Can anyone help with some ideas for a persuasive essay title? The topic is mental health issues and what society should be doing to help.

Expert Answers
litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

An essay’s title should reflect the topic thematically, and be interesting and meaningful.

It is difficult to give you an exact title without knowing exactly what is in the essay, but I can give you some advice about essay titles in general.  An essay’s title should be thematically linked to the content of the essay.  The title is the first thing a person sees, but it does not have to be the first thing you write.  When you sit down to write your essay, you might consider just writing the word “title” as a placeholder.  That way you won’t waste a bunch of time trying to come up with a title, write a title unrelated to your essay, or worse, write a mediocre title and end up just sticking with it.

Your essay’s title should be a big idea.  If you are writing about mental illness, make sure it is catchy and thematically relevant, but not trivial, demeaning, or vulgar.  Mental illness is nothing to make fun of.  For this topic, you might consider something like these titles.

Mental Health is Everyone’s Business

There to Help: What Society Can do to Change the Stigma

Each of these titles reinforce the idea that mental health is society’s business, but they are not over-simplified.  Instead, they focus on the thematic elements of the topic.  Of course, these are just ideas.  You will want to come up with your own, based specifically on what you are writing about in your essay.  You can base your title off of a quote you used in your essay, a point, or some other common thread.

The most important thing to remember is that while the title is the first impression your essay gives, it is not the most important feature of your essay. Make sure it is neat and in title case, but otherwise just have one and make sure the rest of your essay is good and organized!

William Delaney eNotes educator| Certified Educator

You may be having trouble coming up with a title for your essay on mental health because you are trying to deal with too broad a topic in a single essay. Even the world's greatest authority on mental health would not try to cover such a vast subject in a single piece. He or she, this imaginary world's greatest authority, would select one aspect of mental health and devote the entire article to that. I don't know much about mental health, but one aspect that occurs to me is suicide. If you wrote a paper about how to recognize potential suicide symptoms in teenages, just for example, then the title would come much easier. Not only the title, but the whole paper. You might title it "Three Signs of Suicidal Thoughts in Teenagers." I believe that students get into trouble with term papers because they try to cover too much. Why? Partly because they don't foresee how much research they will have to do and how much explaining they will have to give in their papers. But also because they're a little bit afraid they might not have enough ideas or enough research material to fill up the requisite number of pages. Another thing that students do that causes frustration and even writer's block is to try to come up with a title and a thesis statement before they have written their paper. The title comes first--but it doesn't have to be written first. Sometimes it is the very last thing a professional writer will think about. The same applies to a thesis. Write the paper and then find your thesis in what you have written. How can you know what you are going to say before you have said it? Don't try to write about mental health. Write about a single aspect of mental health. Then write a working title, which you can change into a final title whenever you want. It might be something you can lift right out of your paper.