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Essay Title Generator

essay title generator

Essay titles are not the easiest things to come up with on your own. We know. That’s why we developed our Essay Title Generator to help you create the title your paper deserves. How does it work? Simple. Just enter the topic you’re interested in researching and a random title will be generated from our database based on the parameters you provide.

Why start with a title? Easy. The best way to start your research is to identify a specific focus within your topic—and that’s what a title does. It tells precisely what your paper is going to be about. So if you’re lost and confused about where to start, try our essay title generator.

How to Use our Essay Title Generator

1. Select your "essay topic" or "type of essay" from drop down menu 2. Click the button for "Generate Essay Title." 3. Read the title that our auto-generating system produces. 4. Want more? Click the button for "Generate More Essay Titles." 5. That’s all there is to it! Use our title to help get yourself started on your research.

Essay Title:

Topic not listed in drop down? Search your specific topic

Essay Titles

Why would generating an  essay title  help you get started in your research? Think about it. Picking a focus for your paper is no walk in the park. How do you whittle down a broad topic to a narrow subject? Well, here’s a way! Try thinking of a snappy title first and going from there! Of course, not everybody is good at whipping up a creative title to get the juices flowing. That’s why we’re here to help.

All you have to do is select your topic from the drop down menu. If you have more than one topic in mind, use the generator more than once and get a bundle of titles to pick from. If you go berry-picking you don’t head out with a basket and come back with one berry, do you? NO! You fill that basket up with as many berries as you can find, then you sort them out, select the best ones, and make yourself a delicious berry pie!

That’s what we’re doing here with our essay title generator. We’re helping you to create a great essay by helping you take the first step in that process. Get your title, get your engine revving, and get going!

Important! Don’t stress—no one likes stress, and it doesn’t help anyone—ever! So leave your stress at the door and see for yourself how simple this can be. No more worries that you can’t think of anything, no more fretting over whether you’ll ever be able to focus and create a thesis. This is easy. You tell us the topic. We tell you a title idea. Want another? Click the generator button again. Need another after that? Keep clicking. Our database is filled with great titles that will launch you into the stratosphere of great ideas quick than a SpaceX Falcon rocket. So strap yourself in because we are going for a ride!

Essay Titles Generate Ideas

The title is just the beginning. It’s where the action starts. Getting a great title can be like getting a ray of sunlight that cuts right through the fog. Everything clears up and suddenly you can see where to go. There down in the valley is your essay and laid out in a path all the way to it are the stones that your essay title has tossed out. Look how they stretch out down into the valley of sweet success.

Think about it—that’s what an essay title can do for you! It gets you elevated and out of the haze so that the research becomes accessible. In the dark, you’re fumbling for a way in, unable to find the key. Well, quit fumbling! The essay title is the key. It is the way in. It opens the door for you and turns on the lights. It points you in the right direction so all you need to do is follow the straight and narrow path

As you get started on that path, stop to look around at all the fruit that pops up along the way on the vines and trees that line the path. These are the ideas that our essay titles have been designed to generate in your own mind. You see, our essay title generator is not just a generator of titles: it is a generator of ideas. It supplies the fuel that will get your brain humming and before you know it your imagination will take over and all the information you have at your disposal will suddenly start clicking into place. That’s what a good essay title does, after all. It gets all cylinders firing!

Brainstorming Essay Titles

The brainstorming process is one of the most important steps when it comes to writing. Though some professors say you should wait until after you’re finished writing to come up with a title, the reality is that sometimes starting with a title can jumpstart the brainstorming process. This is especially true when you’re having writer’s block and can’t come up with a focus for your paper. You may have the topic, but where do you go from there? There are a thousand ways you could approach it, so which one do you choose? Or—worse—you can’t think of a single one! How do you know how to start, or, if see some options, how do you know which will get you where you need to go and not end up just getting you lost?

Brainstorming is the key! So how do you brainstorm successfully? You generate ideas! And how do you do that?

Why, you pick your topic, click the generate title button, and let the brainstorming process begin!

These titles have been specially designed to stimulate your brain and get you thinking about all the possibilities to pursue with your topic. Our titles are filled with ideas. They are brimming with possibilities. There are more potential ideas in our titles than there are grains of sand on a sandy beach. Okay, so maybe there aren’t that many—but you get the idea.

Let’s get started! You need a title, and we have the answer: our essay title generator will give you exactly what you need to get going. Don’t even think about how to come up with that perfect, snappy title. Just enter in your topic and click the button. Our titles will keep you coming back for more and keep you buzzing with ideas. We’re sure you’ll find one that hits you the right way and gives you the spark to get started with your research. Our titles help to illuminate the research process. They give you an indication of where you can go and what you can do. As soon as you feel like you’re getting stuck and need some help, don’t delay. Come get the title you need and deserve. Life’s hard. Don’t wait. Select your topic from the drop down menu and click the blue button. Generate that title, and get some great ideas—let’s go!

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good title for life essay

Best Tips on How to Title an Essay

good title for life essay

How to Make a Good Title for an Essay

The success of an essay heavily depends on its title. This may not come as a surprise given that the essay title is the first aspect to provide the reader with a sneak peek into the text. It piques our interest to read the paper in the first place and gives us a preview of what to expect from the author.

Our research paper writing help prepared a thorough guide on how to title an essay. Here you may find tips and tricks for developing an effective APA or MLA essay title. So, let's dive straight into the article for more exciting details!

Essay Title Format

During your essay writing process, ensure you know the stylistic requirements before beginning an essay. Knowing the format you need to employ is crucial because different style manuals may have varying requirements. Mostly, you could have used an APA or MLA essay title format. Our service, where you can buy essay online , explains these two in more detail below.

Essay Title MLA

If you're required to create an essay title MLA format, check whether your instructor wants you to make a separate cover page. If not, put a heading at the beginning of your work that includes your name, the name of your professor, the course ID, and, lastly, the date.

On the other hand, if you must present a cover page for your essay title MLA, then you need to include the following:

  • The name of the college
  • The title of your paper
  • The subtitle of your paper, if applicable
  • Your first and last name
  • Your teacher or professor's name
  • The class name or course number
  • The date the paper is due

The formatting instructions are as follows:

  • Double-spaced
  • Times New Roman font
  • Size 12 font
  • Apart from very short terms, each word's initial letter should be capitalized. The initial word, however, must always be uppercase.
  • The title page shouldn't include a header with the page numbers.

Essay Title APA

Having discussed the MLA format essay title, let's explore what the APA student title page includes:

  • The paper title
  • Author names
  • Institutional affiliation where the author carried out the study
  • Name and number of the course
  • Professor name
  • Page number

The title of an essay format instructions:

  • double-spaced
  • 1" margins
  • 12-point Times New Roman
  • According to APA, your title should be targeted and brief, without unnecessary words or abbreviations

How to Choose a Good Title for an Essay: Important Qualities

Nobody will read a dull headline. Your title should grab your audience's attention and encourage them to read the rest of the work. As it is one of the initial things readers see, having a strong attention grabber is essential when writing an essay from scratch. To fully understand how to come up with a title for essay that is strong and exciting, let's consider a few following factors:

Employ a Catchy Hook - Usually, the title of essay format follows a similar basic structure, especially if they are used for an academic article. The hook serves as a unique component that attracts the reader. It's a captivating statement informing others about the topic of the essay. You can also explore several types of sentences with examples that can help you develop the ideal hook structure.

Consider Topic Keywords - These are essential terms or expressions pertinent to your subject and help your reader understand the focus and body of your article. These focus keywords should serve as a brief, one- to two-word article summary. You can choose some terms from the research topic your instructor gave you, but after your thesis statement is formed, this is where you should hunt for ideas.

Use a Colon - A colon is frequently used in academic titles to separate concepts and sentences. The standard procedure is to place a clever remark or brief quotation before the colon. Although these beginning words offer flavor, they can be overdone. Because of this, some individuals find using the colon to be repugnant. Therefore be careful not to misuse this method.

Ask a Question - To write essay title that is strong, consider asking a question. But, use it with caution because posing a question will make your tone less formal. As long as the question is suitably phrased to meet the subject of your essay, feel free to employ it. Always check to see if the title question still applies to your points in the essay's body. The thesis statement should be appropriately reflected as well.

Find Inspirational Quotes - There is no formula for selecting essay titles from the textual content. You may get playful and choose any quotation, proverb, or catchphrase that applies to your particular publication and works as a title. You may also create a great essay title using well-known expressions or idioms. Doing so will help your readers relate to and feel more comfortable discussing your subject.

How to Title an Essay headline

Here are other rules for how to create a good title:

  • Title every section of writing: In the process of writing, create interesting subheadings to give your paragraphs an identity. Also, they make your text look ordered and clear. 
  • The title must bear the theme of the text: choose a title that summarizes the essay. 
  • Capitalize all words with certain exceptions: Capitalize the first letter of every word in the title, but do not capitalize pronouns, articles, prepositions, and conjunctions.
  • Avoid underlining the title: Since topics come in boldface, underlining it will amount to overemphasis. Some authorities say that if you must underline it, do not bolden it.
  • Review the final version of the title: Do not forget to do a quick review of the final version of the title—check for grammar, structure, spelling and so on. Re-read it to determine if the title has given justice to the essay. Confirm if the topic is catchy enough to attract your reader’s attention. 
  • When using a colon in your title, follow the rules: Since we are dealing with punctuation rules here, let us talk about the colon – when you have two eye-catching topics, separate them with a colon.

Student’s Guide on How to Come Up with a Title for an Essay

Titling an essay can be easy, but there are a few core principles to be taken into account. The following tips will help you stay on track and avoid any common pitfalls.

Essay Goes First

Never start with a title! If you write it before the rest of the text, it will be based on it, and it should be vice versa. Writing an essay before choosing a heading will give you a clear understanding of what should make sense to the reader. Re-read the finished paper several times to decide on the title. The last thing to create is a title - such strategy will give more time to spend on crafting an essay outline, conducting research, or writing the paper itself.

How to Title an Essay, Complete Guide 2

What are you writing about? What is the style of your paper, and is it an academic essay or a free-form essay like a narrative essay? If the topic of your essay is “Do people who commit heinous crimes deserve the death penalty?” your title should not be humorous; it should be strict and to the point.

If your topic is “Why do people like watching funny cat videos?”, feel free to craft a funny title. Determine the tone of your essay and base your title on it—in consideration with the essay’s topic.

The tone can be:

  • Serious - “The implications of global warming”
  • Funny - “How cats and dogs love their masters”
  • Amiable - “Ways to fight depression”
  • Persuasive - “Why positive thinking is a must have skill for every person”
  • Informative - “Ten rules for creating a chemical at home”

The main goal of a title is to name its paper. There is no need to tell an entire story in the title, or provide any useless details. Sum up your paper in a few words! Another way to do this is to sum up your thesis statement, as it represents the main idea of your essay. Take your thesis and squeeze it into 3-4 words. Imagine that you are creating a title for your favourite newspaper or a slogan for Coca-Cola.

Don’t use fancy words! Take 2-3 main words (keywords), put them together, and stop wasting your time. Avoid jargon and abbreviations.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is something that can help any student and young writer reap benefits. While working on a title, detect the words related to the central idea of the paper. Type the words into the search field of Google and add the word “quote.” A search engine will show numerous web pages with in-text quotations that could be useful. Select the fragment you like. It is possible to learn how to make a creative title for an essay in this way.

Discover several more tips from experts:

  • Never forget the “What,” “Who,” “When,” “How,” “Why,” and “Where” questions (if you start with one of these questions, your title has a chance of getting noticed);
  • Come up with an unexpected image not related to the selected topic;
  • Sometimes, starting with a lie increases the chances of a title being able to catch an eye;
  • Review our catchy essay title examples.

Need Some Help With Your Essay's Title?

Feel free to contact EssayPro and we will provide you with a writing help at a moment’s notice. With the years of essay writing experience, titling becomes second nature, so you no longer need to worry about having a catchy headline on your paper.

Essay Title Examples: Bad vs Good

The strongest essay titles condense lengthy essays into concise statements. When wondering how to make an essay title, think carefully about your stylistic choices and essay format to produce an excellent one. Our dissertation help has provided essay title examples to let you understand the difference between good and bad ones more vividly.

bad good essay titles

Bad Essay Title Examples

As we discussed how to create an essay title and the specific elements that go into it, you should have a clear idea of how important it is to craft a strong title. In contrast, first, look at weak essay title ideas that can break your paper. This should serve as an example of why your heading should not be like this:

Ex 1: ' How Television Has Changed Our World ' - too vast and not informative

Ex 2: 'The Ara Pacis Augustae' - unclear for those who don't know Latin

Ex 3: 'The Most Poisonous Frog' - does not provide any insight

Ex 4: 'A Brief History of Subcultures and How They Manifest Themselves in a Constantly Changing Socio-Economic Environment' - too long and complicated

Ex 5: 'The Little Mermaid 29 Years Later: Selling a Harmful Sexist Message Through a Naughty Image' - inappropriate language

Good Essay Title Examples

Now that you know what a bad essay title looks like, let's explore good essay title examples as their substitutes. Examine the following essay title format styles that will give you a clear understanding.

