How to Write

How to Title an Essay and Grab the Reader’s Attention Right From the Word Go

How to Title an Essay
Eric Stelee
Last updated:
Nov 7, 2022
Nov 7, 2022

Take a moment to think about an essay title like a billboard. Isn't it an advertisement, too?! A good title catches the reader's attention and makes them eager to read more and discover what your essay offers. That's why it's important to know how to title an essay and how to make it informative and creative.

Your heading is the first thing the reader sees. Your job is to make them think, 'This is going to be interesting' rather than, 'Oh, it seems very boring.' In this article, we will teach you how to get the reactions you want the readers to have – ‘Amazing!’, ‘What an interesting essay title!’, ‘I’ll definitely read this one till the end.’ If that is the kind of sentiment you want your audience to have, then let’s get down to reading!

Basic Elements of an Essay Title

A misleading essay headline can make or break your paper's quality. That's why your words can be vital for the success of the entire work. But who wants to spoil their essay quality by choosing the wrong title?! To avoid this from happening, let's learn the basic elements of essay headings:

Intriguing hook. A hook creatively introduces an essay to readers. Do you prefer reading content with boring headlines, or are you more inclined to opt for something more eye-catching? Best essay titles are crafted from a catchy hook that acts like bait to draw the reader's attention.

Topic keywords. The first step to creating a great essay title is to find a few words that describe your paper's topic. A thesis statement is the best place where you can find them. For example, if your topic is electro-mobiles, your keywords can be – engine, electric car, charging, eco-friendly, etc. Topic keywords are the core of your essay; they identify the concepts you'll be exploring and answer the question 'What?'

Focus keywords. Once you figure out the topic, the next step is to make a title as specific as possible. This component answers the questions 'where' and 'when' to tell the place and time. This way, you can make the heading more professional.

For now, you are a step closer to knowing the ins and outs of an essay title creation that truly grabs the reader's attention.

What Makes a Great Essay Title?

The essay title is a critical element in writing that college students should master to produce excellent academic papers. It would help if you considered its characteristics to construct a creative title that stokes the reader's curiosity. Some may think it's a simple task, but it takes more effort than anticipated. To make it easier for you, let's go through each character that makes good essay titles:

great essay title

Grabs Attention and Engages Readers

When chosen carefully, a catchy headline can draw in the readers. It should capture the attention of those who wouldn't typically read the topic. You can use different methods to develop an eye-catchy hook:

Metaphors. Coming up with a good analogy to make your essay's heading more memorable isn't difficult. The important thing is to explain that metaphor, which is a transfer of meaning, in your paper. Your essay title is a hook; if you deceive the reader's expectations, they won't go through the rest of your well-written essay.

Unexpected expressions. This type of heading can catch a reader's curiosity. Seeing something in the title that wasn't expected to be there typically pushes them forward to understand more about it.

Contradictions. With contradiction, you can create a title with the opposite meaning of your main idea. This hook can grab the reader's attention in an argumentative essay to determine how you will state your central idea.

If it's still confusing for you to grasp the essay title writing basics, making you wonder, 'Is there anyone who can write paper for me?' You can always use our MBA essay writing service or economics paper writing service to do that job for you.

Clearly Stated and Concise

There is no need to tell the whole essay story in your title; you should just summarize your paper in a few creative words. The best practice is to divide the thesis statement into 4-5 words. Try to be as specific as possible; a good essay title should be short and simple.

Avoid using fancy words; start writing with a couple of keywords and put them together. No one likes complicated and tricky essay titles. So, try to stay away from strange phrases and complex structures.

Most students make mistakes by trying to make essay headings catchy and end up straying away from the truth. It's an inaccurate practice that can destroy your entire story. To construct good titles, they should mostly come from your essay's topic, thesis statement, and keywords.

Written in Active Voice

IIf your title contains a verb, always make sure it's in an active voice. Passive voice often confuses readers; giving them a clear idea of what they will read in your academic work would be better. For example, instead of writing, 'Is pollution of nature caused by cars' exhaust?' you can say, 'How does car exhaust contribute to the pollution of nature?'

Titles speak volumes about your academic essay. That's because it's worthwhile to make it perfect. If you want to bring your essay title prowess to the next level, you should be aware of every characteristic it has. This way, it gets easier for you to complete this part of the story, paper, blog article, or any type of assignment you're up to.

Promises Advantages to the Readers

Your aim in creating good essay title examples is to grab the reader's attention. But with that intention, it should also promise them some advantages. For Instance, when you are reading a title that catches your interest, sometimes it isn't enough to make you go through the whole writing. Maybe because you don't have time for it, but if that title also gives the feeling that it will be informative, you will save it to read for later. That's why the title needs to be creative and informative at the same time.

If you can't make good essay titles yet, don't feel bad about yourself. Sometimes, even professional writers experience writer's block while thinking of an ideal heading. What matters is to overcome it, use your writing skills and create a title for an essay that everyone should be willing to read.

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Avoids Acronyms and Jargons

For now, we already know that an essay focuses on attracting attention. But it should be done accurately. More often than not, the specific essay title ideas sound more creative for you while using some kind of jargon, but it's not common in academic writing. An inaccurate essay title can break the overall quality of your paper.

You should also avoid writing about any unethical or immoral subjects. It may be an interesting topic for you to discuss, but it can't be done in narrative and descriptive essays or any kind of academic writing.

Using acronyms in your creative titles isn't the best practice, either. Even if it's a known acronym for everyone, you shouldn't write it anyway. For example, if you want to use the word 'NASA' in your title, which is an acronym, the right way to do it is to write the full name – 'National Aeronautics and Space Administration.'

