What would be a good title for an essay about pollution as it relates to the environment?

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appletrees | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

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I always try to have my students come up with a thoughtful title for their essays. I encourage them to do this early in the process if at all possible, because an effective title can be a good guidepost to use while writing an essay. Titles can fulfill many functions, but the two most important ones are generating interest in your topic, and giving a good idea of what the essay will be about. These are not the same thing, necessarily; generating interest can be accomplished with something that is suggestive, or funny, or shocking, or that inspires an emotional response.

Environmentalism (or, the attitude that the environment is important and needs to be protected) is sometimes a controversial topic because it is related to political attitudes about regulations, and is also affected by strong political lobbies that try to restrict regulatory action designed to protect the environment. Being aware of this controversy might be helpful in creating a title.

Descriptions or imagery can also be effective in crafting a title that is attention-getting. You might ask yourself what the first image is that comes to mind when you think about the environment, and use that in your title. Of course, this will also depend upon the main ideas explored in your essay. Don't be afraid to have a complex title; this is very common in academia and allows for plenty of detail. For example, "Polar Bears on Melting Ice: The Effect of Environmental Pollution on Arctic Habitats." Or maybe, "Where Have All the Flowers Gone? The Impact of Pollution on Wildflower Diversity." That second one works on an extra level of meaning because the first line is a song from the 1960s, which saw the birth and growth of the environmental activism movement.


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