The best essay titles are those that give a little of the essay content away while requiring the reader to decode the title's complete significance while reading the essay. Essay titles should be concise, creative, unique and informative. A writer should never title a literary analysis essay with the same title as the analyzed work. Create innovative and effective essay titles by using subject knowledge and creativity. Remember, a great essay title inspires readers to think beyond the title and content of the essay and to apply it's message to the outside world.
Identify one central idea or theme for the start of your title. A good essay title presents a centralized theme or idea for the reader to ponder before beginning the essay. Different genres of writing require slightly different types of titles. For example, expository essays typically have informative titles such as, "The Solar System: Planets in Orbit." Analytical essays generally have creative titles that present the content in an original format, for example, "Shakespeare's Sonnets: The rhyme and rhythm of love."
Experiment with variations of the same idea. Titles don't always have to have a colon separating the main idea from a second creative or more specific focus. However, the title of an essay should never be solely the name of the work or topic it discusses. Change the wording subtly so that you have several variations of the same title, then, read through the essay to see which variation is most effective in getting your point across.
Check your title for proper format. Capitalize all proper nouns within a title and italicize or underline the titles of major works (novels, articles etc.). If your title appears to be very long, shorten it or move it onto two lines rather than one. In general, titles should be as concise as possible so that the meaning isn't lost in excessive wordiness. There isn't an exact number of words for the perfect essay title, rather the ideas should be presented as sufficiently as possible.