Learn to Write Good Essays

Useful Advice On How To Format An Essay Title

Most students end up leaving the title of their paper till an afterthought, throwing something together at the last minute. This may or may not be sufficient for your teacher or grader, but understanding how to come up with a great title and how to format it can bring your paper to the next level—making it more interesting to others, and allowing your reader to more fully understand your point or vision.

Follow this simple, useful advice on how to format an essay title:

  • Define your subject
  • One thing that must be included in your title is what your subject is—this will allow your reader, or anyone interested in reading your paper, to understand what it will be about. Be sure to correctly define your subject: if you are writing about a political movement in a country, but only during a specific time period, be sure to clarify the time period in your title.

  • Decide what the most important point of your paper is
  • You should also give your reader a glimpse of what the main point of your paper is in your title. To be able to do this though, you must distill your main point or argument into just a few words in order to fit it into your paper’s title. For instance, if you were writing about a political movement in the United States, your main point could be that it failed to meet its goals. Be careful though how to state your main point, and not to over reach. So if your point is that it failed to meet its goals, think carefully whether you use words like ‘failed’.

  • Combine these two things into a title
  • Your title should incorporate the subject and the main point into one phrase. Either can come first, but it should be clear to your reader which is which.

  • Use punctuation
  • One useful way to help format your paper title in order to successfully communicate its components to your readers, try using punctuation. For instance, titles often include colons (:) in order to separate to clauses. In the case of our previous example it could be “The Black Panther Movement in America: A failure to meet goals”.

  • Don’t make it too complicated
  • Keep in mind when you are writing and formatting your title, not to make it too complicated. The syntax and sentence structure should be simple and clear.

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