Sometimes professors give students a chance to pick a title for their next essay. This is an opportunity for a student to express creativity and write on the topic they prefer.

However, what if the title that you choose is not good enough? What are the components of compelling titles for essays?

We’ll answer these and many other questions in today’s guide.

How to Make a Title for an Essay and Why Is It Important?

An essay title can also be called its signature card. It is the first thing your paper will be judged by, and the entire plot of your essay will depend on it. So, you can’t deny the fact that a title is an integral part of any written work, including an essay.

How to make a title for an essay the right way?

Here are brief step-by-step instructions:

  • Define the problem. It can be related to a particular subject or to something of your interest (if it’s an essay on a free topic).
  • Devise your thesis. The title should not give the thesis away but hint at it, promising to unveil it further in the essay.
  • Choose the tone. The tone can be persuasive, funny, serious, informative, or amiable. The choice will depend on the goal of your essay.

Professionals at our college paper writing service also recommend students to write the essay first and then come up with the title. Knowing the gist of your essay will help you come up with more straightforward and informative essay title ideas.

Bad vs. Good Essay Titles

Of course, if you follow the steps from the previous section, it still doesn’t guarantee a good essay title. Compelling essay topics usually possess a set of characteristics.

What are these characteristics?

Essentially, good titles for essays should be:

  • Attention-grabbing - your title should contain a hook, encouraging the reader to check out your essay in full.
  • Reflecting the tone of your essay - if your essay is argumentative, the title should also have a persuasive nature.
  • Straightforward - the reader should understand what your essay will be about.
  • Believable - compelling titles for essays are always based on true-to-life facts supported by credible research.
  • Easy to read - the title should not be too long and overcomplicated with complex grammatical structures, such as passive voice.

In contrast, let’s take a look at the features of bad essay titles:

  • No connection with the content - the title does not reflect what the essay tells the reader about.
  • Wordy - examples of bad essay titles are often too lengthy and hard to read.
  • Use terms the average reader doesn’t understand - the jargon is usually prohibited from titles unless your professor allows it.
  • Overly generalized - bad titles usually don’t talk about a particular phenomenon but only give a general impression of it.
  • Too personal - unless your task permits it, don’t use personal details in the title.

As you now know how to title an essay, let’s talk more about what to avoid in the process to make your essay topic sound even more convincing.

What to Avoid When Writing an Essay Title?

If you have some essay title ideas but don’t know if they are good or not, go through this list of things to analyze your ideas and sort good from bad ones.

So, here’s the list of all don’ts:

  • Don’t go into much detail. It won’t be interesting for the reader to check out your essay.
  • Don’t use passive voice. This grammatical structure ruins the flow and dynamics of your essay title.
  • Don’t be unspecific. Yes, you can’t go into detail, but you also can’t be too vague.
  • Don’t use question marks. If you do it, you are asking a research question instead of presenting the core message of your essay.
  • Don’t use too many filler words. Prepositions, articles, and pronouns can clutter your title and make it unreadable.

Some additional don’ts include using jargon, acronyms, and abbreviations not known to the general public. If your essay titles avoid these mistakes, they are good to go.

5 Tips to Create a Good Essay Title

Alright, next in our guide on how to title an essay, let’s check out a few more tips on how to improve your topic and make it even more engaging.

Tip #1: Work on a hook

Good titles for essays always include a hook - a phrase or a sentence that grabs the reader’s attention. It can be an interesting fact, a statistic, a reference, or even a question if your professor allows it.

How to choose a hook?

Do it based on the main message you want your essay to deliver. If you’re writing a paper on the consequences of WWII, you can start with a statistic of how many people died as a result of it.

Tip #2: Add topic keywords

Topic keywords represent semantic relationships in a title. So, they should be related to what your essay is about and be present not just in the title but also throughout the essay. They serve as a thread connecting the title and the main content of your essay.

Tip #3: Paraphrase a quote

If appropriate, you can quote someone reputable in your essay’s title. If we take our previous example on the consequences of WWII, you can quote Winston Churchill or any other leader of that time. It’s also possible to paraphrase the quote and add a bit more context to it.

Tip #4: Appeal to the reader’s interests

When working on a title, think about what your audience would love to read about. This is a good approach to use if you’re writing an essay on a free topic or if it will be published somewhere.

Tip #5: Choose a sentence from your draft and use it as a title

If you’re having a tough time choosing an appropriate title for your essay, why not use something that you’ve already written?

You can pick a sentence from the text, but make sure it represents the thesis and the core message of your essay.

Examples of Catchy Essay Title Examples

Lastly, to illustrate what we’ve been talking about in our guide, let’s take a look at some examples of good essay titles:

  • The Importance of Family as a Social Construct in the Modern Society
  • The Battle of Grunwald: a Closer Look at the Famous Historical Event
  • Compelling Reasons for Increasing Age Requirements to Get a Defense Weapon Permit
  • Why Capital Punishment is Inhumane and Unnecessary in the Modern World
  • The Relationship between Cosmetic Surgery and Mental Health Issues
  • The Overview of Research on Parenting Styles
  • Ways Elon Musk Has Shaped Our Perception of the Future World
  • How to Raise Children to be Conscious of Their Impact on Climate Change
  • The Problem of Poverty and Homelessness in Modern America
  • Reasons Why Students Should Be Forgiven Their College Debts

As you can see, all these ten topics represent clear statements. Even though some of them sound like questions, it is done to encourage the reader to find out the answers, i.e., to continue reading the essay.


Now, as it is clear how to title an essay and what mistakes to avoid, we are sure that you won’t have any problems doing it. Just make up the list of several options and go through our tips to understand if any of them will work out.