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5.10: Creating Essay Titles

  • Page ID
    225912
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    WHAT SHOULD ESSAY TITLES LOOK LIKE?

    After you revise your essay and are moving onto the editing and proofreading stage in the writing process, it’s time to pay closer attention to the title of your essay. Essay titles should let your reader know what your essay will be about and immediately draw in your reader’s interest. Titles should also be specific enough to prepare the reader for your particular argument, so avoid vague titles like “Racism” or “Hope.” Also, never turn in a formal essay with a generic title like “Paper #2” and don’t use the title of the work you are writing on as your own title like The Great Gatsby. It is often easier to write or revise your title after you have written your essay and have settled on the central themes and thesis.

    WHY ARE TITLES IMPORTANT?

    Creating a strong, clear, appealing title is an important part of any writing task. The title is the reader’s first introduction to your piece of writing, and first impressions matter. Therefore, you want to create a title which pulls in your reader’s interest and makes him or her want to keep reading. In a college class, you want your title to make your essay stand out from the stack and make your peers and your professor drawn to read your essay.

    HOW CAN I CREATE A GOOD TITLE?

    You normally want to include the following features in your title:

    1. It should convey the topic of the paper. In other words, your reader should know what the paper is going to be about from the title.
    2. Many titles, but not all, reflect in some way, what point you are going to make about your topic. What argument are you presenting about your topic? Oftentimes, titles briefly reflect the argument or thesis of a writing piece.
    3. A good title should also be creative, thought-provoking, and make the reader keep reading.
    Practice: Creating Innovative Titles

    For their first writing assignment, a college writing class was posed with the following paper topic:

    Take a look at the gender images that surround us in the media and analyze their various meanings. What roles and stereotypes are most commonly depicted? Do you find them accurate? Harmful? Limited? Helpful? Describe the affect you feel these gender images have on us as a society using specific examples, ads, etc. as evidence.

    Here are the titles of the papers students created in response to this writing assignment:

    Harmful Stereotypes Genders in Society
    Male and Female Roles and Stereotypes Stereotypes Between Genders
    Advertising and Stereotypes Seeing Stereotypes
    Harmful Stereotypical Views of Women Stereotypes
    Stereotypes and Roles Gender Images
    Stereotypes: Silly and Harmless Are you a Man or a Woman?
    The Roles of Males and Females Societies’ Stereotypes
    Today’s Stereotypes on Opposite Genders Stereotyping
    Differences in Gender Stereotypes
    The Power of Society Gender Stereotypes
    How Society Categorizes Men and Women Surrounded By Stereotypes

    Most of these titles clearly conveyed the topic of the assignment but they are repetitive and unoriginal. Now let’s try to refine a few of these titles so they are more individually tailored to the writer’s argument. Below are several of the thesis statements for these papers. Create an effective title for each paper containing such a thesis statement:

    (1) Thesis statement: In film, men are always portrayed as tough, macho figures, and this image ultimately harms men as they are forced to live up to this aggressive, emotionless “ideal.”

    Possible Title(s):

    (2) Thesis statement: Because the media depicts men and women in such narrow and stereotypical roles, people get a distorted image of what careers they can and cannot pursue.

    Possible Title(s):

    (3) Thesis statement: Television, which seems to continuously show women as sexual objects, limits their potential and damages their sense of self worth.

    Possible Title(s):

    Answer

    POSSIBLE TITLES:

    (1) Thesis statement: In films, men are always portrayed as tough, macho figures, and this image ultimately harms men as they are forced to live up to this aggressive, emotionless “ideal.”

    Possible Title(s): Men in Film: Macho on the Outside, Crying on the Inside

    How Movies are Making Men Tough but Emotionally Dead

    (2) Thesis statement: Because the media depicts men and women in such narrow and stereotypical roles, people get a distorted image of what careers they can and cannot pursue.

    Possible Title(s): Be Anything You Want to Be! Not if the Media Has Any Say

    Mechanics, Surgeons and Pilots versus Nannies, Nurses and Secretaries:
    How the Media Keeps Our Jobs Divided by Gender

    (3) Thesis statement: Television, which seems to continuously show women as sexual objects, limits their potential and damages their sense of self worth.

    Possible Title(s): Women’s Heightened Sexy Factor and Lowered Self-Esteem

    Woman or Thing? How TV is Changing Women into Objects


    This page titled 5.10: Creating Essay Titles is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Skyline English Department.

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