How to Title an Essay, Complete Guide

A title can strengthen or weaken an essay. So, what are the most captivating ideas to get your target audience to begin reading your work? This article aims to discuss how to title an essay, research paper, article, or book.

How to Choose a Good Title For an Essay and Why Is It Important?

A dull heading does not attract anyone’s attention. Your title should engross your instructor or reader and entice them to read the rest of your writing. Without going through the whole paper, your instructor will not grade it accurately. When writing an essay, having a catchy attention grabber is vital because it is the first thing your audience notices.

There is a great difference between titling an essay and naming a research paper. While an essay concentrates on fascinating and exciting its readers, a research paper is about backing a specific argument or finding solutions to existing problems.

Each student should know how to pick an outstanding headline for an essay. The first step to achieving this is brainstorming. As you brainstorm, remember that your target is to get the “ oh my god, I want to read the whole paper” reaction. A reader should comprehend what the paper entails after reading the title. The headline is a brief overview of the main topic. The length of the title is one of the students’ concerns. A title should be short and able to express the primary idea of your paper.

Prior to starting to sort ideas out in your head, let’s study more about the traits each title must have. A good headline must be :

  • Attractive — Undeniably, we all prefer reading something entertaining and engaging.
  • Believable- One mistake that most students make is creating catchy titles that wander away from the truth, making the headline inaccurate. Nothing will upset your instructor more than a title that is untruthful.
  • Easy to read- People dislike complicated and problematic to comprehend titles; this includes your professor. Avoid foreign phrases, jargon, and complex structures.
  • Active voice- In case your headline contains verbs, at all times, ensure they are in active voice instead of passive.
  • Short- Long essay titles can be confusing, so make your headline brief.
  • Accurate- Under no circumstances do not write an inaccurate essay title despite the topic or niche.

Below are other guidelines for how to create a good title:

  • Title each section of writing: In the writing process, develop exciting subheadings to give each paragraph an identity. In addition, they make your work look organized and clear.
  • The title must bear the theme of the text: Pick a headline that summarizes the paper.
  • Capitalize all words with certain exceptions: Capitalize the first letter of each word in the title, leaving behind pronouns, prepositions, conjunctions, and articles.
  • Avoid underlining the title: Usually, most titles come in boldface; therefore, underlining it will result in overemphasis. Writing experts recommend that if you are planning to underline your headline, then avoid bolding it.
  • Review the final version of the title: Remember to do a quick review of the final version of your headline; this entails checking grammar, spelling, punctuation, and structure. To determine whether the title has given justice to the essay, re-read it. Verify if the headline is eye-catching to attract your viewer’s concentration.
  • When using a colon in your title, follow the rules: If you have two fascinating topics, separate them with a colon.

How to Come up with a Title for an Essay: Student’s Guide

Naming an essay can be simple. However, there are a few fundamental principles one needs to take into account. The following tips will assist you in staying on track and avoiding any common drawbacks.

Essay Goes First

Begin with writing the essay first because if you start with a title, you will base your writing on it while it should be vice versa. Writing an essay before picking a heading will give you a clear comprehension of what should make sense to your audience. After completing the essay, read and re-read it to decide on the headline.

The last thing to do is creating a title- this tactic gives you more time to spend on crafting an essay outline, conducting research, or writing the actual paper.

Take the Style of Your Paper into Account

What are you writing about? What is your paper’s writing style, and is it an academic essay or free-form writing like a narrative essay? If your paper’s topic is “ Do people who commit heinous crimes deserve the death penalty?” your title should be strict and straight to the point; do not add any humor to it.

Suppose your title is “ why people like watching funny cat videos ?”, you are free to create a hilarious headline.

Figure out your essay’s tone and ground your title on it while considering the essay’s topic.

The tone can be :

  • Serious — “ The consequences of animal cloning.”
  • Hilarious -“How dogs and cats love their masters.”
  • Amiable — “ Ways of overcoming fear.”
  • Persuasive- “ How listening to music slows down homework productivity.”
  • Informative- “ Ten ways of saving the environment at home.”

