Tantalizing Titles

Isn‘t the title supposed to come first? Why have I already written posts on hooking your reader, and leaving with a bang (with an additional conclusion case study) before I’ve gotten around to mentioning them? I’ve left the first part of your essay for last, because it often makes sense for you to wait until you’ve completed your writing to decide on a title.

Your title should accomplish two things. First and foremost, it must tell the judges what your essay is about. The next step is to be sure that your title is interesting enough to catch the judges’ attention.

Let’s say you‘ve been asked the question, “Why do you want to go to college?“

The WORST title choice you can make is “Why I Want to Go to College,” (unless, of course, the instructions specifically tell you to use that as your title—always follow directions).

Before you pick a title, think about how you intend to approach the question.This is why it’s okay to wait until you‘re done writing before titling your essay, because then you‘ll know how you approached the question!

If you are going to talk about how much you will enjoy attending college, you might title your essay, “My Education: An Exciting Adventure About to Begin.”

If you want to tell the judges about your dream to graduate from clown college so you can spend your life distracting rodeo bulls, you might choose “Laughing in the Face of Danger,” as your title.

If you are the first in your family to attempt college, “Ambassador to Higher Education,” might be a good title.

“What if the essay instructions don’t tell me I need a title?” I hear you whine. Well, do they say you shouldn’t have one? How can a title possibly hurt? Your essay is a work of art, and what great work of art ever goes untitled? Have you ever read a book called, A Book? Have you ever gone to the theater to watch A Movie? Do you have a dream of one day going to Paris to see that statue with no arms that they’ve got on display in the Louvre?

’Nuff said.

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

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