Writing an Essay
The Secrets to Choosing the Best Headline
Whether you’re writing a basic assignment or a thesis paper, the title of your college essay is the first element that will be observed. It has to draw the reader in and it has to make a clear statement about the argument you’re going to make.
What does it take to choose the best titles for your college papers? Here are a few strategies that will help you write excellent headers that will get noticed.
Write an Essay First
Many students make the mistake of writing the title first and sticking with it, regardless of the direction in which the essay goes.
Instead, it’s a better idea to write a paper and draft the title last. If you need to, write a working title that will help you focus. While writing the essay, however, chances are that you’ll be inspired to create a much better title.
State Your Opinion Right from the Start
If you have to defend a certain argument or present your opinion in an essay form, state what you’re going to talk about right from the start.
You may want to highlight the pros and cons of both sides or you may want to present the specific viewpoint that you’re going to defend. Don’t go for an ambiguous title that remains neutral. It’s bland and it’s a safe approach that professors are all too familiar with.
Keep it Simple
In their attempts to be descriptive, some students write a four-line title. Keep it simple. The shorter it is, the more memorable your title is going to be.
Use Active Verbs
Passive voice and the forms of passive are the weakest constructions and verbs to include in your title. Use strong, active verbs. Descriptive phrases are also a good idea, as long as you don’t overdo it.
Have Some Idea about What the Professor Wants
Essay titles that will be great for one class aren’t necessarily going to cut it with another professor.
You know the instructor and the topic well-enough to choose relevant essay titles. You can’t simply adopt a generic approach and expect it to work every single time. Some subjects allow for more creativity, others are strictly academic. Use the first classes to get a better idea about the topic and the preferences of the professor. Based on this information, you can personalize the titles and make them relevant.
Finally, remember to check for typos, grammar and structure errors. While they edit papers carefully, many students forget about going through the title. Nothing is as indicative of sloppiness as a blatant error appearing in the first line of your essay.