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Getting the Best How Do You Write a Short Story Title in an Essay
Accessed 19 October Write a draft of your essay. A title is the first thing your reader will see, but it is often the last thing a writer creates. You may not know what your essay will really be saying until after you've written part of it. Essays often change during the drafting and revising process. A title you come up with at the beginning may not reflect your essay when you have finished it. Make sure to also revise your title after you finish your paper. Identify major themes in your work. Typically, works of non-fiction have an argument.
Create a list of two or three main points you're trying to make. Look at your thesis statement. This sentence contains the major argument of your paper and can help you craft a title. Look at your topic sentences. Reading these sentences together can help you pick out themes, symbols, or motifs in your paper that can be integrated into the title. Consider asking a friend to read your work to help you identify themes. Determine your target audience. Write down a few groups of people who would be interested in your topic, and why they would be drawn to it.
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If you are writing a school assignment, or your audience are academics and specialists in your topic, use formal language. Avoid using a playful tone or slang terms. If you are trying to reach an online audience, think of what keywords a reader might use to find your article. For example, if you wrote a how-to article, include words like "beginner" or "do it yourself" that would identify your writing as appropriate for all levels of ability.
If your piece is a news story, consider who you are writing about. For example, if are writing about an athletic team write down terms like "fan," "coach," "referee," or the team name. Readers with an interest in sports or that team can quickly identify your perspective and the topic of your story. Think about the function of a title.
Titles predict the content in the essay, reflect the tone or slant, include keywords, and catch interest. Your title should never mislead the reader. A title can also reflect the purpose of the article, such as historical context, theoretical approach, or argument. Decide between a declarative, descriptive, or interrogative title. When you are choosing one of these titles, think about the kind of information you want to convey to your reader.
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Declarative titles state the main findings or conclusions. Descriptive titles describe the subject of the article but do not reveal the main conclusions. Interrogative titles introduce the subject in the form of a question. Avoid titles that are too long.
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For nonfiction, titles should convey the important information, keywords, and even methodologies. But a title that is too long can be cumbersome and get in the way. Try to keep it around 10 words or less. Seek ideas from your own writing. Reread your work to find sentences or phrases in which you refer to your main ideas. Often the introductory or concluding paragraphs of your work will have a phrase that would work well as a title.
Highlight or make a note of any words or phrases that explain your ideas. Look for attention-grabbing descriptions or phrases you're proud of. For example, in an essay on censorship choose a phrase like "forbidden music" that is descriptive but also intriguing. Review your sources. Search quotations from sources you've used to support your points for something that grabs a reader's attention. For example, in an essay on religious persecution, a quote like "God was silent" is arresting and thought-provoking. Readers may immediately agree or disagree and will want to read your explanation.
If you use someone else's words, make sure to put them in quotation marks, even in the title.
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Create a list of possible titles. Using your lists of themes, possible audiences, phrases, and quotes created in the previous steps, brainstorm possible title words and phrases. Try combining two different elements, such as a quote and a theme. Often writers separate two elements with a colon.
The parenthetical notes in the following examples indicate which elements the author chose. Respect conventions. Different disciplines, such as the sciences, the humanities, or the arts, may have different rules about what a title should look like. If you are aware of a specific expectation, you should conform to those guidelines.
There are some general rules to remember: Most words in your title should begin with a capital letter. The first word and the first word after a colon should always be capitalized even if one of the "short words. Short story titles are always in quotation marks. Method 2. Brainstorm ideas. Write down every word that comes to mind about your story. Include keywords about the topic, character names, phrases you love, and anything else that comes to mind. Arrange these in different combinations to see if anything speaks to you. Study titles in your genre. Look for stories or books that are popular with your target audience.
Readers may be drawn to your work because it reminds them of something they already like. For example, many young adult fantasy novels hinge on one or two intriguing words: Twilight, Bitten, Cinder, The Selection. Make the title exciting. Dull or generic titles won't catch the reader's eye. Titles such as "The Tree" or "The Train" might name the subject or a symbol in the story, but it doesn't excite the reader. Try adding a more descriptive word to the basic title. Make the title easy to remember. Titles are not only supposed to catch the reader's attention, but also spread the word about your work.
Something too difficult to remember won't appeal to editors or agents, and your reader won't remember and be able to tell someone else the title.