Cathy A.
Cathy A.

How to Title an Essay - Tips, Examples, and Formats

16 min read

Published on: Jan 13, 2020

Last updated on: Nov 15, 2023

How to Title an Essay

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Do you find yourself stuck when it comes to titling your essays? Are you unsure of how to create a captivating title that accurately represents your essay writing?

Coming up with a compelling essay title can be a challenge. 

But don’t worry!

In this blog, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to title your essays effectively. 

From understanding the importance of titles to adding a touch of creativity, we've got you covered.

So, let’s start reading! 

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Importance of a Good Essay Title 

A good essay title holds significant importance in capturing the attention of readers and setting the tone for your writing.

Here's why a well-crafted title is crucial:

  • Grabbing Attention: In a sea of essays and articles, an eye-catching title stands out. It entices readers to click, read, and engage with your work. A catchy title can make the difference between your essay being read or overlooked.
  • Conveying the Main Idea: A well-chosen title provides a glimpse into the content of your essay. It gives readers an immediate understanding of what to expect and helps them determine if the essay aligns with their interests or needs.
  • Generating Curiosity: A thought-provoking title piques curiosity and compels readers to explore further. By creating intrigue, you increase the likelihood of readers delving into your essay and discovering the insights you have to offer.
  • Setting the Tone: The tone of your essay can be reflected in the title. Whether it's formal or thought-provoking, the title prepares readers for the overall mood and style of your writing.
  • Enhancing Credibility: A well-crafted title demonstrates professionalism and expertise. It shows that you have carefully considered the content of your essay and have a clear understanding of its purpose.

How to Title an Essay?

Crafting an attention-grabbing title for your essay can be a challenging task.

However, by following a step-by-step approach, you can create a compelling title that accurately represents your work.

Step 1: Understand the Essay's Content

Before crafting a title, thoroughly comprehend the content of your essay. Identify the main theme, central message, or key argument.

This understanding will help you create a title that encapsulates the essence of your writing.

Step 2: Brainstorm Key Phrases

Consider the main concepts, ideas, or themes explored in your writing. These keywords will serve as the foundation for your title.

For example, you are writing on climate change. Brainstorm key phrases like "environmental impact," "oceanic ecosystems," or "biodiversity loss" to capture the core elements of your essay.

Step 3: Identify the Tone and Style

Determine the appropriate tone and style for your title. Is your essay formal and academic, or is it more creative and personal?

Align the title's tone with the overall tone of your essay to create consistency and engage your target audience.

Step 4: Summarize the Main Idea Concisely

Focus on capturing the essence of your work in just a few words. Aim for brevity while still conveying the core message effectively.

Make sure your title resonates with your thesis statement.

Step 5: Inject Creativity and Intrigue

Consider adding a touch of creativity to make your title stand out. Use vivid language, literary devices, or rhetorical questions to captivate the reader's attention.

For example: "From Tides to Tragedy: Unraveling the Silent Impact of Climate Change on Marine Ecosystems" uses creativity and intrigue to engage readers and create curiosity.

Step 6: Check for Clarity and Accuracy

Lastly, make sure the title accurately represents the content of your essay and does not mislead or confuse readers.

Avoid using jargon or overly complex language that may deter potential readers.

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Essay Title Formats

When it comes to formatting your essay titles, it is important to follow the guidelines specified by the citation styles commonly used in academia.

The two most widely used citation styles are MLA (Modern Language Association) and APA (American Psychological Association).

Here are the recommended formats for essay titles in MLA and APA:

How to Title an Essay - MLA Format 

If you're required to create an essay title in MLA format, follow these guidelines:

  • Determine if a separate cover page is required by your instructor. If not, include a heading at the beginning of your work.
  • The heading should include your name, the professor's name, course ID, and the date.

If a cover page is required, include:

  • Name of the college
  • Title of your paper
  • Subtitle (if applicable)
  • Your first and last name
  • Professor's name
  • Course name or number
  • Due date

Formatting Instructions:

  • Double-spaced, centered, Times New Roman font, size 12.
  • Capitalize the initial letter of each word, except for very short terms. The initial word must always be uppercase.
  • Exclude a header with page numbers on the title page.

How to Title an Essay - APA Format 

For an essay title in APA format, follow these instructions:

  • Paper title
  • Author names
  • Institutional affiliation where the study was conducted
  • Name and number of the course
  • Professor's name
  • Due date
  • Page number

Formatting Instructions:

  • Double-spaced, 1" margins, 12-point Times New Roman font.
  • Ensure your title is concise and targeted, avoiding unnecessary quotation marks, words, or abbreviations.

