I just wrote an essay on the themes of loss and survival and I am looking for a good title. Here is my thesis: Sources that probe the relationship between loss and survival suggest that all human...

I just wrote an essay on the themes of loss and survival and I am looking for a good title. Here is my thesis:

Sources that probe the relationship between loss and survival suggest that all human beings have an idiosyncratic tendency to survive, but they fail to realize that it comes at the unfortunate price of loss. 

Asked on by sequoia

2 Answers

durbanville's profile pic

durbanville | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

An essay title is the first indication of the contents of an essay. It can reveal characteristics of the writer or the subject and sometimes both. The title can be revealing or a means to encourage a reader to search for the real meaning in the essay. In an essay on loss and survival, the writer of the essay can decide whether to focus on the debilitating sense of loss or the relief and sense of accomplishment at having survived.

Read the essay again and ask yourself whether the message is clear.On completion of the essay was there a feeling of accomplishment or disillusionment.  All that effort to survive, all the sacrifices required and the loss itself all take something away and create internal conflict, revealing emotions - which of these emotions is the most overwhelming? 

There is a tendency to be glib about titles so it is important to make the title a personal choice to ensure its personal message. In books, for example, there is a need to reach a broad audience and so the title of a book would usually reflect this, potentially losing some of the depth which is why chapter titles are crucial. Consider the title of this essay as the title of one of the chapters of your best-selling book.

If survival is your key point, consider the various types of survival such as physical, emotional and so on. The thesis suggests that physical survival is assured due to man's "idiosyncratic tendency" so presumably the essay focuses on the great "cost" to possibly emotional stability, spiritual well-being or even the ability to continue to survive. Some possible options for consideration could be:

The Real Winner - the Survivor or the One that Got Away.

Is A Survivor a Real Winner? 

The out-of-control Cost of Survival

Survivor- Dead or Alive?

Physical life but Emotional and Spiritual Decay reveal the true cost of Survival. 

There is no Expense Spared in the Desire to survive but is the Cost Justified? 

The Return does not Justify the Cost in the Effort to Survive.

Survival, the Unconscious Choice and Loss, the Devastating Consequence.

These are some possible choices that will hopefully guide you to a title that works for your essay.

michuraisin's profile pic

michuraisin | Student, College Junior | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted on

When trying to come up with a title, it's always important to remember never to spend too much time working on it, or stress yourself too much thinking about it. It's always great to have a creative, witty, original title, but it's the content of the paper that matters, so a title is nearly insignificant in that sense. For a title, just make sure to let readers know what the paper is about. This could be as simple or complex as you want it to be. Try not to have too lengthy of a title because it doesn't read well, and if someone really wants the details of your paper, they'll read it. Some possible titles could be:

The Relationship Between Loss and Survival

The Cost of Survival

I Will Survive...but With a Cost

The Unfortunate Cost of Loss

Survival and Sacrifice

There's a lot of liberty when it comes to coming up with a title, but don't be afraid to keep it simple, and don't stray away from the main idea of the paper.