how to title an essay in mla

how to title an essay in mla

In MLA format, you should title your essay with a clear and informative title. Here’s how to correctly title an essay in MLA style:

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1. Center the Title:

  • Place the title of your essay in the center of the page, aligned with the body of the text. Do not bold, italicize, underline, or use quotation marks around the title.

2. Use Title Case:

  • Capitalize the first letter of each major word in the title. This includes nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and pronouns. Articles (e.g., “a,” “an,” “the”), conjunctions (e.g., “and,” “but,” “or”), and prepositions (e.g., “in,” “on,” “at”) are typically not capitalized unless they are the first word in the title.

3. Be Specific and Informative:

  • Choose a title that provides a clear idea of the essay’s topic or main theme. Avoid vague or generic titles. The title should give the reader a sense of what to expect from the essay.

4. Omit Extra Punctuation:

  • Avoid using unnecessary punctuation in the title, such as colons or exclamation points, unless they are essential to convey the title’s meaning.

5. Keep It Concise:

  • Aim for a concise title that is neither too short nor excessively long. It should provide a glimpse into the essay’s focus without being overly detailed.

6. Italicize Titles Within Titles:

  • If your essay includes the title of a book, film, or other major work within it, italicize that title while keeping your essay title in regular font. For example, “Exploring the Themes in To Kill a Mockingbird.”

Here’s an example of a correctly formatted title in MLA style:

The Impact of Climate Change on Biodiversity

Remember to apply these guidelines when titling your essay in MLA format. The title serves as the reader’s first impression of your essay, so make it clear, informative, and properly formatted.

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