Keep it Short and Simple

The primary objective of a title is to name its paper. Avoid telling the entire story in your headline or providing unnecessary information. Summarize your paper in a few words! Another way of doing this is summing up your thesis statement as it represents the central idea of your paper. Take your thesis and squeeze it into 3–4 words. Imagine that you are creating a headline for your favorite magazine or newspaper.

Use Relevant Words

Do not add foreign words to your title! You can use 2–3 keywords in your essay put them together to construct a headline. Also, stay away from jargon and abbreviations.

Involve a Little Bit of SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a tool that can assist any student and an upcoming writer to reap benefits. When working on the title, spot the terms associated with the primary idea of the paper. Type the words into the search field of google and add the word “ quote.” A search engine will show various web pages with in-text quotations that could be helpful. Pick the piece you like. It is possible to know how to make an outstanding title for an essay in this way.

Final Tips

Learn several more tips from experts:

  • Always remember the “What,” “Who,” “When,” “How,” “ Why,” and “ Where” questions (if you start with one of these questions, your title has a chance of getting noticed);
  • Bring forth an unexpected image not associated with the selected topic;
  • Occasionally, beginning with a lie boosts the chances of a headline being able to captivate people;
  • Review our catchy essay title examples.

Bad Vs. Good Essay Titles

The best titles entail someone taking their paper and summarizing it in a few words. A writer should consider their stylistic decisions and essay structure in order to create a good title. Below are examples from a veteran essay to show you the disparities between good and bad titles.

BAD: How Television has changed Our World — Too vast and not informative.

GOOD: The Electronic Babysitter: A Social History of the Uses of the Television- Provides a detailed description of what the essay will entail.

BAD: The Ara Pacis Augustae- Ambiguous for people unfamiliar with Latin.

GOOD: The Modern Historical Significance of the Ara Pacis Augustae to the City of Rome- Here, the reader comprehends what the rest of the paper will be about.

BAD: The Most Poisonous Frog- It still contains vague information.

GOOD: A Deadly Beauty: The Evolution of Skin Coloration and Toxicity of the Poison Dart Frog — It’s clear.

BAD: A Brief History of Subcultures and How They Manifest Themselves in a Constantly Changing Socio-Economic Environment- Too long and complicated.

GOOD: Reconsidering Counterculture in Contemporary Society- Informative enough, short, and to the point.

BAD: The little Mermaid 29 Years Later: Selling a Harmful Sexist Message Through a Vivid and Attractive Image- Use of inappropriate language.

GOOD: The projection of Gender Stereotypes in The Little Mermaid. Appropriate language.

Bad headlines are unsuccessful in giving a reader a sense of perspective. Most times, they are generalized and, therefore, unfinished. Putting key details and structure to your title will make it descriptive and persuasive.

Mistakes to Avoid

  • Stay away from negative themes, sensitive issues, and unethical or immoral subjects.
  • Avoid making your hostile past public: Your negative past experiences should remain private, do not include them in your writings.
  • Avoid being too personal: As discussed earlier, your bad past belongs to you
  • Avoid divulging it in your paper. Keep it professional by excluding your bad experiences/ past.
  • Do not disregard your instructor’s requirements: Make sure you comprehend your professor’s requirements; if you don’t, you might end up picking the wrong title. This might result in you getting a bad grade leading to frustration.

After exploring how to write a title for an essay, it is time to move on and review some examples.

80 Catchy Essay Title Examples

Here are several great titles for essays to motivate you in creating your headline.

Examples of Argumentative Essay Titles

  • Why is Cosmetic Surgery a Threat to Modern Teenagers?
  • Why Euthanasia is Unethical
  • The Drinking age Should be Higher
  • The Trojan Horse: A Close Look at the Event
  • Prostitution Should Never be Legalized
  • The Significance of Family Ties
  • Should Guns be Allowed in Campuses?
  • Gun Ownership is Legal to Protect our Lives
  • There is No Point in Sentencing Juveniles
  • It is Just a Painting: When Art Matters
  • Cameras in Public Places: Security Measure or Violation of Privacy
  • Should Fast Foods be “sin taxed” Like Cigarettes are?

