How to Title an Argumentative Essay: 7 Tips for Better Results

An argumentative essay title is the first thing that meets the eyes of a reader. Write it well and you stand the chance to grab their attention right from the start. Get it wrong and you lose them altogether.

We’ve written this guide to show you exactly how to write titles that grab attention, even for the most controversial topics within the scope of this assignment.

The target reader should look at the title and get a vivid picture of what your essay is likely to be about so they become hooked. If you can establish the position that you hold upfront, your target audience is likely to know the argument you intend to present even before they get to the first paragraph.

Key Takeaways

  • Your title doesn’t have to be anything out of the ordinary. However, it does have to be interesting enough to capture the attention of your audience.
  • The title should present your position on the issue, and the rest of your argumentative essay should build upon it.
  • Keep it simple. The last mistake you want to make when coming up with a title is to confuse your target reader.

7 Tips to Write a Good Title for an Argumentative Essay

Here are some tips and insights guaranteed to help you write a captivating title for your argumentative essay:

1. Don’t Write the Title First

There’s nothing wrong with writing the title first. In some cases, starting with a title can give you clear roadmaps on how to develop your essay. However, this approach may not be as effective for some topics.

We strongly recommend that you write the essay first, and for two reasons. First, you save a lot of time, which would otherwise go into thinking too much about what title to give your paper. Second, you can use the content of your essay to generate the best title ideas fast.

The last thing you want is to stare at a blank page for hours and not know what to title your work. So how about you spend time on research, outline, and drafting and just let ideas flow naturally?

2. Use the Right Format

Here’s the deal:

You want nothing more than for your title to draw in the attention of your audience and get them to read the rest of the essay.

The best possible approach is to use the right language and tone.

  • Avoid complete sentences and use phrases instead. Remove instances of criticism and use verbs if you can.
  • Write a complete statement, read it to identify weak words, and replace the words with terms and phrases that add depth and appeal.
  • The final title should communicate the overriding theme of your argument without superfluous phrases such as “an argument over” or “investigation into”.  

3. Consider a Title that Reflects Your Argument

While titles in argumentative essays serve different purposes, the most important one is to inform the reader about the content of the assignment. Therefore, the best title for the essay is one that connects to the argument(s) in your paper.   

Take the following title, for example:

  • Debt Freeze: America’s Biggest Mistake

First, this title shows what the writer thinks. Second, expresses that the United States made a mistake to approve the measures to have debt frozen.

What makes this title stand out is that it not only summarizes the paper but also it suggests that the written work is more succinct and engaging.

4. Make It Interesting

Your lecturer is more than likely going to read and grade hundreds, if not thousands, of essays this year. You want yours to be one of the papers that stand out because of a captivating title.

Therefore, in addition to using the right format to reflect your argument, ensure the title is interesting enough to grab the attention of the reader, enough to make them want to read the rest of the essay.

An easy way is to use thought-provoking statements.

For example, a phrase such as “The Killer’s Innocence” is a strong statement that grabs attention immediately because it combines differing ideas opposite to each other.

Thought-provoking statements are particularly handy if combined with words that reflect your argument. They enable the reader to understand what you’re likely to focus on even before they get to the introduction of your argument.

5. Consider a Compound Title

A compound title has two parts: an evocative primary title and a descriptive subtitle separated with a full colon.

For example:

  • Social Media: Students Should Have the Right to Use Facebook and Instagram in College

In this example, the main part indicates the internet platform used by millions of people around the world. The subtitle gives the author’s position on the right to use social media in colleges.

There’s a difference between the tone in the main title and the one conveyed in the second part. Overall, title hooks the reader and gives them the urge to know the author’s argument on whether it’s right or wrong to allow the use of social media in school.

6. Avoid Abbreviations

Avoid using abbreviations, slangs, or jargon in your title. For example, don’t use ‘vs.’ instead of ‘versus’ or ‘misc’ instead of ‘miscellaneous,’ as it may undermine the effort you’ve invested in writing.

Also, abbreviations or slang in the title can make your essay seem too casual and discourage the reader from investing their time to read your work.

  • Use full, proper words to maintain a professional tone.
  • Avoid lengthy and complex titles because they are cumbersome to read and can hinder your teacher from grasping the essay’s context.
  • Ensure the full title provides insight into your paper’s primary argument to convey your main point clearly from the onset.

7. Keep It Simple

An effective title uses clear, direct words that require minimal thinking to understand. Resist the temptation to incorporate complicated or fancy terms, as this may weaken your essay.

It’s important to avoid unnecessary information when writing your title. Select key and relevant words from your paper to create a concise and impactful title.

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