How to Write an Outstanding Title for Your College Application Essay
The title of your application essay is the first thing the admissions staff will see. You can approach writing your title in different ways so experts from College-Writers.com decided to provide you with valuable tips that will help you create the most impressive title.
What It’s All About?
The first question you should ask yourself is what your essay will be about. Do you want your readers to know its topic before reading it? If you want it, you certainly need a good title. Moreover, you want your title to be interesting and impressive. For example, ask yourself, what book you would like to read: “To Kill a Mockingbird,” or “Some Story by Harper Lee About Something You Will Understand After You Read It.” If your work doesn’t have a proper title, your audience will not have any reasons to actually read it. Your goal is to motivate the college admission folks to read the whole essay.
Imagine a newspaper without titles. What article would you read? Where would you start? What would look interesting to you? Obviously, such a newspaper would look absolutely ridiculous. The same goes for your application essay: your audience needs to know what it is to decide whether they want to read it or not.
Once you’ve realized that you need a title, it’s time to think of how you can make it effective. A title has three main purposes:
1. Grabbing attention;
2. Motivating your audience to read the essay;
3. Giving your readers a sneak peek into what this essay is about.
Although your title should explain what your essay is about, this explanation shouldn’t be too detailed. You don’t need an overwritten and long title. Otherwise, it will look pretentious and unnatural. Make your title concise yet clear, keeping your audience intrigued.
Good Essay Titles
There are no universal rules for titles. You can choose different approaches and get equally good titles.
- For example, you can play with words. You can even make up your own word or use words with double meaning. The main thing is to make such a title directly related to the key idea of your paper.
- You can also be provocative. We recommend that you choose this approach if your essay is about an embarrassing, funny, or shocking moment in your life. A provocative title is a great solution if you want to grab attention and to make your readers intrigued.
- Finally, you can write a straightforward title which concisely explains the idea of your essay. For example, “The Best Experience in My Life” is a simple but informative title that fulfills its purpose.
The main point is to motivate your readers to learn more. What does this strange word mean? There’s no such word! Why is this title so provocative?
Common Mistakes to Avoid
- Overly general language
Don’t try to cover too much in your title. For example, “The Story of My Life” means that the author is going to describe many years of their life in just a few hundred words, and such an attempt will certainly fail. Don’t make your readers doubt your essay even before they read it.
- Vague language
If you title your essay “A Good Experience,” your readers will learn nothing from it. Such words as “good,” “bad,” “nice,” or “evil” are too general and subjective. Be more specific.
- Slick wordplay
If you want to use wordplay, make sure that your audience will actually understand and appreciate it. If somebody doesn’t understand your pun, the title will just look ridiculous, damaging the overall impression of your essay, even if the essay itself is not bad.
- Pretentious vocabulary
Don’t try to look smarter by using complex words. Make sure that your language is accessible and clear. You don’t want your readers to stop while reading your title, trying to figure out what you’ve wanted to say. Most likely, they just won’t read your essay at all.
It’s hard to imagine something more embarrassing than a misspelled title. You don’t want to mention “patients” when your essay is about “patience,” or write “its” instead of “it’s.” Everybody makes mistakes, but a title with mistakes is a disaster.
If you use clichés in your title, your readers will think that your essay is unremarkable and, therefore, not worth their attention. Be authentic and unique.
Both beginners and seasoned writers have hard times trying to come up with a perfect title that is effective and memorable. To make this task easier, we recommend that you write your essay first, and then title it. In addition, don’t be afraid to ask for help. You can always contact experts from College-Writers.com, and they will write a perfect title for your essay. We also recommend that you brainstorm on your title, writing down any ideas that come to your mind so that you can select the best one. Keep in mind that your title will make an immediate impression on your audience.
In addition, when writing an essay for the Common Application, don’t forget that your title will also go in the text box, affecting the overall word count.