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Norton/Write

Visit our companion site, American Passages. Produced in conjunction with Oregon Public Broadcasting, this rich site includes an archive featuring over 3,000 images, audio clips, presentation software, and more.

Writing about Literature

The Writing Process

Crafting a Title

Complete your essay by giving it a title. As any researcher trying to locate and assess sources by browsing titles will tell you, titles are extremely important. They’re the first thing readers encounter and a writer’s first opportunity to create a good impression and to shape readers’ expectations. Every good essay deserves a good title. And a good title is one that both informs and interests. Inform readers by telling them both the work(s) your essay will analyze and something about your topic. Interest them with an especially vivid and telling word or a short phrase from the literary work (" ‘We all said, "she will kill herself " ’: The Narrator/Detec-tive in William Faulkner’s ‘A Rose for Emily’ "), with a bit of wordplay (" ‘Tintern Abbey’ and the Art of Artlessness"), or with a little of both ("A Rose for ‘A Rose for Emily’ ").

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