. 

The first step of titling a paper is brainstorming. When brainstorming, it is necessary to keep in mind that the goal is to get the reader interested in the story. The title should also let the reader know what the paper is about. The heading is a concise summary of the main idea. It should be short but adequately express the main point of your paper. 

Features of a Good Title

  • Interesting- It goes without saying, everyone prefers reading something interesting. 
  • Credible- It is essential to avoid the allure of making a title too catchy that it is no longer believable. A title that does not deliver is terrible for your grade. 
  • Coherent- It is necessary to stay away from strange phrases or complicated structures.
  • Active Voice- Make sure the verbs in your title are active rather than passive.
  • Concise- Make the title short.
  • Appropriate- Regardless of your topic or niche, under no circumstances should you use an inappropriate title. 

Useful Guidelines on How to Create a Good Title

  • The title should reflect the text’s theme: The title should summarize the main point of the essay. 
  • Use Capitalization: Capitalize the first letter of every word with certain exceptions, such as pronouns and prepositions. 
  • Do not underline the title: Since most titles are bolded, underlining them overemphasis them. 
  • Title every section of your paper: Titling the subsections in your paper provides insight into the main title in addition to organizing your work. 
  • Review the final version of the title: Check for grammar, structure, spelling, and so on in your final version. Review to make sure the title gives justice to the text. 

How to come up with a Title for an Essay

While titling a paper is a relatively easy task, a few core principles will make the endeavor as easy as a walk in the park. 

Write the essay first.

Never start with the title. If you write your title first, your essay will be based on it, and it should be vice-versa. Writing the essay first will allow you to develop an appropriate title. 

Consider the style of the paper.

What are you writing about? Why are you writing about that particular topic? Is it an academic paper or a freeform essay? The title should take into account the style of the paper. The tone can be; 

  • Earnest: “The implication of climate change.”
  • Funny: “How dogs love their masters.”
  • Persuasive: “Why communication skills are a must have skill for everyone.” 
  • Informative: “How to title your paper.”

Keep it concise and straightforward.

The goal of a title is to name your paper; there is no point in making it too long and complicated. The easiest way to do this is to summarize your thesis statement since it presents the paper’s central arguments. 

Use relevant Words

Do not focus on using fancy words but rather use the keywords that reflect the main idea of your essay. 

Examples of Good versus Bad Essay Titles

Bad: The Effects of Television: Too broad. 

Good: The Modern-day Babysitter: Television and Child Development: Gives the exact description of what the paper will cover. 

Bad: A Brief History of Subcultures and How they Manifest themselves in the Ever-changing Socio-economic Environment of the 21st Century: Too long and complicated.

Good: Reconsidering Subcultures in the Modern Society; Short and precise.

Mistakes to Avoid

  • Avoid making the title too personal: Keep the essay and the title professional unless explicitly mentioned otherwise. 
  • Do not neglect your teacher’s requirements: ensure you adhere to the instructions of your professor to avoid creating an ominous title that will earn you a poor grade. 

Title-writing is a process that should be treated as such. It encompasses compressing your entire essay into a few words and requires deliberation. 

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