How to Come Up with an Eye-Catching Essay Title

eye catching essay title updated cover
Athina Hansen

Athina Hansen

Content Writer at Gradehacker

Updated on March, 2023

How to Come Up with an Eye-Catching Essay Title

Think back to the last time you had to come up with an eye-catching essay title for college. 

We are with you if you think that It is not an easy process! In theory, writing an essay title seems like a piece of cake. But when it comes time actually to write one, it is easy for your mind to go completely blank!

At Gradehacker, in our years of experience helping non-traditional students like you, we have seen how common it is for students to struggle with finding a title for their essays.

In this article, we’ll teach you how to come up with a successful essay title so you never again have to stay completely blank when writing your paper.

Why is a Good Essay Title Important?

You might be asking yourself, how important is your essay title? Well, your title is the first step in knocking your professor’s socks off.

An essay title is the first thing your professor will read, and therefore it can either set up your essay for success or failure.

Readers will make their first impression of your essay by reading the title. This means that if you have a poor title, it would be more challenging for the reader to be interested in your essay.

Your essay title should aim to be enticing and lure your reader into continuing reading.

Think of your essay title as a book cover! 

As much as they say, don’t judge a book by its cover, the reality is we are all guilty of doing so. Write a concise title that will spark a reader’s interest and one that will set the rest of your essay up for greatness!

Components of an Essay Title

All essay titles are made up of the same key components. 

It is important to recognize what these components are to nail each one and create an outstanding title. All academic essay titles are made up of:

What do These Title Components Look Like?

In case you don’t have a clear picture of how to identify these components, let’s examine the following title:

A Screen Away: Maintaining Relationships During the Coronavirus Pandemic

The hook: A Screen Away

Topic keywords: Maintaining Relationships

Focus keywords: During the Coronavirus Pandemic

You can also take a look at this example to see good essay titles in action.


Creating The Perfect Essay Title

Now that you are aware of an essay title’s components and why essay titles are so important, let’s focus on how you can create a title that your professor won’t forget.

Leave Your Essay Title For Last!

When writing an essay, coming up with your essay title might seem like a logical first step. This is not always the case, and honestly, it shouldn’t be! 

This is because we write essays in a logical order, beginning with the introduction and ending with the conclusion.

Even if you know which direction your essay will take, the chances are the final product may be different from your expectations.

By leaving titling an essay as the last step, you will ensure that the title is in line with what you wrote.

Also, by titling your academic essay last, it can come through inspiration instead of spending time brainstorming for it.

Use Your Thesis Statement For Inspiration

You don’t have to struggle to summarize your whole essay into a couple of words. Luckily for you, we have a way to simplify the concept:

Your thesis statement should integrate the argument you make in the essay. This means that basing your title on your thesis statement is a great idea!

Let’s see an example of a thesis statement:

“The government should allocate more funds to public transportation, as it is more environmentally friendly, offers low-cost transport, and is quick.”

If we use this thesis statement for inspiration, a title we could come up with is:

“Fostering the Use of Public Transport: Do the Environment and Yourself a Favor”

Pretty simple, right? 

And in case you are also having a hard time trying to come up with a solid thesis statement, then be sure to watch our video! It’ll take you less than two minutes to learn how our process works.

Use Popular Phrases to Hook Your Reader

Do you struggle with hooking your reader in? If you tend to have difficulties coming up with a creative title and catchy hook, you can utilize popular phrases. 

Using these at the start of your title is a guaranteed way to entice your reader!

Let’s take the prior thesis statement example. For that, we could add “no-brainer” as one of the popular phrases as a hook:

“A No-Brainer: Why We Should Embrace Public Transport”

That’s another suggestion that you can start implementing to come up with an original title.

Make Sure Your Title Matches The Essay's Tone

You cannot lose sight of the tone of your essay when brainstorming your title! 

If your essay takes on a serious approach, using a humorous or witty title will be inappropriate and not capture your essay’s intent.

Our advice is to evaluate the tone of your essay and make sure it is aligned with the title. The tone and title of your essay should work together and not against each other.

You can also have a checklist or bullet points where you list all the things your essay title must have!

essay title good headline

Stick to a Simple Title and Not a Complex One

You may think writing a complex or long title will make you look smart, but the truth is that it can actually work against you.

This is because using a complicated or long title may result in confusion or make it hard for the reader to understand.

Keep it simple! Don’t risk the success of your essay by choosing a title that is just not representing what you wrote.

Stay Away From Jargon and Abbreviations

When you include jargon words in your title, it can be difficult for others to understand the essay only by the title. Meanwhile, using abbreviations can also confuse or even appear too casual.

So, avoid both jargon and abbreviations. Always focus on clarity and conciseness!

eye catching essay title woman writing

Stick to Active Voice

Make sure that the verbs you include in your title are active and not in a passive voice.

There are several strategies you can use to come up with a great title that will draw the reader in and help make your essay stand out.

Active verbs express action and make the title more engaging and dynamic. It can help to clearly communicate what your essay will be about in just a few words.

Summarize Your Essay

An excellent strategy to get you flowing is to summarize your whole essay or the central ideas into 3 words.

You could ask yourself: If I had to describe my essay to someone in 3 words, which words would I use? 

Once you have these 3 words, use those key elements to incorporate them into your title!

With some thought and creativity, you can come up with a great title that will draw in readers and make them want to read more.

Having a great conclusion can help you much faster to summarize and come up with ideas for your fantastic title, you can improve and learn about it in just a few minutes by watching our video about how you can refine your essay conclusion.

Creating a Successful Essay Title

An essay title is not a minor part of your essay. It is the cherry on top, and it’s what will make or break your essay!

Being able to make a successful essay title for your piece of writing is an important skill to have. You cannot be lazy with your title because it is the first taste your reader will get of your essay.

A successful essay title makes a successful essay. Aim for a catchy title that will persuade your reader that your essay is worth reading!

Still, we understand that writing an essay title is not as easy as it seems. If you ever need help when writing your essay or want to have a better college experience, remember that Gradehacer will be glad to have your back!

Hopefully, these tips will change your experience in writing essay titles and will allow you to create a successful essay title that will amaze your professor.

If you want to find more ways that you can make your essays stand out, we invite you to check these blogs!

Athina Hansen

Athina Hansen

Athina has worked with Gradehacker both as a content writer and a study consultant, where she assisted college students with nursing courses. Athina has a background of educating others and producing content, having tutored college students and produced articles for her school magazine. She brings her experience to her current role, where she writes content to empower and assist the non-traditional college student who is often overlooked. You can find her on LinkedIn