How to Come Up With Catchy Titles for College Essays

by Amy Sterling Casil, Demand Media Google

A catchy title for a college essay can capture the interest of a bored, tired instructor. Just be certain you aren't being too humorous or off topic with your title, which could result in a lower grade. Keep the interests of the instructor and other readers in mind when creating catchy titles and writing essays.

Title and Subtitle

Capture the reader's interest with a main title followed by a subtitle. For example, if you are writing a persuasive essay advocating for paying student athletes, a catchy title could be "Student-Athlete Pay: End College Indentured Servitude." For a drug-policy essay, if you agree with economist Milton Friedman that the war on drugs is too costly, a catchy title and subtitle could be: "Friedman Was Right: Ending the War on Drugs Will Save Money and Lives."

Direct and Clear

A direct, clear title expressing your opinion is catchy. Economist Milton Friedman's title for his essay on ending the U.S. war on drugs is a good example of a clear, catchy title: "It's Time to End the War on Drugs." An essay about global climate change could be titled, "Reduce Carbon Emissions Now to Save the Planet." Even a literature essay can have a catchy title. An essay about Hamlet could be titled, "Hamlet Could Never Make Up His Mind."

Problem and Solution

Another good way to capture the reader's interest is by proposing a problem and a solution. Be straightforward with the problem. For example, an essay about the obesity crisis among children could have the catchy title, "Kids Are Too Fat: Solutions for the Obesity Epidemic." In a public policy or political science class, an essay about voting rights could have a title of, "Not All Citizens Can Vote: How to Solve the Problem of Recent Voter Rights Challenges."

Funny Titles

Be aware that instructors may not share your sense of humor if you use a funny title. However, if you think the instructor will be amenable, some classes, such as art history, literature or music-survey courses, lend themselves to humorous titles. For example, you could title a paper about Picasso, "All Broken Up: Picasso's Cubist Period." A paper about Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet could be titled, "Romeo and Juliet Should Have Waited for Marriage."

About the Author

Amy Sterling Casil is an award-winning writer with a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Chapman University in Orange, Calif. She is a professional author and college writing teacher, and has published 20 nonfiction books for schools and libraries.