Ex 1: ' The Electronic Babysitter: A Social History of Uses of the Television' - gives an exact description of what the essay will be about

Ex 2: ' The Modern Historical Significance of the Ara Pacis Augustae to the City of Rome' - here, the reader can understand what they will be reading about

Ex 3: ' A Deadly Beauty: The Evolution of Skin Coloration and Toxicity of the Poisonous Dart Frog' - clear, informative, and on-point.

Ex 4: 'Reconsidering Counterculture in Contemporary Society' - informative enough and brief

Ex 5: 'The Projection of Gender Stereotypes in The Little Mermaid' - employs appropriate language

Catchy Essay Title Ideas

You now understand that long, complicated headlines do not accurately convey the paper's main idea. Take ample time to consider the word choice before tilting your work. How do you create good essay titles? Think creatively and with common sense. But meanwhile, for your convenience, we compiled title ideas for essays you may use as inspiration.

Persuasive Essay Titles

  • Why Receiving College Education is Important: Examining Long-term Benefits
  • Face-to-Face Courses Cannot Be Replaced by Online Learning
  • An MBA Does Not Ensure Corporate Success.
  • Every Company Should Adopt a Green Strategy.
  • Energy Drinks Represent a Lucrative Market Segment.
  • Aircraft, Excess Weight Charges, Need to be Prohibited.
  • Patients' Life Shouldn't be Put to Death by Nurses.
  • Google Glasses May Increase the Number of Auto Accidents.
  • All of the Conventional Malls Will Soon be Replaced By Online Shopping
  • How Do Team-building Exercises Contribute to the Development of Inventions?
  • Illegal immigrants are entitled to remain in the US.

Academic Essay Titles

  • Several English Dialects: The Link Between Various Cultures
  • Instagram: A social media innovation
  • Is it possible to reverse drug-induced brain damage, and if so, how?
  • What the Future Holds for Humans in the Light of Artificial Intelligence
  • The Story of Two Nations after Decades of Conflict: North and South Korea
  • Video Games and Their Learning Context in Schools
  • Free Wi-Fi: Strategies for Enhancing the City's Economy

Strong Research Paper Titles

  • Digital World Cybersecurity
  • E-business to Provide New Paths for Booksellers
  • Outsourcing for Large Businesses
  • Preparing for College Costs for High School Students
  • What News Reporters Should Do in the Digital Age and How to Do It: Examples
  • The Transformative Power of Music: How Heavy Metal Impacted My Life

Best Essay Titles for College Students

  • The Possible Benefits and Risks of Artificial Intelligence for Humans
  • The Potential for Time Travel in Virtual Reality
  • What Role Has Mathematics Played in Human History?
  • How to Succeed in the Real Estate Industry
  • E-Commerce: An Empire of Virtual Businesses Worth Millions of Dollars
  • How to Achieve Financial Independence in the Digital Age Without Opening a Real Business

More Creative Titles for Essays

  • When getting rewarded for their grades, would kids do better left alone?
  • How Does Fake News Impact the Mainstream press?
  • Homelessness in Contemporary Society: A Dilemma
  • What News Reporters' Best Job Is in the Digital Age and How to Uphold It
  • Elon Musk: Brilliant Mind or Insane Person?
  • Positives and Negatives of Employing a Smoker
  • Do We Employ the Appropriate Student Success Metrics?

Professional Academic Help

Now that you know how to make a good title for an essay, you should also understand that you should approach the task as a process. While composing your essay title, you must condense your whole thesis and point of discussion into a single, concise, yet powerful sentence. If you have time before your deadline, give it some thought and don't hurry.

Don't forget that you can always rely on our professional academic assistance, whether you need a reflection paper , ideas for a strong essay title, or any other academic papers. Consider the following words - write my essay for me - magic keywords for delegating your most complex tasks to our skilled writers!

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Forging good titles in academic writing

Published on March 20, 2015 by Shane Bryson . Revised on July 23, 2023.

The title is the first thing your reader will see, and most readers will make their first judgements of your work based on it. For this reason, it’s important to think about your titles carefully.

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Table of contents

Informative, striking, appropriate, title templates, writing effective headings, other interesting articles, informative title.

Your title should, above all else, convey the topic of your paper. In other words, no matter how witty, clever, original, or otherwise appealing your title may be, it fails if it is not informative.

Decide whether you’ve given a sense of the paper’s topic and claims by comparing your title’s content to the most important aspect(s) of your dissertation statement or hypothesis and conclusions.

Striking title

A striking title is one that entices your audience to read, so know your audience’s tastes.

The analogy of cultivating sexual attraction in a prospective mate is useful here: some audiences will be enticed by a title’s edginess (as with, for example, V. Alneng’s “‘What the Fuck is a Vietnam?’ Touristic Phantasms and the Popcolonization of [the] Vietnam [War],” published in Critique on Anthropology ); others will almost always prefer a more straightforward title (as with J.C. Henderson’s “War as a tourist attraction: The case of Vietnam,” published in the International Journal of Tourism Research ).

You should be able to gauge how edgy your title can be by the tone of your discipline or the publication you’re submitting to, and your main concern should be forming a title that appeals to your readers’ specific tastes.

Consider also that a title that highlights the paper’s fresh insights will often be striking.

An endocrinologist, for example, might become very excited upon seeing the collaboratively authored article “Comparison of the effects on glycaemic control and β-cell function in newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes patients of treatment with exenatide, insulin or pioglitazone: A multicentre randomized parallel-group trial,” published in 2015 in the Journal of Internal Medicine .

This rather long title is more acceptable in the sciences, where what readers tend to find provocative in a title is the degree to which it reveals the paper’s specifics.

Appropriate title

Ensuring that your title is appropriate in a way of making sure not only that your audience understands it, but also that its appeal contributes to its meaning. To make sure the title will be understood, you need to consider how familiar your research topic will be to your audience.

In an academic essay, you can use highly technical terms in your title, but generally avoid terms that the average well-read person in your discipline might not know.

In any writing that has a broad audience, titles need to avoid language that is too sophisticated; a news article, for example, should be easily understood by all.

As a second consideration of appropriateness, make sure that your title does not entice without substance.

The title of Alneng’s paper, for example, does not use “fuck” merely to shock and therefore entice the reader; the uncommon use of a swearword here helps convey the topic of the article: more or less vulgar representations of Vietnam.

The same is true for other striking titles, such as Nancy Tuana’s “Coming to Understand: Orgasm and the Epistemology of Ignorance,” published in Hypatia .

The title’s sexually charged play on words (“coming to understand”) hooks the audience, but is not merely a hook. The pun is directly relevant to the essay’s argument, which is that sexual pleasure offers an important form of knowledge.

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good title for life essay

  • Use key terms. Find words that your audience can easily identify as markers of the topic matter. These will include, for example, terms that convey the field of research, central concepts, or subjects of study.
  • Identify the context (sometimes called “the location”). By context, I mean the source or the setting of the discussion, depending on discipline. In a history paper this might be a certain century or era; in literary studies a certain book or author; and in the sciences an organism or compound.

The following is a list of title formats, with examples of each. I’ve given the names of the publications in brackets to give a sense of how different disciplines treat titles.

Note that these are not mutually exclusive patterns (i.e. it’s possible to have various combinations; e.g. General & interesting: Informative & specific). Note also that this is not meant to be an exhaustive list.

  • Striking: Informative – The Specter of Wall Street: “Bartleby, the Scrivener” and the Language of Commodities ( American Literature )
  • Informative: Striking – Carbon capture and storage: How green can black be? ( Science )
  • General: Specific – The issues of the sixties: An exploratory study in the dynamics of public opinion ( Public Opinion Quarterly )
  • “Quotation”: Discussion (social studies) – “I’d rather not talk about it”: Adolescents’ and young adults’ use of topic avoidance in stepfamilies ( Journal of Applied Communication Research )
  • “Quotation”: Discussion (literary studies) – “I Would Prefer Not To”: Giorgio Agamben, Bartleby and the Potentiality of the Law ( Law and Critique )
  • Simple and precise – Methodological issues in the use of Tsimshian oral Traditions (Adawx) in Archaeology ( Canadian Journal of Archaeology )
  • Topic: Method – Mortality in sleep apnea patients: A multivariate analysis of risk factors ( Sleep )
  • Topic: Significance – LC3 binds externalized cardiolipin on injured mitochondria to signal mitophagy in neurons: Implications for Parkinson disease ( Autophagy )
  • Technical and very specific – Single-shot quantum nondemolition measurement of a quantum-dot electron spin using cavity exciton-polaritons ( Physical Review )

Although similar, headings are not the same as titles. Headings head paragraphs and help structure a document. Effective headings make your paper easily scannable.

Common high level headings in dissertations and research papers are “Methods”, “Research results”, and “Discussion”. Lower level headings are often more descriptive.

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Shane finished his master's degree in English literature in 2013 and has been working as a writing tutor and editor since 2009. He began proofreading and editing essays with Scribbr in early summer, 2014.

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Essay title generator 
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Type a few relevant keywords in the relevant section of the tool to describe your paper.

Pick the subject that fits you.

Hit the Generate button to get plenty of fresh and catchy ideas and pick the perfect one!

What is an academic essay title generator?

It is worth noting that the titles of your articles have a significant impact. Even if the content of your essay is exceptional, a boring title can spoil the overall impression. A strong title sets the right tone for your article and captures the reader's attention. Therefore, the correct title is crucial, but wouldn’t it be better to save time and ask our specialists to “ write my essay ” and get a high-quality, finished essay in the shortest possible time. ‍ Our advanced title generator for essay assignments is created to help you get catchy headlines. With our tool, students who want to buy an essay can find great titles in a few simple clicks. And the best part of it is that it’s free, with no word limit, and no sign up!

good title for life essay

Why choose an essay title generator from Studyfy?

With a creative essay title generator by Studyfy.com, creating winning headlines is made easy! Our tool allows you to find the best titles for your papers. But even that’s not all! Here are the top benefits that make our tool the best choice for students:

No registration and no charges

Students love our free essay title generator because no fees are involved. You don’t even have to sign up. Choosing Studyfy, you can create outstanding titles anytime, anywhere, without any limitations!

Intuitive & fast in use

Our tool is fast and easy to use. All you need to get a brilliant heading for your essay is to follow three quick steps - type relevant keywords, choose a subject, and click Generate. Just that easy!

A large database of information

Our title generator has a huge database of information to help you find tons of great ideas that will surprise your professor. It collects ideas from our own database, as well as from outside sources, that are constantly being updated to make relevant suggestions. In addition, you can ask our experts to paper writing service .

Free features

We can turn your paper into a perfect one.

Studyfy offers top-quality coursework writing services designed to help you achieve academic success. Our team of experts is not only skilled in homework assistance, proofreading, and essay editing but also capable of handling custom essay order . They possess the knowledge and experience needed to make your writing perfect and tailored to your specific requirements. By entrusting your custom essay order to our experts, you can be confident that your papers will be flawless and meet the highest academic standards.

How does an essay title generator work?

Insert the keywords.

Use keywords to define your essay’s topic or a central idea. Our title generator will analyze the inserted keywords and search for relevant suggestions in our database. The more keywords you put, the easier it will be to find your perfect topic!

Pick subject category

To get even more accurate results, choose the subject category that suits your needs most from the list. The tool will use both your keywords and the chosen category to find relevant titles. There are plenty of categories to suit every user’s needs. Try to use different ones to find even more interesting and catchy ideas.

Get many great ideas

After inserting your keywords and choosing a category, click the Generate button. The tool will scan the database, which updates regularly. It will suggest creative options for you to choose from. Run it as many times as you need to find your perfect essay topic!

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How can Studyfy title generator for essay help you succeed?

Tons of attention-grabbing topics, constantly updated databases for relevant results, lots of subject categories to choose from, unique ideas exclusively.

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Tips for using our essay title generator to your benefit

good title for life essay

Pick the right subject

Is there any specific subject or area of research that has to be covered in your essay? Then try choosing a subject that fits you from the list of suggestions

Choose the best topic

So, you found a plethora of title ideas with our essay title generator online. How to choose the best one? So, you found a plethora of title ideas with our essay title generator online. If you want to order essay , we suggest picking several ideas that look most intriguing to you. Copy your options or write them down. Then, eliminate them one by one until you are left with the perfect one. Our team of experts is always ready to assist you with your essay writing needs, so feel free to place an order with us anytime.

Are the topics on your list broad? That’s even better! This way, you will have a starting point to narrow them down further and find the best option.

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Students and professionals choose our creative essay title generator to find the best, catchiest, and most intriguing titles for papers. Here is what customers who’ve used our tool have to say about it:

Thanks a lot! :) This generator is my golden ticket! Brainstorming with it takes almost no time, and each idea I find is flawless. Studyfy is a lifesaver for students!

