How to Title an Argumentative Essay (7 IMPORTANT Rules)

January 16, 2023


This guide will teach you exactly how to title an argumentative essay.

Every college essay begins with a title and then builds up from there.

Often, the title for any type of essay that you intend to write should feature at least two elements. First, it must communicate what the essay is about. And second, it should present a hook that gets your audience to read the rest of the paper.

For the most part, writing a title for an argumentative essay follows the same pattern. Only there is a small caveat that you need to observe in order to ace it in this section of the paper.

When it comes to writing a title for your argumentative assignment, it's important that you establish a stance upfront. This will go a long way to let your reader know what you're up right from the start.

This entire guide will cover how to give a good title to your argumentative essay, plus a few tips that you can use to make your essay read well from start to finish.

How to Write A Title For An Argumentative Essay

1. Don’t Focus on Writing the Title First

Most people think it’s a good idea to craft a title for their argumentative essay before writing the argument itself. The best authors write first and then do the title last.

It doesn’t harm to have a rough idea about your title in the mind even as you write the paper. If anything, this helps you to have a clear roadmap on how to develop an argument and focus.

However, when you concentrate on writing the paper first, you are likely to get ideas about what to include in your title. This is because as you go through your essay proofing it, you might think of what to say to intrigue your reader.

Also, deciding to write your title after you are through with the essay avoids time wastage.

Students typically spend hours thinking of what to write as their argumentative essay title. This time could be put into better use, for instance, researching, writing an outline, or the actual drafting of the paper.

2. Use the Appropriate Title Structure

Did you know that how well your title works is dependent on the language that you use? It is advisable to ditch complete sentences and instead use phrases, cut out the flak, and use verbs whenever you can.

Experts recommend that you first write the title as a statement before paring it down. Read through it and remove weaker words and in their place put words that have more appealing language.

Your title should be interesting and communicate to the reader the overriding theme of the argument and the attitude. You are better off keeping off of superfluous words like “Investigation into” or “an argument over”.

3. Your Title Should Reflect Your Argument

One of the most important things to ensure while crafting a title for your argumentative essay is to see to it that connects to the argument that the paper presents.

Remember that your title serves several purposes, one of which is to inform the reader about what the essay is about.

Consider a title like 'Debt Freeze: America’s Biggest Mistake'. This title serves two purposes. First, it expresses the opinion of the writer, and secondly, it shows that the US made a mistake approving the measure.

To write a title, you might start by writing down one phrase that best summarizes your paper. For example, you may write:

“Freezing Debts for Developing Countries is a Bad Idea”. After that, work your title to end up with something engaging and more succinct.

4. Come up with an Interesting Idea

One of the main attributes of an effective title is its ability to grab the attention of the reader and make them want to continue reading the paper to the end.

A good way to achieve this is to write a thought-proving statement, like ‘The Killer’s Innocence’. Such a title combines two seemingly opposite and different ideas.

These phrases can make particularly strong titles when used with words that reflect your argument. This way, the reader can see right away what you are writing about without having any clue about the subject.

5. Use a Compound Title

A compound title refers to a title that contains an evocative primary title that is then followed by a more overly descriptive subtitle. The first part of such a title is separated from the second with a full colon.

For instance, “Redemption: How I came Through a Summer Camp Unscathed”. In this title, the main part indicates a heroic or uplifting tone.

On the other hand, the subtitle provides information about how the author survived the summer camp.

You will notice a sharp contrast between the heroic tone set by the main title and the more mundane tone conveyed by the second part of the tile, which is what hooks the reader because they are interested in seeing how these opposite parts work together.

6. Keep it Simple

Avoid using complicated or fancy words as these can easily confuse your reader. The most effective titles use straight-to-the-point words that don’t require thinking to understand.

Also, do not be tempted to add unnecessary information in the essay title. Choose useful and important words from your paper to craft a great title.

7. Avoid Abbreviations

More often than not, students use abbreviations, slangs, or jargons in the title of their argumentative essay when there are full, proper words that they can use easily.

You have put in a lot of work and effort to craft a great essay but you can easily undo all this by using ‘vs.’ instead of ‘versus’ or ‘misc’ instead of ‘miscellaneous’.

Abbreviations or slang in the title is likely to portray the essay as too casual that doesn’t warrant spending time on it. What will happen next is that your reader will move on to the next essay and sideline yours.
Summarize Your Title in 5 Words

While there is no doubt that your title should be brief, it should also leave behind clues as to what the primary argument of your paper is.

Long and complicated titles appear as cumbersome, and also make it more difficult for the readers to make out the meaning of your essay context. You should always aim at getting to the point straight away.


Framing an effective title for your argumentative essay requires commitment, proper time, and diligence. Additionally, you need to use the right structure for your title and keep it simple. At the same time, avoid complicated or fancy words in your title, and write the title once you have done the essay.

About the author 

Antony W is a professional writer and coach at Help for Assessment. He spends countless hours every day researching and writing great content filled with expert advice on how to write engaging essays, research papers, and assignments.

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