How to Come up with a Title for an Essay in 5 Easy Steps?

good essay titles

Different types of essays have the same pattern for writing titles. So, for example, if you are writing a descriptive essay now and tomorrow, you need to write a narrative essay. You don't have to use different rules to create their titles. But for the research paper, you need more other details.

I guess you already know the main characteristics of great essay titles. Now, we can guide you on how to create one yourself. Let's define the steps how to come up with a good title for an essay:

Think About Your Audience

Of course, while writing any essay or paper, you always think about who reads it. It's crucial because you should match their interests to impress them. The same works for the title, too. Think about who will read your writing while choosing a headline. What is most likely to appeal to them? Is this paper going to the professor who loves humor? Then use one. Analyze the writing style your readers like, match it and use it to create a title for an essay.

You are crafting your writing for a specific audience; think from their perspective and write a title that can grab enough attention.

Go Through Your Essay Assignment Guidelines Again

While writing students often dive into creative thinking that can deviate from the main guidelines. To avoid that happening, always go through your essay instructions several times. Check if there are any special requirements for appropriate titles and follow them. In such a way, you can always be sure to stay in the right direction with your essay title.

Read through Your Essay Again

It's typically rare for a good title to come to your mind suddenly; it often needs to be worked on. Great titles are usually crafted from the keywords, thesis statement, and essay topic. Write them down and think of how you can connect them all creatively. These words reflect the central idea and main concept of your essay. Then, re-read your writing, join the main words into sentences and convert them into shorter phrases. Doing this way, you can create a title for an essay that will be both creative and informative.

Restate Your Title

While working on headlines, many essay title ideas can pop up in your mind. Some of them can be fully formed, but whichever you choose, write it down, expand and edit several times. Make the title as simple and informative as possible. Be direct and never mislead the readers, or you can lose their trust; plus, it can only harm your paper's quality. Edit your title until you find it catchy, too. Be enthusiastic and use all your writing skills to create the best headline for your work.

Write Your Title Last

The best advice on how to make a creative title for an essay is exactly like this. Then, when you finish the work, you already have the main concept and all the keywords from which you can craft a great essay headline. This way, you can be more precise, too, as you already know your whole paper.

Now, you have all the essay titling to make the whole writing process easier for you. But, of course, if it still doesn't help, you can always use a professional writer to help you.

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Essay Title Formats

We already discussed the characteristics of an essay and guided you on how to create one, but did you know there are different headline formats? Do you know which one you were assigned with? The most commonly used formats are APA and MLA. So let's define both of them to clear all the confusion:

Essay Title Page in APA

You’ve already learned the how-to essay title essentials, so it’s time to proceed to the formatting rules. Now let's see in which format you prefer to write.

In APA format, your title should be in the title case. That means every word that isn't prepositions, articles, coordinating conjunctions, or the word 'to' paired with the infinitive must be capitalized.

A separate cover page in APA format is a must. The following should be listed: The title of your writing, your full name, the institution and department you are in, the course the paper is for, your instructor's name, and the due date. All must be double-spaced and centered. Your cover page in APA should look like this, for example:

The Effects of Car Pollution on Nature

Nadia. K Smith

Department of Nature Sciences, University of California

Nat135: Environmental Problems

Dr. Sarah Williams

September 17, 2021

This example can give you an overview of how to title a page in this format. Also, remember that the APA format is usually used for technical and scientific works.

Essay Title Page in MLA

Similar to the APA format, MLA requires essay titles to be in the title case, too. But it has different rules for the title page. In this format, no title page is required. Instead of it, you must add a 4-line header on the first page.

The header lists your full name, the instructor's name, the course number or title, and the submission date. The header is double-spaced and left-aligned, and the paper's title is centered under the header. For example:

Sam Brown

Professor Garcia

Humanities 201

October 10, 2019

The Importance of Following an Essay Structure Guidelines

This is what your essay title in MLA format should look like. MLA is typically used in humanities subjects, such as literary studies, media studies, and languages. We also recommend that you read our article on MLA in-text citation – this information may be useful to you.

Good Essay Title Examples

Knowing theory isn’t sufficient without putting it to practical use, don’t you agree? Let’s check out ten APA and MLA essay title examples to bring your newly obtained knowledge into play.

APA Essay Title Examples

  1. The Impact of Digital Technology on Academic Performance: A Comprehensive Analysis.
  2. Exploring the Role of Gender Stereotypes in Workplace Dynamics.
  3. The Relationship Between Social Media Usage and Mental Health Among Adolescents.
  4. An Examination of Environmental Policies and Their Effectiveness in Addressing Climate Change.
  5. The Influence of Parenting Styles on the Development of Emotional Intelligence in Children.

MLA Essay Title Examples

  1. Rethinking Shakespearean Tragedy: A Comparative Analysis of Hamlet and Macbeth.
  2. Narrative Identity in Modern Literature: Unraveling the Threads of Selfhood.
  3. The Symbolism of Nature in the Poetry of Emily Dickinson: A Close Reading.
  4. Globalization and Cultural Identity: Interconnected Narratives in Contemporary Fiction.
  5. Reexamining Historical Perspectives: The Complex Legacy of the American Revolution.

Final Thought

If you went through the whole article, you now know the importance of a great title. Unfortunately, good essays are often ignored because of a weak headline. Don't let any of your papers be one of them. If you want your paper to be excellent, it should intrigue your readers and make them eager to go through the whole work.

A compelling subject can be the hardest part of your paper, and it takes a great effort to create a perfect name. But it's worthwhile when you see how many readers' attention it grabs. So be enthusiastic, turn your imaginative thinking on and come up with creative headings for your papers. Now, you have all the resources to know how to make a good title for a composition.

But if there are times when you don't feel like writing anything, you are just sitting in front of the desk and wondering: 'Can anyone write my term paper?' You have the answer to that question, too. You can always use the help of professional writers to do any of your papers for you.

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