With this tool, I always know what to cover in my essayUnlike any other random essay topic generator, this one has helped me generate tons of great ideas. It suggests awesome topics, and I feel inspired! Now that I found Studyfy and this awesome tool, academic writing is just a piece of cake :)

I use this all the time! It’s free and does its job so well. Thanks Studyfy for helping me get inspired and taking my writing to the next level!

I usually write essays myself However, sometimes I feel like I just need an extra push to find a starting point. In such cases, I use this title generator. It helps me find dozens of cool ideas in a few seconds. Anyone who needs inspiration for writing, this is the place to seek it!

Awesome generator! It really helps me find great titles for papers on any subject matter! Earlier, I tried a few different ones, but this one is my fav; it is truly a catchy essay title generator.

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  • Pick the title that suits your unique voice.
  • Use the tool for inspiration and shape your own topic.
  • Don’t hesitate to get help from our pro editors if you’re facing other issues. We will be happy to assist in making every paper perfect!

How to Title an Essay: Guide with Creative Examples [2024]

It’s not a secret that the reader notices an essay title first. No catchy hook or colorful examples attract more attention from a quick glance. Composing a creative title for your essay is essential if you strive to succeed, as it:

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  • causes the first impression;
  • reflects the tone, topic, and the purpose of the writing;
  • indicates the author’s credibility.

Thus, how you name your paper is of the same importance as the paper itself.

Good titles for essays should be concise and eye-catching. Nobody likes long and cumbersome headings that do not reflect the point of the paper. While tilting your work, pay enough attention to the word choice. How do you come up with a good title? Use your common sense and imagination. For more details, our experts prepared the sections below.

  • 💭 What Are Good Titles?

✔️ Finish Your Essay

🤲 sum it up, 🏷️ define the keywords, 🖊️ follow the format, ⚖️ change words, ✨ 23 creative title examples, 💭 what are good titles for essays.

A title is a critical part of any academic paper, so you must understand what to include and how to choose it. Here are some features that your heading has to show.

👩‍🏫 How to Title an Essay?

Are you struggling with formulating a heading? Yes, this task is quite challenging. But let’s figure out the basic rules.

The title of any paper should reveal:

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  • What the paper is about. Cover the general idea of your work in the title.
  • Why the reader might be interested in it. Prove the relevance of your paper to the audience.
  • The context of the issue. A good title previews the full picture of the topic regarding its “when” and “where.”

To nail your essay heading, follow the guide below. Check our title examples if you are not sure about your abilities. You can also try and use a creative title page generator for a faster result.

Before writing a title to your essay, you should finish your paper. This way, you’ll be able to reread and get the whole idea to incorporate it into your title.

Moreover, you’ll see how long a title should be for an essay after finishing the entire piece. But remember: not too lengthy and not too wordy.

The essay title depends on the type of essay:

  • Narrative essay . For this kind of essay, the title should not provide any detailed info or reflect your position. It should only present the general idea of your piece of writing. For example, the narrative essay topic may look like this: My Thorny Pass to Success.
  • Argumentative essay . The title for an argumentative essay should clearly state the point you are going to support. For instance, you can choose the following heading: Social Media Has a Negative Effect on Teenagers.
  • Cause and effect essay . For this kind of essay writing, the title should be clear and provide a background of the issue. The reader should immediately understand what the problem is, what its cause is, what an effect is. Usually, writers use the words “due to” or “because” to highlight the cause-effect correlation. Look at the example: Because Coronavirus Attacks, People Start to Explore New Ways of Remote Working.
  • Persuasive essay . A persuasive essay should have a dynamic title that immediately calls to action. Moreover, the topic has to be relevant to the audience. For example, for students, the following title would be compelling: Sleep 7-8 Hours a Day: the Lack of Sleep Affects Academic Performance.

The most straightforward way of creating an essay title is summarizing. Sum up the whole paper in one sentence, focus on the central idea, cut the details, and use it as the title.

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For this purpose, you can take your thesis statement and restate it, adding creativity. Or use the best summary generator you can find to simplify the task. But don’t forget to make sure that it sounds catchy and explains why the potential reader should check your essay.

For example:

Let’s imagine, you are writing about Artificial Intelligence, and your thesis statement sounds like this:

The purpose of this paper is to explore the advantages of Artificial intelligence’s influence on society and to discover possible outcomes.

Then, the title may be the following:

Artificial Intelligence – the Next Step into the Bright Future.

Every essay includes the key concepts that you explored and the terms that you used for this. You should find essential words and phrases and incorporate them into the essay titles. The keywords will focus the reader’s attention on the central topic of your paper.

Get an originally-written paper according to your instructions!

You are writing about the negative impact of deforestation on the environment. These are your keywords, as they are the most vital ones. Thus, the title would sound like this:

Protecting the Environment: Deforestation Should be Stopped.

Every educational institution requires to format the academic papers for a particular writing style. Among a wide diversity of citation styles , the most popular ones are APA and MLA formats.

There are a lot of specific requirements regarding the essay title formats. So, let’s investigate these styles.

The APA style requires a title page at the beginning of your research paper. Here, where the readers first meet the heading. The title page should include the following:

  • The paper’s title. Centered, bold, capitalized, 3-4 lines below the top margin.
  • The author’s name (first name, middle initial, last name). Centered, not bold, two lines below the title.
  • The author’s affiliations. Centered, not bold, immediately after the name.
  • Number and name of the course.
  • The instructor’s name and title.
  • Page number in the top right corner.

See the example of an APA title page below:

The title page in APA format.

The MLA style does not require a separate title page. Still, some formatting rules are to be strictly followed.

  • The MLA paper should start one inch from the top of the document, flush left.
  • Write the author’s name, then the instructor’s name, the course number, and the date. Each item should be on a separate double-spaced line.
  • Add the title of your paper. It should be centered and capitalized.
  • Do not put quotation marks, underline, italicize, or boldface your MLA title. Just make it centered and capitalized.

Here is an example of an MLA title formatting.

The essay title in MLA format.

Before choosing a title, figure out is the tone of your essay. Is it more formal or friendly? Do you write it for a college or a personal blog?

Change the wording to make your title sound more catchy and positive. Or serious and official. You can try something new and come up with a creative title for your essay.

You need to write an article about the benefits of healthy eating for university and your online blog. For an academic essay, your title would probably look like this:

A Well-Balanced Diet Is a Key to a Healthy Organism.

In contrast, for a blog article, it would be better to write something like this:

An Apple a Day Keeps a Doctor Away: How Healthy Eating Helps us Be Fit.

Do you see the magic? One topic, different wording, and completely diverse tones as a result. So, try until you reach the most appropriate version of the title for your piece of writing.

Are you still struggling with the selection of a heading for your paper? Take a look at our creative essay title examples! Inspire, then turn on your imagination, and create a personal title.

Argumentative Essay Titles.

  • Intercultural Community at University: Prosperity or Constant Encounters.
  • Leadership Nature: a Congenital or an Acquired Feature?
  • Do Energetic Drinks Help or Harm the Organisms?
  • Why Should Sex Education Be Taught at Schools?
  • Should the Law Punish Bullying?
  • Guns Legalization is an Unsafe Way of Self-Protection.

Narrative Essay Titles.

  • Lady Macbeth – One of the Most Frightening Female Characters of Shakespeare.
  • The Art of Overcoming Failures: How to Deal with the Downfalls Easily.
  • Steve Jobs: from a Poor Student to a Multi-billionaire.
  • The Most Influential Person in my Life.
  • Three Biggest Events of my Life that Shaped me as a Person.
  • What Does it Mean to be a Loving Kid for your Parents?
  • What Does “Family” Mean to You?

Persuasive Essay Titles.

  • Never Judge the Person by their Appearance.
  • Music Should be Implemented as a Medical Treatment.
  • In the Battle Between E-Books and Paper Books, the Last Ones Should Win.
  • Remote Learning Cannot Replace Face-to-Face Classes.
  • Technology Addiction is a Threat to the Future Generation.
  • Murderers Should be Sentenced to Death Penalty.

Cause and Effect Essay Titles.

  • Because of Traveling Around the World, People Expand their Horizons.
  • Due to Massive Immigration, Countries Lose their Cultural Identity.
  • Home Abuse as a Cause of Depression and Suicide as its Effect.
  • Drug Addiction: a Cause for Psychological Disorder or an Effect?

Thank you for reading our article. Now you get how to come up with a good title for an essay. Don’t forget to share our page with your friends.

  • Writing an Effective Title: Quick Tips, Student Support Writing Center, University of Minnesota
  • Choosing a Title, Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper: Research Guides at University of Southern California
  • How Do I Write a Great Title: U-M LSA Sweetland Center for Writing, College of Literature, Science, and Arts, University of Michigan
  • General Format: Purdue Online Writing Lab, College of Liberal Arts, Purdue University
  • Formatting a Research Paper, Heading and Title: The MLA Style Center
  • Title Page Setup: APA Style, American Psychological Association
  • APA Title Page (Cover Page) Format, Example, Template: Saul McLeod, Simply Psychology
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Essays About Life: Top 5 Examples Plus 7 Prompts

Life envelops various meanings; if you are writing essays about life, discover our comprehensive guide with examples and prompts to help you with your essay.

What is life? You can ask anyone; I assure you, no two people will have the same answer. How we define life relies on our beliefs and priorities. One can say that life is the capacity for growth or the time between birth and death. Others can share that life is the constant pursuit of purpose and fulfillment. Life is a broad topic that inspires scholars, poets, and many others. It stimulates discussions that encourage diverse perspectives and interpretations. 

5 Essay Examples

1. essay on life by anonymous on toppr.com, 2. the theme of life, existence and consciousness by anonymous on gradesfixer.com, 3. compassion can save life by anonymous on papersowl.com, 4. a life of consumption vs. a life of self-realization by anonymous on ivypanda.com, 5. you only live once: a motto for life by anonymous on gradesfixer.com, 1. what is the true meaning of life, 2. my life purpose, 3. what makes life special, 4. how to appreciate life, 5. books about life, 6. how to live a healthy life, 7. my idea of a perfect life.

“…quality of Life carries huge importance. Above all, the ultimate purpose should be to live a meaningful life. A meaningful life is one which allows us to connect with our deeper self.”

The author defines life as something that differentiates man from inorganic matter. It’s an aspect that processes and examines a person’s actions that develop through growth. For some, life is a pain because of failures and struggles, but it’s temporary. For the writer, life’s challenges help us move forward, be strong, and live to the fullest. You can also check out these essays about utopia .

“… Kafka defines the dangers of depending on art for life. The hunger artist expresses his dissatisfaction with the world by using himself and not an external canvas to create his artwork, forcing a lack of separation between the artist and his art. Therefore, instead of the art depending on the audience, the artist depends on the audience, meaning when the audience’s appreciation for work dwindles, their appreciation for the artist diminishes as well, leading to the hunger artist’s death.”

The essay talks about “ A Hunger Artist ” by Franz Kafka, who describes his views on life through art. The author analyzes Kafka’s fictional main character and his anxieties and frustrations about life and the world. This perception shows how much he suffered as an artist and how unhappy he was. Through the essay, the writer effectively explains Kafka’s conclusion that artists’ survival should not depend on their art.

“Compassion is that feeling that we’ve all experienced at some point in our lives. When we know that there is someone that really cares for us. Compassion comes from that moment when we can see the world through another person’s eyes.”

The author is a nurse who believes that to be professional, they need to be compassionate and treat their patients with respect, empathy, and dignity. One can show compassion through small actions such as talking and listening to patients’ grievances. In conclusion, compassion can save a person’s life by accepting everyone regardless of race, gender, etc.

“… A life of self-realization is more preferable and beneficial in comparison with a life on consumption. At the same time, this statement may be objected as person’s consumption leads to his or her happiness.”

The author examines Jon Elster’s theory to find out what makes a person happy and what people should think and feel about their material belongings. The essay mentions a list of common activities that make us feel happy and satisfied, such as buying new things. The writer explains that Elster’s statement about the prevalence of self-realization in consumption will always trigger intense debate.

“Appreciate the moment you’ve been given and appreciate the people you’ve been given to spend it with, because no matter how beautiful or tragic a moment is, it always ends. So hold on a little tighter, smile a little bigger, cry a little harder, laugh a little louder, forgive a little quicker, and love a whole lot deeper because these are the moments you will remember when you’re old and wishing you could rewind time.”

This essay explains that some things and events only happen once in a person’s life. The author encourages teenagers to enjoy the little things in their life and do what they love as much as they can. When they turn into adults, they will no longer have the luxury to do whatever they want.

The author suggests doing something meaningful as a stress reliever, trusting people, refusing to give up on the things that make you happy, and dying with beautiful memories. For help with your essays, check out our round-up of the best essay checkers .

7 Prompts for Essays About Life

Essays About Life: What is the true meaning of life?

Life encompasses many values and depends on one’s perception. For most, life is about reaching achievements to make themselves feel alive. Use this prompt to compile different meanings of life and provide a background on why a person defines life as they do.

Take Joseph Campbell’s, “Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning, and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer,” for example. This quote pertains to his belief that an individual is responsible for giving life meaning. 

