Titles with Pizzazz (Part 3)

When Is Your Title Right?

How can you know when your title is right?  The acronym “ACE” will help you create a memorable title.

“A” is for accurate. The title must truthfully reveal the focus of the article and also fit its tone. You wouldn’t put “Buffalo Bob Bites Bullet” on a serious crime story any more than the President would turn up for a televised press conference in a sweat suit.

 “C” is for concise. Five to seven words are a typically good length. Active verbs, specific nouns, and bright adjectives help tighten the message.

 “E” is for eye-catching. You have just a few words to convince your readers you can provide what they want. So you appeal to their felt needs, whether that is for information, inspiration, consternation, or confirmation. One study showed the use of pronouns (“you,” “I,” “they”) and the “how-to” approach made for stronger titles.

Put a lot of thought in a title before sending your manuscript to an editor. The first person you need to impress is at the publishing house, so they will publish your article or book.