How to Write Titles in an Essay

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When you're writing an essay for school or any other purpose, it is often helpful to divide the essay into sections. Above each section, offer a new title or “heading” that signifies what it's about. Doing this benefits you because it allows you to best organize your points for discussion; it also helps the reader to best digest your writing and process the information it contains.

  • Formatting style guidebook

1 Create an outline

Create an outline of your essay before you begin writing. This will help you organize your thoughts in a way that's easy for readers to comprehend. Once you have developed an outline, you can assess where you will need to add headings within your essay.

2 Write your essay

Write your essay following the outline you created in Step 1. Divide your essay into sections by common themes in accordance with your outline. For example, if you are writing about adopting a pet, you may find your essay is easily broken up into sections that address such topics as the benefits, drawbacks, costs and process of adopting a pet. Use these themes to assure your essay has flow and is easy to follow.

3 Use the section themes

Use the section themes you developed in Step 2 to form headings that will work well. Title each section with a heading. Highlight your section headings with a bold or italic font, in accordance with the formatting style book you are using for your essay. You could also center the headings, or use a larger font for them or a font in a color that's different from the body of the essay. Refer to a style guidebook for information on properly formatting your headings.

4 Be but with your headings

Be concise but specific with your headings. In the pet-adoption example, a clear yet brief heading would be “Pet Adoption Procedures.” This clearly defines what your audience can expect to read next, and allows you room to adequately address the topic at hand. Don't be afraid to be creative, however. Instead of “Pet Adoption Procedures," you could use “Puppy Parenting: How to Do It," a heading that could add interest to your essay.

5 Make each

Make sure each heading properly addresses the topic of that section of your essay. Once you have included headings, scan your essay's sections for inconsistencies. You may need to expand a heading or make it more specific to make sure its meaning is clear. Or you may need to move around some of the body of your text so that it fits properly within your essay.

Liza Hollis has been writing for print and online publications since 2003. Her work has appeared on various digital properties, including Hollis earned a degree in English Literature from the University of Florida.