You should know that the attitude of the audience makes for half their impression, when they read or hear your essay. It might not be really fair, but even a brilliant and creative paper will not be considered such, if the audience didn’t like something in the first place. The same way, as you can completely ruin a good essay with a boring introduction, you can ruin the whole text with a bad title. So, how to title a paper to make it stir some interest?
Without any exaggeration, making creative essay titles an art form, which is very much valued in marketing. The main idea is basically “selling” your text with just one phrase. It is pretty much what you have to do in education, isn’t it? If the audience likes your title, they will surely try to read the whole essay paper.
How to write good titles for essays
There are three steps of testing titles for essays in order to see if they are catchy:
- Relevancy test
- Comprehension test
- Interest test
A relevancy test is the simple one – it checks if your creative essay titles have anything to do with the texts themselves. It’s just obvious that if a title does not have any connection to what you’re writing about, it just can’t be successful, even if it is very catchy. Imagine having the readers’ attention and their desire to read about something being killed by the fact that you literally lied to them. With that attitude no one will like your essay, no matter how good the title is. Basically, in order for your title to pass this test, all you have to do is correlate it with the essay.
A comprehension test is as important when titling an essay, as it is difficult. You see, if you can understand a particular text, it still doesn’t mean that everyone else can too. That’s why no matter how deep of a dive the whole essay is into some topic, the title should still be simple and easy to comprehend even for a 10-year old. In a perfect world, the whole paper should be written like that, but such an approach may not be accepted by some narrow-minded teachers and professors, so let’s not risk. In any case, to pass the test when titling an essay, you should ask a question to most of the words in the title. The question is “is this word simple enough?” and it would help if you had younger siblings to help you with that.
The third test is tricky, so I’m going to tell you about it with a few examples.
How to title a paper to stir interest
The interest test is really a challenge, because it involves checking if your titles for essays are catchy enough. To be fair, reading just one article about it won’t make you a master, but it will surely help you on your way to creating good titles for essays. The most important thing is: the title must not only bear information, but also bring in emotions and ideas. Now, let’s see what that means. Imagine your task is to write 5-paragraph essay on renewable energy. Here are a few title variants:
- On renewable energy
- Tidal energy utilization grows 13.7% in 2016
- Let’s all change to renewable energy
- Renewable or Armageddon – which comes first?
- How NOT to destroy the world – a short guide
As you can see, a) and b) are completely inadequate, unless there is some special regulation about such a form. They have information, but no emotional engagement whatsoever. The c) option, on the contrary, has some call to action, but no real catch. Variant e) has no info, but is quite catchy, while d) is almost perfect, because it has a theme and an emotional engagement.
How to title a paper right
Go through the first two tests fast, because they are relatively easy. Basically, it’s enough to make it right, but the idea is to “sell”, right? What you need to do for your title to pass the third test is to think of the emotion you want to engage. Remember that people “buy” with emotions and the only way you make them want to read your essay is to stir those emotions. Of course, as a student you always have an audience, but as I said, the title is half the impression from the text. A right title will make a mediocre paper look good, while a bad title will destroy it utterly.
Try to involve some friends and ask them if the titles you wrote make them want to read the essays in their entirety. It’s always good to have a pre-audience to check yourself and perform relevancy test, comprehension test and interest test. Good luck with that!