Mistakes to Avoid in Creating Your Essay Title

When crafting an essay title, it's equally important to know what to avoid.

Here are some key things you should not include in your essay title:

Vague Language 

Avoid using vague or ambiguous terms that leave readers uncertain about the focus of your essay. Be specific, use catchy hooks and provide clarity in your title to attract the right audience.

Example: "Exploring Various Aspects" (Too vague)

Better: "Analyzing the Social and Economic Impact of Globalization"

Excessive Length

Lengthy titles can be overwhelming and may lose the reader's interest. Aim for concise titles that convey the main idea briefly.

Example: "A Comprehensive Study on the Historical, Sociopolitical, and Cultural Factors Influencing Contemporary Artistic Expressions in the Post-Industrial Era" (Too long)

Better: "Influence of Historical Factors on Post-Industrial Artistic Expressions"


Avoid repeating information that is already evident in the essay or can be inferred from the title. Focus on providing unique and essential details.

Example: "The Dire Consequences of Climate Change: A Comprehensive Analysis of the Devastating Effects on Our Planet"

Better: "Unveiling the Climate Crisis: Exploring the Devastating Effects of Global Warming on Our Planet"

Unnecessary Abbreviations or Acronyms

While abbreviations can be useful in some contexts, they may confuse readers if not widely recognized or explained. Ensure your title is easily understandable without relying heavily on abbreviations.

Example: "The Effects of CFCs on the Ozone Layer: An Analysis by the GEA" (Assuming readers understand what "CFCs" and "GEA" stand for)

Better: "The Effects of Chlorofluorocarbons on the Ozone Layer: A Comprehensive Analysis"

Generic Titles

Steer clear of generic or overused titles that fail to make your essay stand out. Aim for originality and uniqueness to capture readers' attention.

Example: "The Importance of Education" (Too generic)

Better: "Empowering Minds: The Transformative Power of Education"

Good vs Bad Essay Title

To highlight the difference between effective and ineffective essay titles, let's compare good and bad examples side by side:


Good Essay Title

Bad Essay Title


"Exploring the Impact of Social Media on Youth"

"Social Media and Its Effects"

"Unmasking Corruption: A Global Perspective"

"A Comprehensive Analysis of Corruption Across the Globe"


"The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare"

"Artificial Intelligence and Its Applications"


"Breaking Barriers: Women in STEM"

"Women's Empowerment in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)"

Relevance to Content

"The Art of Storytelling: Narrative Techniques in Literature"

"Literature and Its Impact"

Tone and Style

"Laughing Matters: The Power of Humor in Society"

"The Significance of Humor"

Avoidance of Repetition

"Addressing Climate Change: Strategies for a Sustainable Future"

"Climate Change and the Need for Sustainability"

Captivating and Intriguing

"Unveiling the Enigma: The Mystery of the Bermuda Triangle"

"Mysterious Disappearances in the Bermuda Triangle"

Appropriateness for Audience

"Navigating the Teenage Years: A Guide for Parents"

"Adolescence and Parenting"

Characteristics of a Good Essay Title

A final version of the title should have the following characteristics:  

  • Attractive: No one prefers to read essays with boring titles. 
  • Positive Aspect: Avoid negativity in your title. It will not have a good impact on the reader.
  • Easy to Read: Use words or phrases that most people are familiar with. 
  • Believable: Create titles that are accurate and deliver the message right away. 
  • Active Voice: Always use the verbs that are in an active voice rather than a passive one. 
  • Brief & Short: Your essay titles must be precise, long titles can confuse the reader. 
  • Accurate: An inaccurate title will make a bad impression on the reader.

Good Essay Title Examples 

Below is the list of creative title examples for different types of essay topics:

Argumentative Essay Titles 

Here are some titles for argumentative essay:

  • “Can Artificial Intelligence Replace Human Creativity and Innovation?”
  • “Is Blockchain Technology the Future of Secure Transactions?”
  • “Should Genetic Engineering Be Used to Enhance Human Abilities?”
  • “Does Social Media Promote or Impede Authentic Human Connections?”
  • “Is Internet Privacy a Myth in the Digital Age?”

