If I had a euro for every time a student has handed in an essay with no title, I’d be… in less fear of the current crisis. Not rich but possibly in possession of, say, a much better handbag. Actually, if I think about it, there are two variations to this problem: essays with no title at all, or essays that simply use the title of the text analysed. Yes, “Wuthering Heights” is a title that exists though it should not.
The resistance to using titles is hard to explain in view that nobody would read a newspaper article, or a piece of Literature, without one. Imagine going to the cinema and having to point to the ticket seller what you want to see because the film has no title (or do people ask anyway for ‘the new Leonardo Di Caprio?’). So, there’s not really an explanation for the absence of the title in many (most?) students’ essays, unless it is a bad habit caught from exams of the traditional kind in which, if I remember correctly, I was never asked to supply a title (apparently my examiners assumed that the question was title enough).
Any literary writer will tell you that choosing titles is very important and that a bad title can kill a good novel (a good title can, of course, make a bad novel an instant success –anybody will want to read something called The Da Vinci Code). Kazuo Ishiguro defines the process as “a bit like naming a child” as “a lot of debate goes on.” Sometimes, strange accidents happen and so he explains that the intriguing title for his masterpiece The Remains of the Day comes from “a semi-serious game of trying to find a title for my soon-to-be-completed novel” (Michael Ondatjee suggested Sirloin: A Juicy Tale…). Judith Hertzberg, a Dutch writer, mistranslated Freud’s phrase ‘tagesreste’ as ‘remains of the day’ (apparently it’s ‘debris of the day’) and Ishiguro borrowed it, as this “seemed to me right in terms of atmosphere.” Voilà. (This comes, by the way from the, um, juicy Paris Review interview with Ishiguro, http://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/5829/the-art-of-fiction-no-196-kazuo-ishiguro).
Argumentative essays, which is what should concern students and academics, are very demanding in terms of finding a title as this title should reflect the thesis of the essay and still be attractive (not a long explanatory sentence, as some offer). Apparently, finding a title is so hard that I have already come across a couple of automatic essay title generators on the net –they produce hilarious results… also scary, as we teachers seem to be asking for very predictable essay topics.
As a general rule, an academic essay should have a title and a subtitle, which are open to different possibilities. Basically, though, the title should advance the thesis and the subtitle refer to the text/author analysed or add an explanation to the title. Producing witty titles is only possibly for very advanced students and for a handful of teachers. Aspiring to writing ‘clever’ titles is often a mistake, as this usually only results in embarrassing, silly titles. It’s hard to give advice beyond a) titles should be concise but also sufficiently informative of the contents, b) they should be attractive and invite the reader to read on and c) wait until you have completed your essay to find a suitable title (it may be one of your own sentences).
Since I expect the reader will be waiting for some example, I have checked the MLA for titles of published academic work on the novel I’m currently teaching – yes, The Remains of the Day. Here are five that seem to me if not perfect (what is perfection, after all?) certainly up to the task of transmitting a clear idea of the thesis and contents, and of sending an invitation to the (possible) reader:
“Escape from Responsibility: Ideology and Storytelling in Arendt’s The Origins of Totalitarianism and Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day”
“The End of (Anthony) Eden: Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day and Midcentury Anglo-American Tensions”
“Serving a New World Order: Postcolonial Politics in Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day”
“The Butler in (the) Passage: The Liminal Narrative of Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day”
“Being an Other to Oneself: First Person Narration in Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day”
To check whether they’re really good, you should now read the corresponding essay and see if the title truly fulfils its function… I’ll leave that to each reader.
And I truly hope that one day I will no longer think of buying an expensive handbag every time I mark an essay with no title or with an unsuitable one…
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This entry was posted on Monday, May 20th, 2013 at 14:18 and is filed under General, Research, Teaching (tools and rules). You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
“Book titled “Neverending Story” is the best literary piece I’ve ever read!”
“Shopping at Walmart Makes My Day.”
“How Comes Some People Don’t Fear Death?”
Students break their heads against the wall trying to understand how to title an essay. These phrases/keywords seem extractions from some stories. Some college entrance essays get an immediate feedback; other works of hard-working applicants fail without being read. What makes a good academic paper worth of one’s attention?
