The comment “Title?” refers to your paper’s lack of a title. We oftentimes know people by their titles and we observe people differently based upon their titles. If John says that he works at IBM, we automatically say to him, “Oh, that’s a good job. What are the benefits?” However, if John says that he is the vice-president of marketing, we really don’t hear IBM anymore. All we hear is VP, not even “vice-president.”

We begin to look at John differently, quickly. Although we have never been to John’s office, we imagine what his office looks like and we assume immediately that he works on the “executive floor.” Where else can he work? Our minds make up many constructions about how he works with his employees. We fill in the gaps through imagination, without ever asking a question.

When you attach a title to your paper, you heighten the senses of your professor and other readers. As the professor reads each paragraph, he or she waits in anticipation for the confirmation of some sense of the title’s implications. For example, if your title is “All Dogs are Nice,” then your professor reads with anticipation to see any indication of the title’s keywords within each paragraph of the paper.

With this in mind, when you leave off the title, you leave off the character of your essay. Attach a title to your paper.  Let the title ignite a desire in your professor to read the paper.

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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