For this prompt, share with your readers your current purpose in life. It can be as simple as helping your siblings graduate or something grand, such as changing a national law to make a better world. You can ask others about their life purpose to include in your essay and give your opinion on why your answers are different or similar.

Life is a fascinating subject, as each person has a unique concept. How someone lives depends on many factors, such as opportunities, upbringing, and philosophies. All of these elements affect what we consider “special.”

Share what you think makes life special. For instance, talk about your relationships, such as your close-knit family or best friends. Write about the times when you thought life was worth living. You might also be interested in these essays about yourself .

Life in itself is a gift. However, most of us follow a routine of “wake up, work (or study), sleep, repeat.” Our constant need to survive makes us take things for granted. When we endlessly repeat a routine, life becomes mundane. For this prompt, offer tips on how to avoid a monotonous life, such as keeping a gratitude journal or traveling.

Many literary pieces use life as their subject. If you have a favorite book about life, recommend it to your readers by summarizing the content and sharing how the book influenced your outlook on life. You can suggest more than one book and explain why everyone should read them.

For example, Paulo Coelho’s “The Alchemist” reminds its readers to live in the moment and never fear failure.

Essays About Life: How to live a healthy life?

To be healthy doesn’t only pertain to our physical condition. It also refers to our mental, spiritual, and emotional well-being. To live a happy and full life, individuals must strive to be healthy in all areas. For this prompt, list ways to achieve a healthy life. Section your essay and present activities to improve health, such as eating healthy foods, talking with friends, etc.

No one has a perfect life, but describe what it’ll be like if you do. Start with the material things, such as your house, clothes, etc. Then, move to how you connect with others. In your conclusion, answer whether you’re willing to exchange your current life for the “perfect life” you described and why.  See our essay writing tips to learn more!

good title for life essay

Maria Caballero is a freelance writer who has been writing since high school. She believes that to be a writer doesn't only refer to excellent syntax and semantics but also knowing how to weave words together to communicate to any reader effectively.

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Key Tips for Making Personal Essay Titles

Table of Contents

What are essays without a good title? Well, they’ll probably be just pieces of writing that nobody notices or reads. And we don’t want that! You can catch your reader’s attention with good personal essay titles and engage with them. A good title can help you stand out from the crowd and make your essay much more effective.

Making a good title isn’t always easy. There are so many things you’ll need to consider. It needs to be catchy, informative, yet brief and easy to read at the same time.

A person writing something on a notebook using an orange pen.

To help you write a good title , we’ve gathered some of the most effective tips. We’ve also listed some great examples that you can check out and use as inspiration.

What Is a Personal Essay?

Personal essays are often used by students to explore the struggles and developments in their life with great depth and detail. It’s a very common writing exercise for most school curriculums.

The focus of personal essays is on you. It can chronicle significant experiences that have shaped your beliefs and values. Or it can showcase your artistic talents and provide an introduction to the kind of person you are.

Other personal essays can include diary entries and reflections on life lessons and personal feelings. Personal essays can cover a variety of topics, including:

  • A peculiar experience that didn’t make sense to you at the time
  • Advice that changed your life
  • Someone who bullied you and made you stronger
  • Your failures and low points
  • Feelings that evoke your most fond memories
  • The time when your parents cried
  • Holiday celebrations when you were a child
  • Your regrets and what you would have done differently
  • A time when you dodged danger
  • The moment you realized you weren’t a kid anymore
  • Someone very dear to you

Characteristics of a Good Essay Titles

  • Interesting –  This is an essential characteristic. Nobody will want to read an essay with a boring title.
  • Believable  – Don’t overdo your title. Stay away from using exaggerated statements. You might get a low grade for your essay if your title is too far-fetched from the content.
  • Easy to read  – The title of an essay should be easy to read and understand. Avoid strange phrases, jargon, or complicated structures.
  • Active voice –  Using the active voice makes your title more clear and concise.
  • Short  – This goes for most titles: the shorter, the better. The length of essay titles should lie between 5 and 15 words. ‍
  • Relevant –  The purpose of your title is to give the reader a glimpse into what your essay is about. This is why relevance is essential. 
  • Optimized  – This is only applicable if you want to post your articles online. A title that’s optimized will rank higher in searches. This is important to get more people to read your essay.

Key Tips for Writing Good Personal Essay Titles

Here are some tips to consider when writings good personal essay titles.

Pick a Topic

The essay title is usually the last thing people write down. This is because it has to encapsulate the essay you’ve written . Think of it as the icing on top of an excellent essay. 

So to make a good essay title, you should also pick a good personal topic. It would be best if you chose something you think will bring the most impact on your readers.

Keep It Concise

As mentioned earlier, essay titles should only be around 5-15 words. With the limited number of words you can use, you must choose your words wisely. Think of words that will clearly elicit curiosity and accurately embody your essay.

Get Creative

Titles need to be catchy, so don’t be afraid to let your creativity flow freely. Come up with a title that evokes a feeling and also spurs the reader to want to read the essay.

This is often best done through metaphors and short, punchy phrases. For example, “A Freaky Abode” can cause a person to want to read about a stranger’s house during the summer. Just be careful not to overdo it!

A good title can make your essay much more enticing and pleasant to read . This is why  good personal essay titles  are a MUST if you want to make a great overall essay. Remember to apply what you’ve learned in this article when thinking of your next essay title. Keep it short, engaging, and relevant.

Key Tips for Making Personal Essay Titles

Abir Ghenaiet

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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Good Titles for Essays about yourself: 31 Personal Essay Topics

Good Titles for Essays about yourself: 31 Personal Essay Topics

Titles for Essay about Yourself

Titles for Essay about Yourself

What is a Personal Essay?

 There are quite a number of essays used by writers to communicate ideas out there. One of these essays is the personal essay which is written to capture a person’s ideas, emotions and feelings towards something.

This essay is a non-fictional piece that provides the reader with an interesting, humorous and thought provoking narrative drawn from either the personal experiences of the writer or information from another party.

good title for life essay

It is a non-fiction story in which you as the author share your lessons, incidents and predicaments faced in life with your audience, the readers.

about me

The personal essay is an essay written about one’s life, experiences and thoughts in turn providing readers with an insight about life lessons and experiences about yourself. It captures your memorable moments like you can ever imagine.

Therefore it ought to describe you positively to your audience by highlighting your inspirations and motivation but at the same time leave your audience with a wide understanding of what you are, what you stand for and importantly your tick boxes.

In other quarters it is also known as the narrative essay and somewhat it appears different from the other essays because it shares a story with the readers. The story in a personal essay needs to be non-fictional otherwise it will lose the meaning intended in it.

A personal essay can appear as a class assignment or a college application depending on the circumstances. In case it appears as a college application, it should stimulate the readers in acting in a particular way.

The author is expected to provide an account of their roles and provide an insight in their subjects.

How to Write a Good Title for an Essay about yourself?

Normally news titles tend to have a story title distilled into five to ten words in order to accurately summarize the intended information to an audience. For instance, a title may appear like ‘Plane Crashes Minutes After Takeoff’. Magazines on the other hand will have catchier titles to the readers’ delight such as ‘Ten Ways to Improve your Body Fitness’ or rather ‘Destinations You Do Not Want to Miss on a Cruise Ship’.

Newspapers will scream their titles with catchy phrases or words like ‘Lockdown in Miami’ or simply ‘Betrayed’. In these three settings, the audience is already aware of what to look out for from the story from the advent.

catchy titles

A blog post title will probably begin with a playful or catchy question in order to draw the readers’ attention but at the same time inform the readers’ on what is about to follow.

Contrary to the above, personal essays possess unique and finessed titles that make the readers’ wonder about what is there in the essays.

These titles require readers to insert themselves into your essay in order to reveal your personality, beliefs, thoughts, hopes, experiences, dreams and even your sense of humor.

Personal essay topics usually include your own opinions, experiences and even real stories.

Two types of Personal Essay Topics

Personal essay topics exist in two types: Defining moment and Secret lives.

Titles on secret lives will concentrate on mysterious but important experiences where the writer provides stories on infrequent life and to some extent unusual exploits in life. Defining moment’s titles on the other hand will focus on a person’s life during a critical moment.

When you consider these two types of themes, the essay you write will definitely be outstanding to your readers.

The titles of personal essays if done well will challenge the writer and audience on what the essay is about because they will provide hints rather than summarize, they will add as opposed to mirroring and infer instead of summing up the essays ideas. How is this done? Simply by engaging similar skills harbored in a catchy personal essay.

know my secret

The essay title undoubtedly sets the tone and the flow of the essay and so it has to be as catchy as possible. You can start by giving a description of yourself using a key word in the title.

Words like determined, optimistic or thoughtful can suit your title well. For example, your title can read like ‘An essay about Sam, the resilient optimist’.

Your audience will therefore be introduced to the main trait that you desire to reinforce in your essay thereby setting a good tone for the essay.

It is important to follow up the essay by using the same term a number of times throughout the essay in order to emphasize it as a vivid motif.

Since the title of your essay is the first thing your readers will see, it has to fully grab their attention. It would be better if the title is short with about four words or less though there are exceptions. The title and your essay ought to connect but not to fulfill the expectations of the readers immediately.

In order to spice up your title, you can use punctuation marks as options. Exclamation marks, the colon and the semicolon can serve you good in coming up with a good and catchy topic. Moreover, you should capitalize all words with the exception of articles, pronouns, conjunctions and prepositions.

This implies that titles should be flexible to the liking of the readers.

31 Personal Essays Topics

The hardest breaking news I had to deliver

How I spent a fortune on travel

The things I can do that robots can never do

The animal I would like to be

The one thing I would change at my school

What I have learnt about conquering poverty

A disappointment I will never forget

My most embarrassing moment

The moment I realized I needed help

Why I had to succeed

My bravest moment

Nowhere I can run to

The distance between us

The memories I desired but I lost

When did I stop?

My best summer ever

Strange beliefs

My peculiar flowers

Dress your family in silk

Let our children accomplish their dreams in their own way

In 40 years’ time…

My adulthood memories

What I would like to change most about my life

My favorite animal

The wall is not listening

That cake was not for you

How I understand death

How did my parent’s choices influence my spending?

My no pleasant experience in high school

Impacts of workout on my stress levels

The moment my life took a turn for the worse

Personal essays ought to portray a writers writing skills and take the reader to the writer’s personal journey. It is so because it demonstrates who you are as a person and as a writer and so you have to be as coherent as possible in providing your personal statement.

It also reveals a number of qualities about the writer such as the writer’s persona, communication skills, critical thinking skills, and maturity, teaching and personal skills.

This essay can act as an inspiration to your audience if well written and in essence allows the writer to provide a description about their personal or significant life events and experiences.

A number of employers, graduates and various schools will ask you to provide a personal essay before they consider you for an interview and therefore it shows that this essay is not just limited to composition courses in schools.

The question now is: Can you actualize your desire to write a good personal essay?

Jessica Kasen

Jessica Kasen is experienced in academic writing and academic assistance. She is well versed in academia and has a master’s degree in education. Kasen consults with us in helping students improve their grades. She also oversights the quality of work done by our writers.

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When you choose to publish with PLOS, your research makes an impact. Make your work accessible to all, without restrictions, and accelerate scientific discovery with options like preprints and published peer review that make your work more Open.

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  • How to Write a Great Title

Title

Maximize search-ability and engage your readers from the very beginning

Your title is the first thing anyone who reads your article is going to see, and for many it will be where they stop reading. Learn how to write a title that helps readers find your article, draws your audience in and sets the stage for your research!

How your title impacts the success of your article

Researchers are busy and there will always be more articles to read than time to read them.  Good titles help readers find your research, and decide whether to keep reading. Search engines use titles to retrieve relevant articles based on users’ keyword searches. Once readers find your article, they’ll use the title as the first filter to decide whether your research is what they’re looking for. A strong and specific title is the first step toward citations, inclusion in meta-analyses, and influencing your field. 

good title for life essay

What to include in a title

Include the most important information that will signal to your target audience that they should keep reading.

Key information about the study design

Important keywords

What you discovered

Writing tips

Getting the title right can be more difficult than it seems, and researchers refine their writing skills throughout their career. Some journals even help editors to re-write their titles during the publication process! 

good title for life essay

  • Keep it concise and informative What’s appropriate for titles varies greatly across disciplines. Take a look at some articles published in your field, and check the journal guidelines for character limits. Aim for fewer than 12 words, and check for journal specific word limits.
  • Write for your audience Consider who your primary audience is: are they specialists in your specific field, are they cross-disciplinary, are they non-specialists?
  • Entice the reader Find a way to pique your readers’ interest, give them enough information to keep them reading.
  • Incorporate important keywords Consider what about your article will be most interesting to your audience: Most readers come to an article from a search engine, so take some time and include the important ones in your title!
  • Write in sentence case In scientific writing, titles are given in sentence case. Capitalize only the first word of the text, proper nouns, and genus names. See our examples below.

good title for life essay

Don’t

  • Write your title as a question In most cases, you shouldn’t need to frame your title as a question. You have the answers, you know what you found. Writing your title as a question might draw your readers in, but it’s more likely to put them off.
  • Sensationalize your research Be honest with yourself about what you truly discovered. A sensationalized or dramatic title might make a few extra people read a bit further into your article, but you don’t want them disappointed when they get to the results.

