Thursday, 23 June 2011

Titling your Essay

An essential part of your essay is the title. It should allude to the main point of your argument in a creative manner in order to inspire the reader to read your essay.

A good essay title is not just the question restated or the name of the primary text with assignment or essay plonked before it. It should show the reader that you have not just skimmed over the essentials briefly, but engaged personally with the text in your essay.

For your essays your tutor expects you to have not only a main title, but a subtitle too. The function of the subtitle is to provide extra information to the reader, with regards to what the essay is about. The subtitle can therefore be a rewording of the essay topic.  

Here are a few examples:
  • Title: Subversion of Notions of Bliss
  • Subtitle: An analysis of Finula Dowling’s poem, “Bliss”

  • Title: A Beacon to Early Feminists
  • Subtitle: A character study of the protagonist in Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre

It is essential that your title and subtitle appear on the cover page of your essay and that both are formatted in a manner which makes it clear to the reader that the phases are in fact your title and subtitle. The simplest way to do this would be to centre the title and subtitle, indicating the title by formatting it in bold and underlining it, while the subtitle can be formatted in italics.

For example:
Humanising the Inhumane
An analysis of Finula Dowling’s “The Lawmaker”


  1. When you choose a title for your essay, make sure that it can convey the purpose of your essay. Avoid the making title lengthy that should be informative and concise.

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