Titles and Section Headings
The title of a complete work is usually centred near the top of the first page; if possible, it should be printed either in large letters or in boldface, or even in both. It should not be italicized or placed in quotation marks, and it should not have a full stop at the end. Any punctuation or italics which are required for independent reasons should be used normally; this includes a question mark at the end if the title is a question. If there is a subtitle, a colon should be placed at the end of the title proper; unless the title and the subtitle are both very short, it is best to use two lines.
There are two possible styles for capitalization: you may capitalize every significant word, or you may capitalize only those words which intrinsically require capitals. (The first word should be capitalized in any case.) Here are some examples; I have used the second style of capitalization:
The quotation marks in the last example are used because the first phrase is a quotation from Shakespeare.
In a work which is very short (no more than five or six pages), it is rarely necessary to divide the work into sections. Longer works, however, are usually best divided into sections which are at least named and possibly also numbered; numbers are recommended if there are more than two or three sections. Section headings are usually placed in boldface but in ordinary-sized type; they are not centred but placed at the left-hand margin. A section heading may be placed on a separate line (with a following blank line), or it may be placed at the beginning of a paragraph; only in the second case should there be a full stop at the end. Here is an example illustrated in each of the two styles:
- 3. The dictatorship of Primo de Rivera
- In 1923, King Alfonso XIII handed over power to General Primo de Rivera, who immediately abrogated the Constitution, dissolved the Cortes and installed a brutal right-wing dictatorship.... or
- 3. The dictatorship of Primo de Rivera. In 1923, King Alfonso III handed over power to General Primo de Rivera, who immediately abrogated the Constitution, dissolved the Cortes and installed a brutal right-wing dictatorship....
Either style is acceptable. Note that the firstparagraph after a title or a section heading is not indented; all following paragraphs should be indented.
If the work is very long, or if it consists of a number of points and subpoints (as is often the case with bureaucratic and business documents), then the sections may be further divided into subsections. In this case, you should certainly number all the sections and subsections, in the following manner (these passages are taken from John Wells's book Accents of English) (Wells 1982):
- 6. North American English
- 6.1. General American
- 6.1.1. Introduction
- In North America it is along the Atlantic coast that we find the sharpest regional and social differences in speech...
- 6.1.2. The thought-lot merger
- A well-known diagnostic for distinguishing the northern speech area of the United States from the midland and southern areas is the pronunciation of the word on....
Copyright © Larry Trask, 1997
Maintained by the Department of Informatics, University of Sussex
“Politically Correct Bedtime Stories”, “How to Teach Physics to Your Dog”, “I Owe Russia $1200”, “A Day Late and a Dollar Short” – do you recognize those names?
The titles of these world-known books of famous authors are the vivid example of how to title an essay to make it attractive from the opening line. Naming a work of literature is a separate art. This article is going to focus on how to come up with a title for an essay to impress the reader with author’s original approach to the topic.
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How to Come Up with a Title for an Essay
The answer to the question ‘how to come up with a title for an essay’ should start with the brief definition of this academic assignment to make a student understand the value of a good title. What is every student’s primary goal? Each student needs the highest grade. An essay is the most common type of academic paper assigned at the school and college level on any type of topic, with the main goal to cover a particular piece of information in the most comprehensive way. A successful essay is the one, which covers the topic in full, presents a sound thesis statement, provides valuable supporting arguments and evidence, and concludes the idea clearly.
One of the factors is how to title an essay. The name a seller gives to its product or parents give to their baby reflects the essence and predetermines the future of the object. In case of a literary piece, a powerful title for an essay is the one, which can make the reader understand the core problem to be discussed form the beginning. It helps to understand whether a potential reader needs that information.
The rest of the article explains how to create a title for an essay based on the professional writing tips and samples of the best ideas.
How to Choose a Good Title for an Essay
Explore the list of the primary tips explaining how to choose a good title for an essay.
- Finish the final draft of the essay before thinking about the title. It is simpler to come up with the relevant title knowing the entire essay’s structure and the arguments discussed. It is important to read the piece minimum twice to create a sound title.
- Decide on the tone of the academic piece – serious, funny, friendly, strict, informative, persuasive, warm, etc. A personal statement should include as many moods as possible to impress the admissions board. The title must match the tone of the paper.
