Do essays need titles? Like a gift wrapper, an eye-catching title promises quality goodies, pushing your reader to interact further with your essay. The title is often the basis of a reader’s decision to read or to neglect your paper. As such, the title should tick all boxes to maximize the traffic your article pulls. 

The title also encapsulates your key content idea using keywords, highlighting the scope of your discussion. This allows readers to gauge the relevance of your work to their needs and also piques their interest, bringing in more traffic. This article will guide you on how to title an essay and evoke your intended reaction from the audience. 

What is a good title for an essay

A good title for an essay is the one that highlights the context of your paper while attracting a reader’s attention to the subject matter. This title should be concise and credible, allowing a reader to make a quick decision regarding the relevance of your paper to their needs.

How to come up with a title for an essay

Catchy, informative and succinct. The three criteria used in gauging the quality of an essay title. Unfortunately, the vast range of arguments in an essay may make it hard to select a title that ticks all the above-mentioned boxes. 

When preparing a title for an essay:

  1. Write your essay

Complete writing your essay to capture your paper’s essence and to highlight your key arguments. This approach allows you to investigate the results of your paper and to establish the key findings that may be of interest to a reader.

  1. Highlight the keywords

Ideally, your title should contain the topical keyword, allowing readers to easily find it on various databases. As such, employ a strategy that carries the keyword as opposed to approaches that may omit your keyword.

  1. Use the thesis

You may also opt to condense your thesis to the key terms and fit it into the 5-10 words threshold. This approach is great as it tackles the key idea of your paper and also reflects various adjustments you may make to the thesis depending on your findings. 

  1. Rework popular cliches

Essay titles are not condemned to be bland and straight to the point. You could consider reworking a cliché to make your title livelier and make a great appeal on your reader. E.g.,

Is All That Glitters Gold? An Analysis of Fuel Subsidies

Essay title rules

Some of the rules for writing an essay title include:

  • Your title must bear the theme of your text.
  • Capitalize all words in your title except pronouns, prepositions and conjunctions.
  • Select to either embolden or to underline your essay. Avoid using both on your essay title as they may appear shoddy.
  • Be keen to ensure that your essay is credible and free of any ambiguity regarding the content contained within your paper.
  • Trim jargon from your essay title, making it easier for a reader to establish the context of your paper. 

How long should an essay title be?

A good essay title should range between five and ten words. This brevity makes it easier for a reader to make out the relevance of your paper to their needs based on the context of your work. However, the guidelines may vary depending on your institution. 

It is thus crucial that you consult your tutor for guidance on the essay title length in case it is prescribed in your essay writing guidelines. 

Essay title ideas

Argumentative essay titles examples

  1. Is home-schooling a superior educational option to traditional public schools? 
  2. Smartphones facilitate learning
  3. Is fast food harmful to physical health or is it healthy? 
  4. Is the taxation system in place effective or ineffective? 
  5. Are test results the only criteria used to assess a student's proficiency? 
  6. Should athletes who use steroids have access to legal alternatives? 

Catchy essay titles examples

  1. Do you think cheerleading qualifies as sports? 
  2. Effects of bodybuilding on an elderly woman's body
  3. Is chess a game or a sport? 
  4. Should schools teach sex education to their students? 
  5. Should instructors have the right to physically correct students? 
  6. How has social media grown to be a significant cause of teen inferiority complexes? 

College essay titles examples

  1. Biological effects of microwave technology
  2. Has technology led to a decrease in productivity? 
  3. The future of transportation and self-driving cars
  4. Should male employees be granted paternity leave as well? 
  5. Several prevalent stereotypes in your culture
  6. It is a necessary evil to use monkeys for research in laboratories

Compare and contrast essay titles

  1. Which tennis player, Serena Williams or Venus Williams, is superior? 
  2. Physical meetings versus online meetings 
  3. Do you prefer working from home or in an office setting? 
  4. Agriculture: organic or conventional 
  5. Introvert and extrovert characteristics 
  6. Jazz and classical music in contrast 

Good essay title examples

  1. Does over-sheltering your kids help or hurt them? 
  2. Instead of working, employees spend working hours on social media
  3. Why national marijuana legalization is important 
  4. How to reduce student loan debt for their benefit 
  5. Pop culture's impact on teenagers' morality 
  6. Pop art's defining characteristics and their differences 

Titles for personal essays

  1. The day you made your best friend in college 
  2. The most significant life lesson 
  3. The ideal musical group for falling asleep 
  4. The part money plays in your life
  5. What has been your life's most courageous moment? 
  6. A time you made a challenging choice