Every assignment in this class--and eventually, your senior essay--must be preceded by a title. Have you ever read a book that has no name? Seen a title-less film? Met a nameless person?

An assignment without a title falls, more or less, into one of these very sorry categories. Why? Well, first, a good title tells the reader what to expect. Second, a good title is an invitation to the reader to go on reading. It is perhaps one of the most important parts of a piece of writing. I could go on, but these reasons should already convince you.

Now, what is a title? If you are working on Hemingway's "For Whom the Bell Tolls" could that be the title of YOUR essay?  Absolutely not!!! Why, because that's the name of his book, not of what YOU are trying to do. Also, how does your reader know what it is that you're trying to do with this book?  Are you going to review it?   Use it as a source of information about the Spanish Civil War?  Explore the impact of that war on novelists?  So this is better:

Review of Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls.



A title, especially if it involves creative writing, can be more imaginative and inviting, but for the moment, for the kinds of assignments we are doing in the first few weeks of this class, a descriptive title like the above is good enough. 

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