Dr. Sandi Van Lieu

Creating a Title

Your essay’s title should:

  • Be original
  • Be a reasonable length
  • Reflect your topic
  • Be lively and attention-getting

Your title should NOT:

  • Be generic/repeat the assignment
  • Be in ALL CAPS
  • Be in boldface, “quotation marks,” underlined, or italicized
  • Be followed by a period

Capitalization Rules for Titles:

  • Always capitalize the first letter of the first word and the last word.
  • Capitalize the first letter of each “important” word in between the first and last words.
  • Do not capitalize articles (a, an, the), unless they are after a colon
  • Do not capitalize coordinating conjunctions (and, but, or, etc.)
  • Do not capitalize prepositions (on, at, in, off, etc.)


Following are some of examples of real student titles:

1. “Hills Like White Elephants:” A Dance Between Two Lovers

2. Behind the Mask of Seduction in “The Cask of Amontillado”

3. Changes: An Existential Journey

4. Kinder is the War with “The Things They Carried”

5. What We Do Affects Us: An Argument for Masks during Covid-19

6. Healthcare Workers: Overworked and Underappreciated

Exercise 1

1. Using the above criteria, create three different possible titles for your essay.

2. Swap titles with a classmate and give advice about which one is the strongest.


  • “Creating a Title,” created by Dr. Sandi Van Lieu and licensed under CC BY NC SA 3.0.


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