- Highlight several keywords/key phrases to include in the title of your work to make the assignment optimized. Like famous bloggers optimize their articles on the Internet to obtain higher traffic, a student should do the same with his/her academic paper to attract the teacher's attention. This way, it is possible to earn a better grade. The keywords should be strict-to-the-point to be effective.
- Stick to the accepted formula offered by the academic experts meaning a title must start with the single or more introductory words that sound creative, followed by a line of the direct statement talking what the essay is about. This formula works perfectly.
- Discover a quote that corresponds to a single theme/central idea of the essay. Start entering the particular word into the search engine (Google, Yahoo) by adding the word “quote” to check several good websites with relevant in-text quotations. Pick the fragment of the quotation to use in your essay. In creative assignments, it is possible to apply a long song lyric. Writing a book/movie report or critical review requires a part of a thought-provoking quote from the source. For a paper on Macbeth, try "Toil and trouble: Murder and intrigue in Macbeth."
How to Title an Essay Based on Professional Tips?
Readers judge the book by its cover. 3 basic elements every student should keep in mind to learn how to title an essay are:
- Main topic summary
- Hook sentence
- Thing that makes an essay stand out from the pool of papers
It is a hard job to meet these criteria. The 3 expert tips will help to how to pick a title for an essay.
- Apple appropriate vocabulary: Being unable to stop writing on time including every single word a student knows is worse than being unable to start writing. Get to the point without wasting the time of your reader. Apply several relevant keywords/key phrases as triggers that will grab the reader’s attention and force to keep on reading the text.
- Stay away from the abbreviations/jargon/slang: In most situations, an academic paper should exclude any type of slang/jargon/abbreviations. A student should interpret an abbreviation minimum once in the text when it shows up for the initial time to use it further in the text. A variety of complex abbreviations will scare off the audience.
- Keep it simple & clear: It is about making things short and staying accurate. The primary mission of a good title for an essay is to name a paper, meaning there is no need to tell the whole story in the opening line. Think about favorite movie /ad’s slogan that draws your attention. Go to the websites of the professional copywriters of the world and collect the best ideas on a separate paper. A newsfeed is another good place to observe.
How to Make a Creative Title for an Essay?
By knowing how to make a creative title for an essay, the author automatically learns the ways to make a product for sale out of his written piece. Mind these 20 brilliant ideas to learn how to write a title for an essay!
- Pick a single sentence from the entire text of the draft – a clear, complete topic sentence may be a great title idea.
- Do not forget about What, Who, When, Why, How, or Where questions. A title that starts with a question has higher chances to make the reader intrigued and read the work from cover to cover.
- Think about a surprising image that has nothing to do with the chosen topic.
- The header does not necessarily have to tell the truth on the given topic – by starting with the lie, it is possible to capture the reader’s pure interest.
- Try to describe the topic with a single word/phrase.
- Collect the best ideas related to the field of study and rewrite them.
- One more thing to help a student with the choice of the opening paper’s line is the list of top catchy essay titles examples.
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30 Catchy Essay Titles Examples
How to come up with an essay title? Another helping hand is the list of the impressive examples a reader will not forget.
Argumentative Essay Titles Examples
- You can heal your life
- 8 habits of effective people
- Ways to win friends & influence people
- Arthritis & common sense
- Steroids kill sportsmen brains
- The era of technological zombies is coming
- Corrupted world of politics
- Threats & opportunities of using mobile phones
- Virtual dating as the scourge of our times
- Reasons why a person should better keep silent
Eye-catching Essay Titles Examples
- Is suicide a brave act of cowardice?
- Who has a right to murder?
- The moral aspects of cloning
- Plagiarism – the primary academic crime
- Sex education in schools makes no sense
- The meaning of all-round education in modern world
- Monkey talks: The way animals communicate with each other
- 50 shadows of Darwinism
- GMOs – the savior of hunger-related issue
- Hiking at night
English Essay Titles Examples
- Does justice exist?
- Can parents nurture child’s talent?
- Searching for love: The day I met my soulmate
- Over-sheltering kids and the consequences of excessive care
- A moment of solitude: The day I realized the importance of time
- The way sorrow feels: Student’s first experience
- The most heartbreaking moments of life
- Do not challenge the goose
- A healthy look at television paranoia
- Tales of an introvert: Things that help to reveal the silent nature
Check the list of compare & contrast essay ideas here.
The Final Words
How to title an essay? To conclude, a student should remember 4 easy rules necessary to introduce a nice title:
- Content awareness
- Tone reflection
- Keywords/Key phrases
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