Examples of Persuasive Essay Titles

  • Illegal Immigrants Have a Right to Stay in the US
  • Hiring a Candidate who Smokes: Merits and Demerits
  • Never Judge an Employee by Their Tattoos
  • When Sorrow Feels Better Than Excitement
  • How Schools Can Use Video Games in the Learning Process
  • Heinous Crimes Deserve Nothing but the Death Penalty
  • A Tale of Love and Allergies: Reasons to Avoid Flowers in Spring
  • It is Time for Women to Start Wearing Less-revealing Clothing to Curb Men’s Catcalling.
  • Why is Studying Cursive Relevant in Elementary School? Pros and Cons
  • How can the Government of the US Solve the Immigration Problem?
  • Adventures of an Introvert: Life is Better off Alone than With Other People
  • The United States Should Adopt a Policy of Non-involvement in Global Conflicts

Examples of Creative Essay Titles

  • The Appropriate Age to Start Discussing Sex
  • Which Parenting Styles Work?
  • Instagram: Its Influence on Young People
  • What is the True Age of Personal Computer?
  • Why Buffy the Vampire Slayer is my Hero
  • The Day I Left my Childhood Behind
  • The Various Dialects of the English Language: The Bridge Between Different Worlds.
  • Would Students Be Better Academic Performers If Paid for Good Grades?
  • The Power of Music: The Way Heavy Metal Changed my Life
  • The Effect of Same-Sex Relationships on the Modern World
  • The Day I Faced my Fears
  • Oversheltering kids: The Consequences of Excessive Care on the Society

Examples of Catchy Essay Titles

  • How to Manage Your Firm Like a Mafia Manager
  • The Position of Mathematics in the History of Social Sciences
  • Virtual Reality and the Possibility of Time Travel
  • How to Make it Big in the Real Estate Business
  • Elon Musk: Genius or Insane?
  • North and South Korea: The Tale of Two Countries After Years of Conflict
  • Artificial Intelligence: How it Can Potentially Help or Destroy Humanity
  • E-Commerce: Multi-Million- Dollar Virtual Business Empire
  • Modern Technology Can Solve Ancient Problems that Date Back Thousands of Years
  • How to Raise Responsible Children in the 21st Century to be Happy

Examples of Research Paper Titles

  • Outsourcing for Huge Companies
  • College Tuition Planning for High School Students
  • Cybersecurity in the Modern World
  • The Impacts of Homeschooling for Teenagers
  • Ethics Being Paramount to One’s Feelings
  • White-Collar Crime on Wall Street
  • Online Retail Companies in the 21st Century
  • College Admission Policies in American Colleges
  • How Quarantine has Affected Small Businesses
  • E-Business for Developing New Directions in Bookstores
  • The Importance of Search Engine Optimization for Companies Today
  • The Significance of Multilingual Education for Students
  • How to Deal with Alzheimer’s Patients With Care

Examples of College Essay Titles

  • Is Mobile Telephony Changing the Way We Communicate?
  • Is Brain Damage From Drugs Reversible?
  • Illegal Immigrants in the US in 2021
  • The Problem of Homelessness in Modern Society
  • The Consequences of Marijuana on the Brain
  • Is Satirical and Comedic News a Good Way to Stay Informed?
  • How Can Learning How to Do Lucid Dreaming Help You?
  • Is it Worth Accumulating a Huge Debt to Achieve Higher Education in the US?
  • What is “ Fake News” and How Does it Affect the Media?
  • Is There Such a Thing as “ Unbiased Reporting” and How Does One Find It?
  • What the Best Role Is for News Reporters in Our Digital Era and How to Adhere to that Role.

English Essay Title Examples

  • How Does Rehabilitation Impact the Inmates?
  • Which Parenting Styles Work?
  • The Day I Left my Childhood Behind
  • Instagram: A Breakthrough in Social Media
  • Why Buffy the Vampire Slayer is my Hero
  • What is the True Age of a Personal Computer?
  • The Inappropriate Age to Start Discussing Sex
  • The Influence of Same-Sex Couples on the Modern World
  • The Power of Music: The Way Heavy Metal Changed my Life
  • Various Dialects of English Language: The Bridge Between Different Words
  • Discrimination of Black Women in Modern-day America

Below are things you need to remember for your title:

  • Your title should be an attention grabber
  • It reflects the tone of your essay
  • It should comprise some keywords from your essay
  • You readers need to comprehend what your essay entails



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