Examples…

Format: Prevalence of [disease] in [population] in [location]

Example: Prevalence of tuberculosis in homeless women in San Francisco

Format: Risk factors for [condition] among [population] in [location]

Example: Risk factors for preterm births among low-income women in Mexico City

Format (systematic review/meta-analysis): Effectiveness of [treatment] for [disease] in [population] for [outcome] : A systematic review and meta-analysis

Example: Effectiveness of Hepatitis B treatment in HIV-infected adolescents in the prevention of liver disease: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Format (clinical trial): [Intervention] improved [symptoms] of [disease] in [population] : A randomized controlled clinical trial

Example: Using a sleep app lessened insomnia in post-menopausal women in southwest United States: A randomized controlled clinical trial

Format  (general molecular studies): Characterization/identification/evaluation of [molecule name] in/from [organism/tissue] (b y [specific biological methods] ) 

Example: Identification of putative Type-I sex pheromone biosynthesis-related genes expressed in the female pheromone gland of Streltzoviella insularis

Format  (general molecular studies): [specific methods/analysis] of organism/tissue reveal insights into [function/role] of [molecule name] in [biological process]  

Example: Transcriptome landscape of Rafflesia cantleyi floral buds reveals insights into the roles of transcription factors and phytohormones in flower development

Format  (software/method papers): [tool/method/software] for [what purpose] in [what research area]

Example: CRISPR-based tools for targeted transcriptional and epigenetic regulation in plants

Tip: How to edit your work

Editing is challenging, especially if you are acting as both a writer and an editor. Read our guidelines for advice on how to refine your work, including useful tips for setting your intentions, re-review, and consultation with colleagues.

  • How to Write an Abstract
  • How to Write Your Methods
  • How to Report Statistics
  • How to Write Discussions and Conclusions
  • How to Edit Your Work

The contents of the Peer Review Center are also available as a live, interactive training session, complete with slides, talking points, and activities. …

The contents of the Writing Center are also available as a live, interactive training session, complete with slides, talking points, and activities. …

There’s a lot to consider when deciding where to submit your work. Learn how to choose a journal that will help your study reach its audience, while reflecting your values as a researcher…

Book Title Generator

10,000+ good book titles to inspire you..

Generate a random story title that’s relevant to your genre. You can pick between fantasy, crime, mystery, romance, or sci-fi. Simply click the button below to get started.

The International Bestseller

Game of Fear

How to come up with book title ideas.

Need an original book title, and fast? We got you. Here are 8 ways to come up with book title ideas. 

1. Start free writing to find keywords

Write absolutely anything that comes into your head: words, phrases, names, places, adjectives — the works. You’ll be surprised how much workable content comes out from such a strange exercise.

2. Experiment with word patterns

Obviously, we’re not advocating plagiarism, but try playing around with formats like:

“The _____ of _______”
“______ and the _____”

These will work for certain genres, though they are by no means the only patterns you can play around with. Have you noticed how many blockbuster thrillers these days feature the word “woman” or “ girl” somewhere in the title?

3. Draw inspiration from your characters 

If your central character has a quirky name or a title (like Doctor or Detective) you can definitely incorporate this into your book title. Just look at Jane Eyre, Percy Jackson, or Harry Potter, for instance — working with one or more or your characters’ names is a surefire way to get some title ideas down. Equally, you can add a little detail, like Thomas Hardy’s Jude the Obscure, to add a little color to a name and make it title-worthy.

4. Keep your setting in mind

Is your book set somewhere particularly interesting or significant? Even if your title isn’t just where the action takes place (like Middlemarch by George Eliot), it’s something to have in the back of your mind. You can include other details, like The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum or Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay, to give your readers a sense of action and character, as well as setting (which tend to be linked).

5. Look for book title ideas in famous phrases 

Think Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird here — this is a central symbol and significant piece of dialogue in the novel. It’s enigmatic (what does it even mean? Is it a warning? An instruction?) and makes us really sit up when these words appear in the text itself. Try and think of your inspiration for writing your book or sum up your central theme in a few words, and see if these inspire anything.

6. Analyze the book titles of other books

You might be surprised at how many books refer to other works in their titles ( The Fault in Our Stars by John Green comes from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar , and Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men takes its inspiration from a Robert Burns poem). Going this route allows authors to use an already beautiful and poetic turn of phrase that alludes to a theme in their own book. From Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls to Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials , so many books have used this technique that might also work for you.

7. Don’t forget the subtitle

In non-fiction publishing, there’s a trend of evocative or abstract titles, followed by a subtitle that communicates the content (and is packed with delicious keywords that the Amazon search engine can’t resist). This is also another way to get around long titles — and to add a little panache to an otherwise dry subject matter. In the United States, it’s also quite common to have “A Novel” as a subtitle (if, you know, it’s a novel). In the United Kingdom, this practice is much rarer.

8. Generate a book name through a book title generator

If you’ve gone through all of the above and are still wringing out your brain trying to come up with the golden formula — fear not! There are other ways to get the cogs whirring and inspiration brewing, such as title generators.

And speaking of cogs whirring, let us present you with the...

15 best book titles of all time

Witty, eye-catching, memorable — these famous book titles have it all. Without further ado, here are 15 best book titles you can take inspiration from.

  • I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  • East of Eden by John Steinbeck
  • The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
  • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
  • Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett
  • Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith
  • The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
  • Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea by Chelsea Handler
  • And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
  • The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  • Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown
  • The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton

Looking for even more story title ideas?

If you’re agonizing over your book title, you’re not alone! Some of the best book titles today emerged only after much teeth gnashing. The Sun Also Rises was once titled Fiesta ; Pride and Prejudice was once First Impressions . Then there was F. Scott Fitzgerald, who reportedly took forever to think of a good title. He ultimately discarded a dozen ( Gold-Hatted Gatsby , The High-Bouncing Lover , and Trimalchio in West Egg included) before reluctantly picking The Great Gatsby .

So it’s tough out there for a novelist, which is why we built this generator: to try and give you some inspiration. Any of the titles that you score through it are yours to use. We’d be even more delighted if you dropped us the success story at [email protected] ! If you find that you need even more of a spark beyond our generator, the Internet’s got you covered. Here are some of our other favorite generators on the web:

Fantasy Book Title Generators : Fantasy Name Generator , Serendipity: Fantasy Novel Titles

  • Sci-Fi Novel Title Generators : Book Title Creator , Story Title Generator

Romance Book Title Generators : Romance Title Generator

Crime Book Title Generators : Tara Sparling’s Crime Thriller Titles , Ruddenberg’s Generator

Mystery Novel Title Generators : The Generator .

Or if you think that generators are fun and all — but that you’d rather create your own book title? Great 👍 Kick off with this post, which is all about how to choose your book title . And once you've got the words down, make sure you capitalize your title correctly .

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50 Eye-Catching Autobiography Titles (+ How to Write Your Own)

POSTED ON Oct 12, 2023

Shannon Clark

Written by Shannon Clark

You’ve written your life story. 

You’ve laid your heart bare before the world

So, what’s the best title for your one-of-a-kind masterpiece?

“____________: An Autobiography”?

Seriously, unless you’re a household name, using “autobiography” as part of your title might not work in your favor, but not to worry. You don’t have to be famous to write an autobiography , but you do need a title that will grab a buyer's attention, so they know your book is worth a second look.

Book Title Generator

Don't like it?

The purpose of this article is to break down what makes a standout autobiography title and the process for creating your own. 

Need autobiography titles? Let's dive in!

The secret sauce for writing an amazing book title.

The process of creating an autobiography book title that gets noticed starts with a marketer's mindset.

Yes, it all boils down to strategic book positioning in the marketplace. Creativity is a big part of it, but that’s a small part of the bigger picture. After all, if your book doesn't get in front of the people who would be most likely to read it, you can't change lives with the content inside!

Unlike fiction books or other types of nonfiction books (e.g. business books or textbooks) where there’s a specific category or genre expectation, autobiographies play by their own set of rules—the more creative the better. 

How to think like a marketer when creating your title

If you are self-publishing your book, then you’re probably already aware that marketing is a key component of your book’s success, but what is marketing exactly? 

The American Marketing Association defines marketing as

Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large. 

When marketing your book, knowing how to write a good book title matters, because, along with your cover, it’s the first thing a potential buyer sees (reads) before making a buying decision. A casual search for “autobiography” on Amazon pulled up over 700,000 results. This doesn’t mean that every book belongs in the category, but it’s still a lot of books.

You might be asking how you get your book to rise to the top of search results.

Start with a great title. 

Here are some best practices:

  • Make your title relevant – You can never go wrong with a title that reflects the theme of your book . This will clue buyers into what to expect. You can also go with a significant statement or quote drawn directly from your story. Clever titles also work, but try to stay away from the cheesy ones that confuse buyers.
  • Appeal to your ideal audience’s needs – Every book is not for everyone. Target a specific reader type when creating your title. For example, meteorologist and television personality Ginger Zee titled her book Natural Disasters. This title works well for her because her book’s content is about the unpredictable “storms” of life she has faced and she also covers storms in her reporting. 
  • Stay away from clickbait – Or anything that leads readers to believe your book is about one thing but it’s something else. This only frustrates readers and could potentially lead to bad reviews. 
  • Use a primary keyword in your title if it fits – First Gen by Alejandra Campoverdi and Cooked by Jeff Henderson include keyword(s) that are relevant to buyer searches. 
  • Invite the reader into your story – This can be done by asking a question like the autobiography title What Are You Doing Here? by Baroness Floella Benjamin. Or, create an image in their mind like The Ugly Cry by Danielle Henderson or The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish. 

Hint: Keep it short. According to Amazon, “Customers are more likely to skim past long titles (over 60 characters). There are exceptions to the rules. You’ll see some in the list that follows.

Don’t forget about writing a subtitle for your book . They are optional but a great way to add a splash of flavor. 

50 eye-catching autobiography titles that inspire

After an exhaustive search in the autobiography categories of the top online book retailers, I selected 50 incredible autobiography titles as a starting point for creating an amazing title for your autobiography. Note: Memoir titles listed under the autobiography category are included in the list.

Autobiography titles about celebrities

  • What Are You Doing Here? – Baronness Floella Benjamin
  • Tis Herself – Maureen O’Hara
  • F inding Me by Viola Davis
  • Not That Fancy: Simple Lessons on Living, Loving, Eating, and Dusting Off Your Boots By Reba McEntire
  • Live Wire: Long-Winded Short Stories by Kelly Ripa
  • Thicker than Water by Kerry Washington
  • We Were Dreamers by Simu Liu
  • Enough Already: Learning to Love the Way I Am Today by Valerie Bertinelli
  • Just as I am by Cicely Tyson
  • A Promised Land by Barack Obama
  • Making It So by Patrick Stewart
  • Inside Out by Demi Moore
  • In Pieces by Sally Field
  • The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish
  • Boldly Go: Reflections on a Life of Awe and Wonder by William Shatner
  • Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology by Leah Remini
  • Look Out for the Little Guy! By Scott Lang
  • I Can’t Make This Up: Life Lessons by Kevin Hart, Neil Strauss
  • No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality by Michael J. Fox
  • Scenes from My Life by Michael K. Williams
  • The Way I Heard It by Mike Rowe
  • I Came as a Shadow – John Thompson

Autobiography titles about authors

  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings  by Maya Angelou
  • Lit by Mary Karr

Autobiography titles about family

  • The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
  • Mott Street by Ava Chin
  • The Girl in the Middle by Anais Granofsky
  • All You Can Ever Know by Nicole Chung
  • The Ugly Cry by Danielle Henderson

Autobiography titles about immigration, culture, and race

  • Good Morning, Hope: A True Story of Refugee Twin Sisters and Their Triumph over War, Poverty, and Heartbreak by Argita Zalli, and Detina Zalli 
  • Negroland by Margo Jefferson
  • First Gen by Alejandra Campoverdi
  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui
  • Heart of Fire: An Immigrant Daughter’s Story – Mazie K. Hirono
  • The Girl Who Smiled Beads by Clementine Wamariya, Elizabeth Weil

Autobiography titles about beating the odds

  • Cooked by Jeff Henderson
  • The Pale-Faced Lie by David Crow
  • Thunder Dog: The True Story of a Blind Mann, His Guide Dog, and the Triumph of Trust by Michael Hingson and Susy Flory
  • When the Tears Dry by Meredith Hawkins
  • Reaching for the Moon by Katherine Johnson
  • 80 Percent Luck, 20 Percent Skill: My Life as a WWII Navy Ferry Pilot by Ralph T. Alshouse

Autobiography titles about faith

  • Like a River: Finding the Faith and Strength to Move Forward After Loss and Heartache by Granger Smith
  • The Barn by David Hill
  • All My Knotted-Up Life by Beth Moore

Autobiography titles about journalists, reporters, and media

  • Natural Disaster: I Cover Them. I am One by Ginger Zee
  • Going There by Katie Couric
  • Rough Draft by Kati Tur
  • The Long Loneliness by Dorothy Day

Use a free tool to generate your own autobiography title

You obviously can't use these published autobiography titles for your own book – but you can use our free book title generator to come up with suggestions that you could use.