Every written product needs a title. Students write essays/research papers to earn high grades; professional authors write to sell their masterpieces to people. In both cases, a powerful, catchy title is a clue to success. People judge the book by its cover & title. Deciding on the appropriate words to name the written product is one of the most challenging tasks a writer faces. Several types of projects require impressive titles:
- Academic essays
- Research papers
- Other literary pieces (novels, short stories, etc.)
Famous authors hire ghostwriters to ease their pain and come up with an impressive title and even type the book from the introductory page to the ending page. Students should not underestimate the opportunities offered by the best online writing & editing services: they can order any type of work, buy to titles.
How to Title an Essay: 11 Steps to Success!
Expert writers recommend following ten steps on the way to choosing a powerful title to appear on the cover & work’s initial page:
“The majority of essays possess titles with several words introductory statement that is creative, reflecting author’s imagination, supported by a direct sentence interpreting the main idea of the written product. This formula works for everyone: students & young writers.”
Bill Whitehouse, Professor of Literature, Clemson University
“Hamlet’s Eternal Question: To be or Not to be?”
“Symbolic Meaning of the Ring in Lord of the Rings”
“Harry Potter’s Vision of Life &
“Waking up to Realize No More Rules Exist”
“Separate Are Men and Women Still That Different?”
“Space Exploration: Money as the Main Obstacle”
“Titanic: What Makes a Good Movie”
- Write the full text first to understand the main idea. You can put all thoughts in one whole picture; it is easier to choose the key words which would best describe your message to the reader. Skim the finished text before giving a title.
- Choose the tone of the writing – is it a serious or funny paper/who is your target audience/why is the argument important? Essays that cover serious issues like medical treatment of cancer or increased level of hate crimes require titles which are not off-the-wall. A personal essay/reflection paper can be named differently. You’re free to choose the proper words.
- Type the keywords/key phrases on the separate page to choose the title based on these options; brainstorm ideas related to the selected writing topic. Decide if all words in a line match each other, jarringly various, recall more words on the topic useful to conclude.
- The process of titling has a special place in entire essay/research writing procedure. We will type the formula to obey. Experts share:
- Different web/mobile applications help writers with impressive, creative titles. Click on the following link to process to the paper which describes the best mobile and web paper writing applications. Choose the one to make the writing process more exciting.
- Decide on a quote on your essay topic & main argument of the paper if it is possible; type the words in Google to find several top quotation online pages. Do not copy-paste full citation; choose some words (fragment) of the selected quote to apply. Poetry lines, quotes of famous people, music lyrics, and many other elements are helpful for titling the essay and creating hook sentences. Titles examples on book report are below.
- It is not necessarily to type words to make an inspiring title. Colorful pictures accompanied by the keywords will catch an eye of your audience from the first line. Intriguing essay titles 2017 include:
- A cliché is not bad; find one you could rewrite/paraphrase to use in your writing assignment (e.g. thesis, research paper, etc.) “Fight for Gender Equality in 20th Century: Is There Any Progress?”
- Play with words to type a creative, original, impressive title capable of catching reader’s eye from the opening line. Double entendre is the top recommended formula of success; e.g. an essay discussing forecasts concerning the world’s end would benefit from title “No Future for Humanity: Truth about the End of the Word” appearing on the title page.
- Writing title, introduction, outline, & conclusion (click on the link to find tips) are the most difficult parts of any content composing process. It is okay to ask people around to help. Name the topic of your essay and create a list of keywords associated with your essay/research paper - it is easier to brainstorm in the team!
- Type 3 primary words to describe your piece in short; a thesis statement could be the best way to explain the topic’s meaning. Sometimes, three words are enough to deliver the main message of your content.
Those are basic tips professional writers use to explain how to title an essay to their younger colleagues.
Where to Get Help with Impressive Academic Essay Title?
Keep in mind a great title must identify the topic of discussion. 3 necessary components of any academic text exist to consider while writing a title:
- Tone/Voice (serious/official/formal/irreverent/informal/funny)
- Structure (argumentative/compare & contrast/persuasive)
- Angle or stance (do you support or reject something)
If you want professional academic writers to take care of your title, move to the official website and place an order. English native-speaking writers from different fields of study will solve any problem in the shortest period, cheaply.
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