Have you ever sat in front of a computer screen just staring at a blank page? Have you ever been stuck on how to make a fantastic and unique title? Or even just want to learn a few tips on how to make them better? This blog post is going to help you learn how to be more creative and edgy when making them. I know they may seem intimidating, but they don’t have to be with a few simple tips.
Forget about the Title
Yes, I said it. Forget about it until the end of the piece of writing. I know it may not seem like the most helpful piece of advice, but trust me, it works. It may be a little easier to create one if you have already drafted the paper. Doing this usually gives you a clear theme and flow of the paper. You would want the title to match it, so be sure to stay in the “boundaries” you have created within your paper. Sometimes when you are thinking too long and hard about something, i.e. a title, you stunt your brain’s creativity. This is detrimental to your paper, as this is what motivates the reader to, well, read your paper. So, when you draft it and go to write the title afterwards, you can have a eureka moment and come up with the perfect one! In addition, if you wait until afterwards, you might not even need the eureka moment— you’ll have all of the material within your paper to drawn from as inspiration.
Use your writing to help you
As mentioned above, you should draft the paper before the title. Let the writing guide you through the process of making a creative one. One way you could do this is to pull out certain characteristics of the paper. Try to pull out ones that will hint on what the piece of writing is about. You want it to stand out and catch the reader’s eye, so that they will want to find out more about it. Let’s face it. Papers with dull titles are glanced over for more exciting-sounding reads. Your paper could be amazing, but if you don’t incorporate a unique trait into the title, the reader will never know. “Why not?” you might ask. Well because it won’t grab them or pull them in. Try reading through your paper and jotting down some important concepts and themes. Remember to pick ones that you could use to describe your paper. You could even take a phrase from your paper and use it, if it will encompass the big idea of your paper. This is one of the simpler yet effective ways to make a title on short notice.
Consider the Subject of the paper
The subject of the paper is important when considering what your title should be. The subject could be your friend or your worst nightmare. For example, if you are very knowledgeable about a subject then it may be easier to think of a creative name to go along with it. Or if the subject is about something casual, then you could make the name in the same fashion. On the other hand, if after writing your paper, you still don’t like the subject or it’s boring to you, it may reflect that. Or if the paper is more formal, then it should follow suit while still maintaining its uniqueness. So to combat this, find something interesting about the subject, so that not only is the paper easier to write but the perfect title will fall right into your lap, well, hopefully more so on your paper. For formal papers, such as a Biology report, you should still keep the integrity of the traditional report style but try to add a small touch of yourself in the label.
Make the title catchy and memorable
This tip should be a given. A catchy title will grab the reader’s attention. It would also stay on the reader’s mind longer. This is key because the purpose of a title is to make the overall paper memorable. Just to be clear, a catchy title doesn’t necessarily mean a one-worded one, although they have their usefulness. It can be a few words that rhyme or that are easy to pronounce. The words can be alliterative also. The object is to make it so catchy and memorable, that a reader may think of it while completing mundane tasks. Don’t go overboard though. It should still hold relevance to the paper you are trying to write. Also avoid making it sound too silly. One or two rhyming or alliterative words are catchy, but if it sounds too simple, it can seem a bit elementary.
All in all, don’t be afraid to let
your inner writer shine through your paper. So whenever you feel that
you’re writing a boring one, don’t be scared to come back to this list
as you sharpen your dull title!
Contributed by: Mary'ah Onwukwe, Writing Center Intern