It's really easy to use, and instantly gives you an unlimited amount of working titles – or even final titles – to use for your book!

1. Select nonfiction for the book’s genre in the drop-down menu

good title for life essay

2. Fill in the details

For the next question, if you have a book description, type “yes” and add your description in the text box.

If you don’t have a description yet, answer “no” and fill out the questions. Eventually, you will need to write a book description , but this is often something our authors do after they complete their manuscript .

Incredible Biography Titles - Book Title Generator Description Question Section

3. Click “generate”

That's it! Get ready for some unique autobiography book title suggestions. Remember, if you don't like the one that you see, you can continue to generate as many as you'd like.

Final thoughts

Your autobiography title can be the difference between someone scrolling past your book on Amazon or stopping to read a sample. Whatever title you choose, remember that it’s just as much about you as your reader. Make them want to read your story by giving them something unique that piques their interest. 

Are you ready to take the next steps with your autobiography? We have a professional publishing team ready to guide you through the book development process. 

Interested in self-publishing? Click below to find out more.

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What Is The Perfect Title Of Your Life Story?

This post may contain affiliate links. Read full disclosure here.

A few weeks ago, I decided to put together a blog post about what I thought the song or movie title would be to summarize my life story.

I had various songs in mind, but I was having trouble picking out the one.  How can you summarize a whole life in one song or movie title?

For me, there is no one and single choice. At different stages in my life the song or movie title describing my life story would not remain the same.

I can only choose the present, the person I am today. In 10 years I would answer differently. At least, I hope I will. Showing that I am growing, evolving, changing for the better.

This got me thinking – what kinds of songs or movie title encompass other lives?

I decided to ask others in the blogosphere to name their song or movie title of their life story and share with me why.

Here is mine along with seven others, in their own words.

your-life-story

Sheri (Me) – Movie Title: The Matrix

Wait what? Why?

Well let me tell you. The idea that you can change your whole world by thinking differently about it very much applies to the road I have taken in life today.

The power of positive thinking, and reaffirmations of gratitude direct my path daily.

Awakening to the possibility that not everyone in my environment is well-meaning is a huge factor. My life story changes from phase to phase and that is why I chose this movie.

Social consensus are falsehoods that mask our true nature with s ociety telling us who we are, not letting us be who we are meant to.

I  have finally developed the courage to  break away from external pressures to be myself, live and enjoy this self-reflective adventure called life.

The Matrix is multi-layered, as are we. So that is the title of my life story as of today.

Here are the responses from my other blogger friends….Enjoy!

Skye from  Goodnight The Skye  – Song: Renegades by Feeder

I chose Renegades because it’s not motivational in the conventional sense. It talks a lot about how much easier it is to conform and how much bravery it takes to stand out, and as a queer person who runs an alternative culture blog that idea really speaks to me.

Just like the song says, it took a long time for me to realise that while I could be different and belong to the mainstream, my existence and interests are not the threat to others they are made out to be.

When faced with the knowledge that I could be more successful following the ‘blogger stereotypes’, listening to Renegades inspires me to be true to my heart and my content, even if it puts me somewhat on the fringe of the community. Likewise, whenever I’m filled with doubt leaving the house in red lipstick and a black leather ensemble, I remember that what others might think is not important – as long as I know who I am.

This is a song that’s been with me since I was little, and it’s only become more relevant to me as I’ve grown up. I’m never going to be a saint or a profit, I’m a burlesque-loving goth freak, and that’s completely okay.

Dominique from  Journey With D  – Song: Strength, Courage, and Wisdom by India Arie

For a long time I never used my voice. I never made decisions that helped me, I always let someone else do that for me. At the age of 21,

I finally found what was inside of me all along; strength, courage and wisdom to do what I was created to do.

I’m no longer afraid to progress in life regardless of what people say. I am me and nobody can be me better than me. I’m so glad I can say that at 25!!!

Aakiee from  I Lifestyle Site  – Song: Beautiful Life by Nick Fradiani

I am 20 years old, a passionate Programmer/Designer/Learner and Dreamer. My life is full of colorful and adventures and I am enjoying every bit of it.

The reason why I enjoy my life is simple I just focus on positive things and seek positivism around me. It’s in our hands that how we see the world and we can solve all problems if we stop overthinking and overreacting.

I have turned my life 360 degrees to live it fully by following simple rules of positivism and helping others. So, for all the reader. You must enjoy life and cherish your each day, because You Only Live Once!

Amber from  Thrifty Guardian  – Movie: Brave

I may be seen as a bit too old for cartoons, but I would say Brave best represents my life! I am free spirited, bordering on stubborn, and extremely inspired by the world around me.

I refuse to be controlled by my debt or lack of time; I know where my passions lie (helping others gain control of their own lives!) and I’ll do whatever it takes to live those dreams.

April from  April Speaks  – Song: Anak by Freddie Aguilar

The song which I think best describe the story of my life is “Anak” by Freddie Aguilar, which has also an English version. It’s the story of my life because like in the song, my parent did everything they could to mold me and to nurture me to become who I am today.

It also tells what I have become despite the sacrifices my parents have done for me. I personally love the song because it serves me as a reminder to respect my parent no matter what.

This song has really awaken my senses to correct myself, that I should change the way I treat my parents.

Pam from  Optimistic Cat  – Song:The Middle by Jimmy Eat World

The story of my life song is called The Middle by Jimmy Eat World. As a 43 year old single mom for the past 7 years, I just recently went back to school to get my degree.

Just as I am feeling overwhelmed by the constant financial struggles I am facing day to day; I am feeling overwhelmed by the new challenges going back to school brings.

In this song, I am reminded that it’s ok to be yourself and do what is best for you, not what you think others want you to do. I am also reminded that things in life take time, but in the end, everything will be alright.

To me this song is about learning to believe in yourself and what you can do as long as you always do your best.

Never worry about what others think of you, because everyone is going to judge you in some small way or another. What matters at the end of the day is you and what makes you happy!

Aisha from  Conflict Chicks  – Song: Video by India Arie

This song best describes my life. Media, friends and even family will make you feel less than because you don’t live up to their beauty standards.

As a young woman, I found it hard to be comfortable in my own skin; constantly comparing myself to someone taller, thinner, more fashionable, bigger personality or most popular.

Until one day it just became to much, it took so much effort to be or attempt to be someone else other than myself. I decided to accept ME as I was created! It was empowering!

I realized how much style & personality I had. I valued myself more & so did others. I live my life own my terms, creating my own beauty standard.

And there they are! All the interesting responses I received.

As you can see, this list is eclectic. We are of different ages and backgrounds and identify with songs and movies for various reasons.

Wouldn’t it be interesting to return to this list in a year for an update on whether we would change the title choices made here?

Do you have a song or movie title you use to encapsulate your life story?

Share it with me in the comments section below, I am interested in your choice and why!

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48 comments

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I’m not sure I can think of any one song or movie title. It would definitely have to be something about being busy or having a million things going on at once.

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This is such a unique idea, never thought of this! I cannot think of a film that could define me.

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This is so very hard. I really need to think on this. I don’t know. I’m going to talk to my hubby tonight and brainstorm.

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Haha, I love this! I wouldn’t have a clue how to describe my life story though.

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What an interesting perspective on things! Right now I’m feeling pretty sorry for myself so it would be ‘Misery’, lol!

Oh no Elizabeth! I hope whatever phase you are going through in life changes for the better and becomes a more positive situation for you. Wishing you all the best. Have a great day and weekend, xoxox S.

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What a fascinating idea, and I love these stories! I’m going to spend some time thinking about my own life story now!

When you come up with a title, please share it with me…I am so curious 🙂

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I like that you took the time to pick great classics for your life . Now the matrix that was an interesting pick 🙂

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I haven’t heard any of those songs or seen any of those movies. But now I;m intrigued!

You haven’t heard of The Matrix Divya? Ok, now I am shocked.

Omg bravo I love that you used great songs for you

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I would use my line name, Resilience. No matter what life hurls at me, I come back harder and stronger (even if it takes me awhile). Definitely made me think for a second though!

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Gosh what an inspiring post! I am about to write a book and have been toiling with titles as well. I can’t imagine what song I’d use to describe my life. something to ponder 🙂

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I tend to agree with the Jimmy Eat World song, I’ve always said that’s my anthem. I also like to say and Beatles song, because, The Beatles.

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Umm you got me thinking. I particularly like Joni Mitchell’s – clouds got my way song. I pick that one for me 🙂

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Hmm, I’m not sure what song my life would be. The only one that pops in my mind is Do-Re-Me which doesn’t make sense. But it is 7 AM and I haven’t had my caffeine yet, so…

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This is interesting. While reading your post, I was running in my head what would it be my life’s story title. But still can’t figure it out, hahaaha.. Maybe because I just want to enjoy every chapters of it, either good and bad, and I don’t wanna complicate things. I guess, “NO LABEL” LOL

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I love that you picked a movie/song to tell you life story as you see it. It’s so introspective and creative. This was a very entertaining post that I enjoyed reading very much! Thanks so much for sharing the details of your life.

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Now you’ve really got me thinking! I think it would be a song title over a movie title but I’ll need a few days to think about that one! Kyla

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This is a great idea, at the moment I cannot think of a film that could define what I want to achieve. But I could definitely choose a soundtrack that would represent my life, it would definitely be the one from the film Amelie!

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Thats’s such a cool concept and project you came up with! I mean, there’s such difference bewteen the answers you get, but it’s all so interesting! If I had to choose, I may pick up Brave or better a French movie called Rock the Casbah. It’s definitely my life and what I want to achieve !

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I’m with you on The Matrix, it’s one of my favourite films too, and for pretty much the reasons as yours; as for a song, I’m going through a few sad emotional family issues right now, and so it would be “Gimme Shelter” by The Rolling Stones, it suits my mood perfectly at present, although I’m also listening to lots of Pink Floyd lately too with “Wish you were Here” being my favourite song.

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Interesting – it also looks like India Arie resonates with a few people since she was mentioned twice. I also loved the “Brave” answer. The Matrix makes sense too 🙂 The comments on this post have been fun to read too. I have no idea what mine would be 😛 Have to think and get back to you 😉

Mine would be Gone with the Wind.. I just like Sara O’Hara’s character – brave and ambitious

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It is an evocative post, Sheri. If you asked my title, it will have to be the song (Gaadi Bula Rahi Hai), hauntingly beautiful number from an Indian film- Dost. The film is about a young man who is never short of goodness and even risks his life to save the career of his friend who is drunkard.

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Never thought of this, set me thinking now, though I think I may end up with multiple titles/movies as well as multiple songs. After all Life is made up of different scenes, more like theatre then the movies.

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seriously sheri, i have no real idea of a movie or song that best describes me but if i were to give it a try , i will have to live it to you to decipher though, my life is just that very quiet one with less of the activity in it all. hopefully something from the country-side… i will be glad if i get one from you, at the end of the day, this post is so so great, that now i feel like i can get to have something like this also… great post, keep writting.

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This is such a cool concept! What comes to my mind for us Mission Impossible for right now. I moved to a new country to go back to school with and 18month old and 7yr old. People said it was impossible but by the Grace of God It’s gone great! So what people told me was impossible has been possible! Ps. Thanks for visiting my blog and for your lovely comment!

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This is such an awesome and unique concept! I can’t even begin to think about what movie or song would encompass my story!

Thank you for your kind words. I am sure there probably isn’t one song that would not necessarily summarize your entire life, but maybe you can think of one that summarizes your month so far? 🙂

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I really like this. I would never be able to pick a title .. something crazy! haha

Like which one Melissa? 🙂

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I’ve been thinking about this post since I read it yesterday…and I came up with the Sound of Music. My husband and I break out in song all the time! jodie blogsharelearn

I live in Austria! Where the film was made. Do you know that a lot of Austrians are not as familiar with the movie as Americans are? LOL 🙂

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Very creative and interesting post!! I agree that at different times in my life I’ve had the life of different movies or books. I can’t think of a movie that fits my life right now, but 2014 was the year of crises. I used to say that we had unwittingly subscribed to the Crisis a Month Club. My dh lost his job in 2015 and was out of work for almost a year. The name of that would be something like OOooh, There it Went! This year my fibro or arthritis or osteoperosis and my TMJ back pain and headaches all got worse so I’d call this year so far, OWIES.

I am sorry to hear that about your husband Jojo. I am glad he has been able to find something. I am also sad to hear that you are going through pain. When I read your posts, you seem to have a positive attitude toward life, and I applaud you for that. Stay Strong. Sending you hugs from thousands of miles away. xoxox S.

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What an interesting thing to think about! This could definitely help people figure out their personal goals too, like what song/movie title they aspire their life to reflect. I agree on your analysis of choice when it came to the Matrix. It was a needed reminder of “life is what you make it”.

