Thursday, December 17, 2009

Name Your Paper Well: Titles

When you skim through the contents page of your favorite magazine, you look for a good title and then flip to that page. A boring title won’t grab your attention and you probably won’t even read the article.

You should get into the habit of naming your papers well, just as you would an article for mass publication. The title is usually the first piece that a potential reader notices. Your goal is not create something not only catchy, but also informative.

I recommend looking closely at your thesis. Can you use the main idea or even words from your thesis in the title? This is probably the best way to craft a succinct title that captures your entire paper.

A poor title will repeat the essay question or simple name the text you analyze in your paper. Remember that your professor is reading a stack of papers on the same subject. How can you make yours stand out from the beginning? Write a title that the other students don’t have on their papers.

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