Choosing The Proper Format For Your Essay Title: Common Mistakes


When it comes to writing an essay, there are usually a few requirements. Most of them are in the actual paper itself. These requirements include the introduction, hook, and thesis as well as body paragraphs filled with topic sentences and details. Most teachers also require the use of a conclusion at the end of the project. There are several features like titles and in-text citations that teachers could require, but often do not. This is why students do not always know how to properly format titles.

Know What Style to Use

The first thing to consider when creating a title for a paper is the required formatting. Most major papers should be written in either APA or MLA style. APA or American Psychological Association and MLA or Modern Language Association are clearing houses for academic papers. These organizations make decisions about paper formatting so that professionals and people in academia can submit papers that look the same. The only difference in the projects are the subjects of the papers. When they look the same, those who analyze the papers can look at the topics and know what the different formatting is.

Create a Title Appropriately

When students do not know how to format a title, they often make the same mistakes. All too often, students will include words or phrases that should not be the actual title. For example, an essay written about Romeo and Juliet should not be titled “Romeo and Juliet” because that is part of the title of play by William Shakespeare. The name of the play can be included in the title, but it should only accompany words that describe the paper. A more appropriate title would be “Looking at Gang Activity in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.”

Get a Style Manual and Use It

Another common mistake involves the placement of the title. Once students decide on an appropriate name, they should be sure to put in the proper place. Some styles require a title page and some require the title to be a part of the header. Some styles advise writers to use punctuation, like colons, in the title, too. It is advisable to look at a style manual before final submission of the paper. If the title is full of mistakes, the instructor who is grading the essay will be on the lookout for more mistakes and the paper will earn a poor score.

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