Exactly Katie. That is why I chose that movie for myself at this point in time. Who knows what it will be a year, five years, or ten years from now. 🙂

' src=

This is so cute! I love it! to hear other people’s comments on what their lives would be titled as if it was a song or a movie, really makes me ponder on that question and makes me take a quick inventory of my life. A very thoughtful yet fun question.

Thank you for the positive comments. If you think of a title that would suit you best,please share it with me. 🙂

' src=

I wouldn’t have a clue on what title of movie or song best describes me. You give me something to think about.

' src=

Love that but I sat here thinking about it and there is no way I could come up with one. I think because I have alot of years and we change so much, all the time.

' src=

Love it! I’m torn between Through it all by Colton Dixon or The Princess Bride.

' src=

Love this! I am writing a collection of short stories about different things and my life and I am not a creative title writer, but it hit me! Every part has a song. The song may not necessarily describe the event or even been around during the event, but it reminds me of that person or event!

' src=

Fun post! xo

' src=

Ha! This post is insanely creative!!! Honestly… I don’t think I could TITLE my life right now … Because it’s still going and I am not sure where it’s going to end up! Hopefully though, my life’s movie title is something along the lines of: ITS A WONDERFUL LIFE – ha ha!

' src=

Very nice post and a brilliant idea indeed !! Hm , amazing answers , how everybody can relate to certain songs or movies 🙂 I love yours , Mrs. Matrix 🙂 a very wise one ! Don’t let others tell you how to live your life !!! All together another excellent post by Sheri <3 Always a great pleasure visiting your site :*

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85 Afterlife Essay Topic Ideas & Examples

🏆 best afterlife topic ideas & essay examples, 📌 simple & easy afterlife essay titles, 👍 good essay topics on afterlife, ❓ questions about the afterlife.

  • Plato on Death: Comparison With Aristotle Afterlife – Essay on Life After Death Philosophy On the other hand, religion has maintained that the soul is immortal and survives the death of the body. Plato argued that the soul is immortal and therefore survives the death of the body.
  • The Epic of Gilgamesh: The Death and the Afterlife The main purpose of the Gilgamesh myth is to illustrate the weakness of man in the face of destiny. By the time this dream appears in the story, the reader is already aware Enkidu is […] We will write a custom essay specifically for you by our professional experts 808 writers online Learn More
  • Tule Lake Japanese Internment Camp: Life and Afterlife The selection of people was random each one of these individuals brought along their personal skills to the camp mostly to be used for personal development in the camp.
  • Christianity and Islam: Service to God and Afterlife The structure of this paper analyzes the service to God and the perception of the afterlife, as highlights of the differences and similarities about the Christian and Islamic perceptions of life.
  • The Concepts of Death and Afterlife in Religious Beliefs I find it most interesting how human societies tend to come up with the idea of the temporal nature of death due to the cycles of seasons and the day and night that they witnessed […]
  • Afterlife Beliefs and Day-to-Day Implications Thus, the perception of what awaits a person at the end of their life, transitioning into a new stage of being or nonbeing, permits further determining the lynchpin ideas of religious convictions of numerous world […]
  • Ancient Conceptions of Death and the Afterlife Although the specific elements of the religion of the mostly pagan society of the composer of Beowulf around 1000 AD is fundamentally different from the Christian religion of Alfred Lord Tennyson who wrote Morte D’Arthur […]
  • Worldviews in Religions on the Aspect of Death and Afterlife The essay compares and contrasts the worldviews of Christianity, medieval Buddhist and Muslim on the aspect of death and afterlife and is covered as follows.
  • Greek Attitude Towards Death and Afterlife The thoughts about death and the beyond can send shivers down the spine of a contemporary person and the attitude of ancient Greeks to death was practically the same.
  • Death and the Afterlife: A Spiritual World After Death The spiritual world for people means the immortality of their souls, which is in general highly important from the point of view of religion and philosophy.
  • Designing the Tomb for Afterlife If I was given a chance to accommodate a tomb for my soul’s journey, I would decorate it in a way that would not let me forget about the life I have spent.
  • Gary Soto’s “Afterlife” and Magical Realism The primary purpose of Gary Soto’s The Afterlife is to show the significance of human life and forgiveness from the perspective of those who lose it.
  • King Tutankhamun’s Afterlife Preparation The tomb of the young pharaoh Tutankhamun is one of the most significant archaeological finds in the exploration of Ancient Egypt. The Valley of the Kings is located on the east coast of the Nile […]
  • Afterlife in the Egyptians and the Aztecs of Mexico The Egyptians believed in transcendent, whereby the positive individual experience that the deceased had was the primary determinant of the nature of life the person experiences.
  • Afterlife from a Christian Point of View
  • Afterlife in ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’ by T.S. Eliot
  • A Glimpse of an Afterlife Time-Out in The Inferno by Dante Alighieris
  • An Analysis of the Book of the Dead and the Egyptian Afterlife
  • Ancient Egypt’s Religion and Literature on the Afterlife
  • An Individual’s Experience of the Afterlife in the Tibetan Book of the Dead
  • A Personal Belief in the Existence of an Afterlife
  • A Portrayal of the Importance of Divine Kingship and Afterlife Through the Ancient Statue, King Sahure and a Nome God
  • Arguments of the Afterlife: Do Near Death Experiences Suggest Proof of Life After Death
  • Aristotle ‘s Views On Knowledge, The Soul And The Afterlife
  • Bosch, Dante, Michelangelo, Homer, and Shakespeare’s Views on the Afterlife
  • Buddhism and Christianity: Afterlife
  • Buddhism, Judaism, and the Concept of an Afterlife
  • The Concept Of Death And Afterlife In W.B.Yeat’s Byzantium And Sailing To Byzantium By Purwarno
  • The Concept of the Soul in Humans, the Afterlife, and Reincarnation
  • The Controversy Surrounding the Issue of the Afterlife
  • The Egyptian and Mesopotamian View of the Afterlife
  • The Iliad’ and ‘Epic of Gilgamesh’ on Death and the Afterlife
  • The Importance of the Afterlife in the Daily Lives of Ancient Egyptians
  • The Inevitability Of Deathand Views On The Afterlife
  • The Mesopotamian Culture on Death and the Afterlife in the Literary Texts The Epic of Gilgamesh and Inanna’s Journey to Hell
  • The Origins of Belief and Afterlife, Zarathustrianism
  • The Positive View of the Afterlife in the Movie What Dreams May Come
  • The Question of the Afterlife as Brought out in the Movie What Dreams May Come True
  • The Question of Whether There Is an Afterlife for Humans
  • The Relationship Between Wealth and the Afterlife in Early Christianity in The Ransom of the Soul, a Book by Peter Brown
  • The Role of Tricksters in Myths Related to Creation, Origin and the Afterlife
  • The Theme of Afterlife in British Literature from Anglo Saxon Period to the Twentieth Century
  • Visions of the Afterlife Through Near Death Experience
  • Was Chinese Thought Primarily Concerned With God And The Afterlife
  • What Does the Evidence Reveal About Belief in the Afterlife in New Kingdom Egypt?
  • What Hinduism Conclude About The Afterlife
  • An Analysis of the Life and Afterlife in the Ancient Civilizations
  • Afterlife: Better Version of Earthly Existence
  • Afterlife Native Americans vs Christianity Beliefs
  • A Look at the Philosophic of the Afterlife Through the Eyes of David Hume
  • Buddhism, Hinduism, and Christianity on the Afterlife
  • Death And Afterlife In Ancient Egyptian Society And The Mesopotamian Society
  • Greek And Roman Views On Death And Afterlife
  • How the Ancient Egyptian and Greco-Roman Prepared People for the Afterlife
  • Religious and Non-Religious Views of the Afterlife
  • What Is the Afterlife?
  • Why Do Some Atheists Accept That There Might Be an Afterlife?
  • What Does the Evidence Reveal About Belief in the Afterlife in the New Kingdom Egypt?
  • How Did Aztecs View the Afterlife and Its Significance?
  • What Were the Elizabethan Beliefs About Ghosts, the Afterlife, Heaven, and Hell?
  • How Did the Ancient Egyptian and Greco-Roman Prepare People for the Afterlife?
  • Does the Resurrection Guarantee the Afterlife?
  • Why Do Some People Reject the Idea of an Afterlife?
  • What Is the Basis for the Christian Belief in an Afterlife?
  • Why Do Some Religious People Believe in Life After Death?
  • What Is the Point of Afterlife?
  • Why Is the Day of Judgement Important for Christians?
  • What Is Immortality of the Soul?
  • Why Is Belief in the Afterlife Important?
  • What Is an Example of Afterlife?
  • How Does the Bible Describe Heaven?
  • What Religion Doesn’t Believe In Afterlife?
  • Who Believes in the Afterlife?
  • What Does the Bible Say About Life After Death?
  • Where Did the Idea of Afterlife Come From?
  • What Does God Say About Life and Death?
  • Why Was the Afterlife So Important to Egyptians?
  • What Were Views on the Afterlife Among Ancient Greeks?
  • When Did Humans First Believe in the Afterlife?
  • What Does God Promise Us About Death?
  • Can Science Prove the Soul, the Afterlife, and God?
  • What Are the Different Types of Afterlife?
  • What Is the Study of Life After Death Called?
  • What Are the Theological Interpretations of the Afterline Concept?
  • What Are Views on the Afterlife Among U.S. Adults?
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Special notice was paid, and justly so, to McCullers’s gifts for portraying loners and misfits, for addressing taboo topics such as mental illness and alcoholism and same-sex relationships. As Joyce Carol Oates put it in The New York Review of Books , “McCullers seemed to have identified with whatever is trans- in the human psyche, seeing it as the very fuel of desire.” Dearborn elaborates on these themes but essentially tells a straightforward story, vastly more in touch with the life than with the work.

Lula Carson Smith was born in Columbus, Ga. Her father was a jeweler, and her lively and well-educated mother took pride in her precocious daughter, whom the family called “Sister.” Carson — she began using her sexually ambiguous middle name in high school — thought she might become a concert pianist. She skipped college and headed for New York City, where she took writing classes at Columbia University. At 19, she married Reeves McCullers, a charming Alabama-born high school football star and future war hero — and future alcoholic.

The publishing world loves a Cinderella story and will invent one if necessary. McCullers was the real thing. “The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter” was published when she was just 23, and literary Manhattan fell at her feet. She was photographed for Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue. Truman Capote called her “a tall, slender wand of a girl” whose voice had a “gentle heat, like a blissful summer afternoon that is slow but not sleepy.” She was gawky and tall and androgynous; she wore crisp men’s clothing, with a special fondness for white dress shirts and spotless white sneakers. Alfred Kazin, whom she got to know at Yaddo, saw her most clearly:

Carson was pure sensibility, pure nerve along which all the suffering of the South and the Smith family passed. She was all feeling , an anvil on which life rained down blows. … Tremulous elfin, self-pitying charm. Always problems of identity . Internality of the American Dostoevskian sort without the slightest political sense of the word. … The southern isolato .

McCullers was an eccentric. She was needy and smothering and given to extravagant language and gestures. In the short run, these things can be enormously attractive. In the long run, they can make everyone hate you. By the end of this biography, when she has fallen apart from drinking and illness, a lot of contumely is dumped on McCullers by enemies and friends alike. Her Southern accent was adorable until people began to mock it behind her back.

The young McCullers moved into a large, Tudoresque apartment building in Brooklyn Heights with a gaggle of other artists, including the poet W.H. Auden, the composer Benjamin Britten and the statuesque burlesque star and writer Gypsy Rose Lee. This largely gay and lesbian commune became famous ; other artists lined up to try gain admission if not residence. There are great scenes, such as the time McCullers and Lee chased a fire truck down the street because they both loved a good conflagration. The pair may have had, briefly, a physical relationship.

Dearborn, who has also written biographies of Ernest Hemingway , Peggy Guggenheim and Henry Miller , among others, pauses to ask: Where was Reeves, McCullers’s husband, during this time? He slides in and out of this book. He was a frustrated man who never settled into a career. He sometimes forged her checks. They divorced and remarried. Both had same-sex affairs. There are hints of impulsive polycules. Their need for each other was a near constant, until Reeves died by suicide in a Paris hotel room in 1953.

McCullers’s romantic life outside her marriage was tangled and filled with unrequited feelings. She had a type, in terms of the women she fell for: older, elegant, distant and mostly unavailable, a predilection further examined in Jenn Shapland’s 2020 memoir “ My Autobiography of Carson McCullers .” She had many gay male friends, and she relished their attention. Though there is a canned quality to many of this book’s set pieces, it functions as a rich history of queer culture during the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s.

McCullers had two major strokes by the time she was 30, brought on in part by strep infections in her youth. The second left her partially paralyzed on her left side. Some would accuse her of faking her paralysis because it seemed to come and go. But there can be no doubt that McCullers was deeply unlucky as regards her health. The second half of this book is a litany of ills, including a radical mastectomy and blood clot in her lung, that are hard to even read about. The lists of pills fill entire paragraphs. She must have rattled when she walked.

