How to come up with a Good Title for an Essay

Last Updated: 27 July 2023

Although often overlooked, having a good title for your essay creates an excellent first impression on your readers. After all, it is the first contact point between you and your readers. Therefore, it is most likely that a good title for any paper (essay, research paper, term paper, dissertation, etc.) is necessary for you to warm the hearts of your assessors, supervisors, teachers, and professors. The thing is, titles have a magical way of creating a first impression of an essay or any written piece.

Given this understanding, your essay's title has to shine. When it is appealing, you are already sure that you have knocked your professor off their feet and are busy on your way towards better grades. Consider the title as a means of expressing yourself. It lets your readers understand your thought process, making them interested in reading to settle their doubts and feed their anticipations.

When you select the right essay title, you give a good impression, set a good tone for the paper, and raise the bar higher for your readers so that they anticipate reading more in the introduction and see how you have defended your thesis in the body paragraphs.

In this comprehensive guide, our best essay writers take you through making a good essay title to achieve excellent grades, a wide readership, and accolades from your professors.

Reasons to Have a Good Title for an Essay

Creating a prosperous essay title is not something you take for granted.

Do not confuse a title with a title page. In this case, a title is a name that describes the essay and is contained in the title page or cover page (the first page of your essay that contains your name, course details, class details, subject, date of submission, and professor's name).

Here are some reasons why you should have an eye-catching title for your essay and papers:

The truth about marking college papers is that most do not have much time to read papers. They are busy, and the easier you make it for them to read your paper, the better. Every essay begins with a title and builds ideas from it. When you write a title that communicates what your essay is about and have a hook to grab your readers' attention, you have aced your essay title, but there is more, which we look into in the next section.

What Makes a Good Title for an Essay?

Compare your essay title to an advertisement, more of a billboard. If it is successful, people are eager to read and explore the essay's contents.

A good essay title is 8-10 words long, grabs the readers' attention, gives a clear picture of the essay topic and arguments, uses the correct terminology, and uses a colon to combine different ideas or thoughts.

Here are some qualities of a good title you should consider as you develop one for your essay:

A great title is significant for your essay. Before submitting the essay, ensure it has the qualities listed above. Now that you know what makes a good title, let us jump into the specific components.

Essential Components of a Good Title

When writing any essay, you need to ensure that the title contains these main parts:

Do not hesitate to use a colon to separate the hook from the keywords; it is allowed. Let us use an example to explain these components.

 "The Pathway to Hope: The Struggles, Challenges, and Wins of Immigrants in America"

In this example, "The Pathway to Hope" is the hook, and the topic keywords include "struggles,” "challenges," and "wins." The focus keyword is America. Note that the title effectively addresses all the aspects of an excellent essay title we discussed.

Steps for Creating a Perfect Title for an Essay

You now know why you need a good title and what components to include in making one. Next, let us look at the steps to creating a title that your professor will read and want to read the rest of your essay and aware you the best grade for it.

Step 1: Write the Essay First and the Title Last

You can only develop a good title for an essay after writing it. Writing first and titling last is one of the best formulas when writing a title of an essay or any written piece.

The assumption is that when you have written the entire essay, you can summarize it into three words, understand its tone and scope, and know the main argument (the thesis).

In addition, after you have written and polished the essay, you have captured all that matters. You have no time to waste and can quickly come up with a great title that represents what you have written about in the essay.

Instead of spending much time brainstorming about the title, go straight to research and writing and leave it for the last part. You will be surprised it comes naturally. You can take a 5-10 minute break before setting in to develop the title for your essay.

Step 2: Read the Essay Fast

After writing and polishing the essay, you need to skim through your essay one more time to identify the main points, including the thesis statement. As you skim, summarize the contents of your essay or the thesis in three words or less. Select two or three words from your introduction or conclusion; ensure they are short, descriptive, and straightforward.

Step 3: Formulate and Polish the Essay Title

You do not just come up with a title one time. Instead, you will have alternatives to choose from. The beauty of having a list of potential titles is that you can filter them out using the tips we share in this article (see the next section) to arrive at the final selection that makes for the best essay title. Once you have the title, ensure that you polish it to a brief, memorable, and creative name that you give the essay. The title is the identity of your essay. Therefore, make it spotless and memorable. Polishing means rewording, restructuring, punctuating, and editing for grammar.

Related Readings:

Tips for Selecting a Great Essay Title without Sweating

As you undertake the three steps above, here are a few tips to help you write an outstanding essay title.

  1. Write the title last. Essay titling is not part of the writing process. You should not waste time coming up with a suitable title. Instead, write the essay first, and the title will appear naturally.
  2. Use the thesis statement. When writing the essay title, you can condense the thesis into a title or at least make them interdependent.
  3. Consider your audience. The title should appeal to your audience. Therefore, if you write for a knowledgeable or semi-literate audience, ensure you mind your words and tone effectively.
  4. Make it simple. When your title is simple, clear, and concise, it has a way of winning the trust and time of your readers. Ensure you capture the focus and topic keywords as you frame your title. A great title is direct and straightforward.
  5. Format the title correctly. When writing the title, ensure that the titles or names of books, articles, plays, and songs that are part of it are either italicized or in quotes.
  6. Use the correct punctuation. Ensure that your essay title is well punctuated. A simple mismatch can make the readers misinterpret its intended meaning. Do not use punctuation marks randomly but only when necessary. When you use italics or quotes, be consistent throughout the essay.
  7. Use compound titles. Ensure that your essay title contains an evocative primary title followed by a more descriptive title. You can use a colon to separate the two. See the example we gave above.
  8. Never use abbreviations. Avoid including abbreviations, jargon, slang, and other unnecessary lingo in your essay title. Be as simple as possible.
  9. Rework any clichés and popular phrases. When you identify popular catchphrases in your essay title, ensure that you substitute them with formal phrases and words.
  10. Capitalize well. When writing the title, capitalize it in the title case.
  11. You can use questions. Sometimes, exciting titles can be questions. Consider the question you can ask and compose a title around it.
  12. Limit it to 8-10 words. A good title is short, clear, and informative. Do not waste words writing a long and boring title.
  13. Check journals for motivation. When writing the title of your essay or research paper, consider the catchy and informative titles used in journal articles discussing the same ideas as those in your essay or paper.

Our Final Words on Crating Strong Titles

An essay title is more than just a combination of words. It has to be strong, informative, direct, and concise. Ensure your essay title is placed on your title or cover page for easier identification. Developing a good topic takes time, practice, commitment, and dedication. Therefore, be easy on yourself and consult widely.

Related Reading: How to write the title of an article in a paper.

When you write a captivating essay title, you will earn the best grades. Instead of just reading the title page, introduction, and conclusion, the professor will be interested to read your entire paper and award you the best grades/marks. We hope you will make the best essay title going forward.

If you need help writing essays with well-formulated titles, you can hire our professional writers. They are experts in writing well-formatted essays fast and immediately. No matter the essay research topic or idea, we have your back.