Apart from the running text, essays and articles also need a title and, usually, a list of references. These two elements frame the text in the sense that the title is what first welcomes the reader to the text and the list of references is the final part of the text.
Titles need to be informative and attractive in order to gain prospective readers' attention. Consider the following when formulating a title:
- Avoid long and convoluted titles. If choosing a so-called compound title (a title consisting of two elements separated by a colon, for instance), make sure that both parts of the title are relevant and necessary.
- Include keywords of the text in the title in order to inform prospective readers as well as to make sure that the text is easily found by readers interested in the subject.
- Sometimes it is appropriate to describe what kind of investigation the text comprises. For instance, nouns such as 'investigation', 'exploration', 'discussion', or 'comparison' could be used.
- Avoid false marketing - make sure that your title does not indicate something that is not actually discussed in the article.
The nature of the reference list will depend on the reference style, although there are some general features that are usually included. Read more about them in the AWELU text on