Persuasive Essay Titles 

Check out these persuasive essay title examples:

  • “Should College Campuses Prioritize Mental Health Education and Support Services?”
  • “Are Sustainable Practices Essential for Combat Climate Change?”
  • “How Can Colleges Promote Diversity and Inclusion on Campus?”
  • “Do College Students Have the Power to Make a Difference Through Voting?”
  • “Can Incorporating Mindfulness Practices Improve Mental Wellness Among Students?”

Analytical Essay Titles

Explore these examples for analytical essay here:

  • “The Influence of Social Media on Consumer Behavior”
  • “Technology and Productivity: An Analytical Perspective”
  • “Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare: An Analytical Exploration”
  • “Climate Change and Global Food Security”
  • “Psychological Effects of Online Gaming on Adolescents”

Personal Essay Titles 

Read these personal statement easy title examples for better understanding.

  • “Discovering My Authentic Voice”
  • “Finding Strength Through Loss”
  • “Overcoming Life's Obstacles”
  • “Nature's Healing Influence”
  • “Honoring My Cultural Heritage”

Compare and Contrast Essay Titles 

Looking for compare and contrast essay titles? Keep on reading.

  • "Nature vs. Nurture: Exploring the Influence of Genetics and Environment"
  • "Democracy vs. Authoritarianism: Contrasting Political Systems"
  • "Cats vs. Dogs: Contrasting Pet Ownership Preferences"
  • "City Living vs. Rural Life: Comparing the Advantages and Disadvantages"
  • "Apple vs. Android: Contrasting Smartphone Operating Systems"

College Application Essay Titles 

Applying for colleges? Read these college application essay titles:

  • "Discovering My Passion: A Journey of Self-Exploration"
  • "Overcoming Adversity: How Challenges Shaped My Character"
  • "Embracing Diversity and Unveiling My Cultural Identity”
  • "The Power of Resilience: Bouncing Back from Failure"
  • "Exploring My Career Path: A Future Fueled by Passion"

Strong Research Paper Titles

Want to know how to title your research paper? Check out these examples:

  • "The Impact of Climate Change on Coastal Ecosystems: A Comprehensive Analysis"
  • "Examining the Link Between Social Media Usage and Mental Health”
  • "Exploring the Effects of Childhood Trauma on Adult Mental Health: A Longitudinal Study"
  • "Understanding the Causes and Consequences of Income Inequality"
  • "The Impact of Online Shopping on Traditional Retail”

Here are some more examples to help you learn how to title your essay:

Tips for Creating an Engaging Essay Title

When it comes to writing an essay title, consider the following important tips:

  • Reflect the Content: Ensure your title accurately reflects the main theme or topic of your essay. It should give readers a clear idea of what to expect.
  • Avoid Generic Titles: Strive for originality and uniqueness in your title. Avoid clichés or generic titles that may fail to engage your audience.
  • Be Specific: Provide a clear focus or angle in your title. Specificity helps readers understand the specific aspect or perspective you will explore in your essay.
  • Consider the Target Audience: Keep your intended audience in mind while crafting your title. It should resonate with them and align with their interests or concerns.

For more tips, check out this video guide:

In conclusion, this blog helps in creating compelling essay titles. By following the tips shared here, you can enhance your essay-writing skills and engage your audience right from the start.

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Our team of experienced writers can help you develop impactful compelling titles but also meet the highest academic standards.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What Are Good Words For A Title?

Good words for a title are those that are descriptive, engaging, and relevant to the content of the work. They should capture the essence of the topic and intrigue the reader.

What Is The Key To A Good Title?

The key to a good title is its ability to accurately reflect the content of the work while grabbing the reader's attention. It should be concise, specific, and compelling, setting the right tone for the piece.

What Does A Good Title Look Like?

A good title is visually appealing and stands out on the page. It is centered, properly capitalized, and aligned with the formatting guidelines of the chosen citation style. It should give readers a clear idea of the subject matter and generate interest in reading further.

Cathy A.


Cathy A., Literature, Education

Cathy has been a trusted source of high-quality writing for more than five years. With her in-depth knowledge of mass communication from her Master's degree, she always produces work that meets the needs of her clients. In fact, they often leave her 5-star reviews for being an outstanding writer who is very passionate about their craft.

Cathy has been a trusted source of high-quality writing for more than five years. With her in-depth knowledge of mass communication from her Master's degree, she always produces work that meets the needs of her clients. In fact, they often leave her 5-star reviews for being an outstanding writer who is very passionate about their craft.

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