Conventions of Composition Rule 24

Rule: The title of your essay should appear at the center of the top page of your essay, should be capitalized as in rule 23 above, should NOT conclude with period, should NOT be a title anybody else has already used (specifically, not the title of the work you're writing about), should NOT be italicized, underscored, surrounded by quotation marks, or in a different shape, size, or style font. An essay's title should lure the reader to want to keep reading. Capture your reader's interest.


Wrong: Brave New World

Boring: Purple Hibiscus assignment

Correct (but boring): My Opinion of A Tale of Two Cities

Correct: Sisters, Aunts, and Grandmothers

Correct: What College Should I Choose

Correct: The Woods Are Afire!

Practice deciding if the following are good essay titles. If so, how would you format each?

  1. the adventures of huckleberry finn

  2. into one ear out the other

  3. best 45 minutes of my life english last tuesday

Resources for further explanation of formatting essays' titles:

IVCC Stylebook's Formatting an Essay Title in MLA Style

Purdue OWL's General Formatting