Her drinking did not help. She came from a family of alcoholics and she lived with enabler after enabler. On a typical day, she would have four and a half ounces of liquor (about two large drinks) three times a day: before lunch, dinner and bedtime, in addition to wine with meals. Each drink, taken to brace her lapsing morale, was a single act in the day’s drama. She would become stupefied, her mind velveted. Her friend Tennessee Williams commented, “A fish couldn’t drink so much without sinking.”

By the end, McCullers was no longer the viewer but the thing viewed. In addition to her health problems, her drinking and her romantic distress, McCullers was increasingly viewed as an irritant — a diva in the form of a waif. Her approach would arouse the fugitive instincts in others. She was a slice of cake that eventually attracted flies.

Eudora Welty and Katherine Anne Porter bonded over their dislike of her. Welty called her “that little wretch.” To Jean Stafford, she was “most irritating.” The actress Julie Harris, who starred in a 1950 Broadway version of “The Member of the Wedding,” remarked that “everyone was her slave.” The New Yorker writer Janet Flanner called her a “pitiful spectacle.” An editor at her publishing house said that being with her was like “being impaled in the second act of a Tennessee Williams play.”

These drive-by shootings are vivid material, but none of us are reducible to what others say about us. It’s to Dearborn’s credit that she also suggests McCullers’s deep humanity, her subversive talents as a writer and lonely observer, and a strong sense of what McCullers herself called “her sad, happy life.”

CARSON McCULLERS : A Life | By Mary V. Dearborn | Knopf | 484 pp. | $40

Dwight Garner has been a book critic for The Times since 2008, and before that was an editor at the Book Review for a decade. More about Dwight Garner

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The Day I Put $50,000 in a Shoe Box and Handed It to a Stranger

I never thought i was the kind of person to fall for a scam..

Portrait of Charlotte Cowles

On a Tuesday evening this past October, I put $50,000 in cash in a shoe box, taped it shut as instructed, and carried it to the sidewalk in front of my apartment, my phone clasped to my ear. “Don’t let anyone hurt me,” I told the man on the line, feeling pathetic.

“You won’t be hurt,” he answered. “Just keep doing exactly as I say.”

Three minutes later, a white Mercedes SUV pulled up to the curb. “The back window will open,” said the man on the phone. “Do not look at the driver or talk to him. Put the box through the window, say ‘thank you,’ and go back inside.”

The man on the phone knew my home address, my Social Security number, the names of my family members, and that my 2-year-old son was playing in our living room. He told me my home was being watched, my laptop had been hacked, and we were in imminent danger. “I can help you, but only if you cooperate,” he said. His first orders: I could not tell anyone about our conversation, not even my spouse, or talk to the police or a lawyer.

Now I know this was all a scam — a cruel and violating one but painfully obvious in retrospect. Here’s what I can’t figure out: Why didn’t I just hang up and call 911? Why didn’t I text my husband, or my brother (a lawyer), or my best friend (also a lawyer), or my parents, or one of the many other people who would have helped me? Why did I hand over all that money — the contents of my savings account, strictly for emergencies — without a bigger fight?

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When I’ve told people this story, most of them say the same thing: You don’t seem like the type of person this would happen to. What they mean is that I’m not senile, or hysterical, or a rube. But these stereotypes are actually false. Younger adults — Gen Z, millennials, and Gen X — are 34 percent more likely to report losing money to fraud compared with those over 60, according to a recent report from the Federal Trade Commission. Another study found that well-educated people or those with good jobs were just as vulnerable to scams as everyone else.

Still, how could I have been such easy prey? Scam victims tend to be single, lonely, and economically insecure with low financial literacy. I am none of those things. I’m closer to the opposite. I’m a journalist who had a weekly column in the “Business” section of the New York Times. I’ve written a personal-finance column for this magazine for the past seven years. I interview money experts all the time and take their advice seriously. I’m married and talk to my friends, family, and colleagues every day.

And while this is harder to quantify — how do I even put it? — I’m not someone who loses her head. My mother-in-law has described me as even-keeled; my own mom has called me “maddeningly rational.” I am listed as an emergency contact for several friends — and their kids. I vote, floss, cook, and exercise. In other words, I’m not a person who panics under pressure and falls for a conspiracy involving drug smuggling, money laundering, and CIA officers at my door. Until, suddenly, I was.

That morning — it was October 31 — I dressed my toddler in a pizza costume for Halloween and kissed him good-bye before school. I wrote some work emails. At about 12:30 p.m., my phone buzzed. The caller ID said it was Amazon. I answered. A polite woman with a vague accent told me she was calling from Amazon customer service to check some unusual activity on my account. The call was being recorded for quality assurance. Had I recently spent $8,000 on MacBooks and iPads?

I had not. I checked my Amazon account. My order history showed diapers and groceries, no iPads. The woman, who said her name was Krista, told me the purchases had been made under my business account. “I don’t have a business account,” I said. “Hmm,” she said. “Our system shows that you have two.”

Krista and I concurred that I was the victim of identity theft, and she said she would flag the fraudulent accounts and freeze their activity. She provided me with a case-ID number for future reference and recommended that I check my credit cards. I did, and everything looked normal. I thanked her for her help.

Then Krista explained that Amazon had been having a lot of problems with identity theft and false accounts lately. It had become so pervasive that the company was working with a liaison at the Federal Trade Commission and was referring defrauded customers to him. Could she connect me?

“Um, sure?” I said.

Krista transferred the call to a man who identified himself as Calvin Mitchell. He said he was an investigator with the FTC, gave me his badge number, and had me write down his direct phone line in case I needed to contact him again. He also told me our call was being recorded. He asked me to verify the spelling of my name. Then he read me the last four digits of my Social Security number, my home address, and my date of birth to confirm that they were correct. The fact that he had my Social Security number threw me. I was getting nervous.

“I’m glad we’re speaking,” said Calvin. “Your personal information is linked to a case that we’ve been working on for a while now, and it’s quite serious.”

He told me that 22 bank accounts, nine vehicles, and four properties were registered to my name. The bank accounts had wired more than $3 million overseas, mostly to Jamaica and Iraq. Did I know anything about this? “No,” I said. Did I know someone named Stella Suk-Yee Kwong? “I don’t think so,” I said. He texted me a photo of her ID, which he claimed had been found in a car rented under my name that was abandoned on the southern border of Texas with blood and drugs in the trunk. A home in New Mexico affiliated with the car rental had subsequently been raided, he added, and authorities found more drugs, cash, and bank statements registered to my name and Social Security number. He texted me a drug-bust photo of bags of pills and money stacked on a table. He told me that there were warrants out for my arrest in Maryland and Texas and that I was being charged with cybercrimes, money laundering, and drug trafficking.

My head swam. I Googled my name along with “warrant” and “money laundering,” but nothing came up. Were arrest warrants public? I wasn’t sure. Google led me to truthfinder.com, which asked for my credit-card information — nope. “I’m in deep shit,” I texted my husband. “My identity was stolen and it seems really bad.”

Calvin wanted to know if I knew anyone who might be the culprit or if I had any connections to Iraq or Jamaica. “No,” I said. “This is the first I’m hearing about any of this, and it’s a lot to take in.” He asked if I had ever used public or unsecured Wi-Fi. “I don’t know. Maybe?” I said. “I used the airport Wi-Fi recently.”

“Ah,” he said. “That’s unfortunate. It’s how many of these breaches start.” I was embarrassed, like I’d left my fly unzipped. How could I have been so thoughtless? But also — didn’t everyone use the airport Wi-Fi?

Calvin told me to listen carefully. “The first thing you must do is not tell anyone what is going on. Everyone around you is a suspect.”

I almost laughed. I told him I was quite sure that my husband, who works for an affordable-housing nonprofit and makes meticulous spreadsheets for our child-care expenses, was not a secret drug smuggler. “I believe you, but even so, your communications are probably under surveillance,” Calvin said. “You cannot talk to him about this.” I quickly deleted the text messages I had sent my husband a few minutes earlier. “These are sophisticated criminals with a lot of money at stake,” he continued. “You should assume you are in danger and being watched. You cannot take any chances.”

I felt suspended between two worlds — the one I knew and the one this man was describing. If I had nothing to do with any of these allegations, how much could they truly affect me? I thought of an old This American Life episode about a woman whose Social Security card was stolen. No matter how many times she closed her bank accounts and opened new ones, her identity thief kept draining them, destroying her credit and her sanity. (It turned out to be her boyfriend.) I remembered another story about a man who got stuck on a no-fly list after his personal information was used by a terrorist group. It dawned on me that being connected to major federal offenses, even falsely, could really fuck up my life.

Calvin wanted to know how much money I currently had in my bank accounts. I told him that I had two — checking and savings — with a combined balance of a little over $80,000. As a freelancer in a volatile industry, I keep a sizable emergency fund, and I also set aside cash to pay my taxes at the end of the year, since they aren’t withheld from my paychecks.

His voice took on a more urgent tone. “You must have worked very hard to save all that money,” he said. “Do not share your bank-account information with anyone. I am going to help you keep your money safe.” He said that he would transfer me to his colleague at the CIA who was the lead investigator on my case and gave me a nine-digit case number for my records. (I Googled the number. Nothing.) He said the CIA agent would tell me what to do next, and he wished me luck.

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If it was a scam , I couldn’t see the angle. It had occurred to me that the whole story might be made up or an elaborate mistake. But no one had asked me for money or told me to buy crypto; they’d only encouraged me not to share my banking information. They hadn’t asked for my personal details; they already knew them. I hadn’t been told to click on anything.

Still, I had not seen a shred of evidence. I checked my bank accounts, credit cards, and credit score; nothing looked out of the ordinary. I knew I should probably talk to a lawyer or maybe call the police, though I was doubtful that they would help. What was I going to say — “My identity was stolen, and I think I’m somehow in danger”? I had no proof. I was also annoyed that my workday had been hijacked. It was 2 p.m., and I had already pushed back one deadline and postponed two work calls. I had to get myself out of this.

The next man who got on the line had a deeper voice and a slight British accent flecked with something I couldn’t identify. He told me his name was Michael Sarano and that he worked for the CIA on cases involving the FTC. He gave me his badge number. “I’m going to need more than that,” I said. “I have no reason to believe that any of what you’re saying is real.”

“I completely understand,” he said calmly. He told me to go to the FTC home page and look up the main phone number. “Now hang up the phone, and I will call you from that number right now.” I did as he said. The FTC number flashed on my screen, and I picked up. “How do I know you’re not just spoofing this?” I asked.

“It’s a government number,” he said, almost indignant. “It cannot be spoofed.” I wasn’t sure if this was true and tried Googling it, but Michael was already onto his next point. He told me the call was being recorded, so I put him on speaker and began recording on my end, too. He wanted to know if I had told anyone what was going on.

I admitted that I had texted my husband. “You must reassure him that everything is fine,” Michael said. “In many cases like this, we have to investigate the spouse as well, and the less he knows, the less he is implicated. From now on, you have to follow protocol if you want us to help you.”

“I don’t think I should lie to my husband,” I said, feeling stupid.

“You are being investigated for major federal crimes,” he said. “By keeping your husband out of this, you are protecting him.” He then repeated the point Calvin had made about my phone and computer being hacked and monitored by the criminals who had stolen my identity.

By that point, my husband had sent me a series of concerned texts. “Don’t worry. It will be okay,” I wrote back. It felt gross to imagine a third party reading along.

Michael snowed me with the same stories Calvin had. They were consistent: the car on the Texas border, the property in New Mexico, the drugs, the bank accounts. He asked if I shared my residence with anyone besides my husband and son. Then he asked more questions about my family members, including my parents, my brother, and my sister-in-law. He knew their names and where they lived. I told him they had nothing to do with this. In fact, I was now sure I wanted to consult a lawyer.

“If you talk to an attorney, I cannot help you anymore,” Michael said sternly. “You will be considered noncooperative. Your home will be raided, and your assets will be seized. You may be arrested. It’s your choice.” This seemed ludicrous. I pictured officers tramping in, taking my laptop, going through our bookshelves, questioning our neighbors, scaring my son. It was a nonstarter.

“Can I just come to your office and sort this out in person?” I said. “It’s getting late, and I need to take my son trick-or-treating soon.”

“My office is in Langley,” he said. “We don’t have enough time. We need to act immediately. I’m going to talk you through the process. It’s going to sound crazy, but we must follow protocol if we’re going to catch the people behind this.”

He explained that the CIA would need to freeze all the assets in my name, including my actual bank accounts. In the eyes of the law, there was no difference between the “real” and the fraudulent ones, he said. They would also deactivate my compromised Social Security number and get me a new one. Then, by monitoring any activity under my old Social Security number and accounts, they would catch the criminals who were using my identity and I would get my life back. But until then, I would need to use only cash for my day-to-day expenses.

It was far-fetched. Ridiculous. But also not completely out of the realm of possibility. “Do I have any other options?” I asked.

“Unfortunately, no,” he said. “You must follow my directions very carefully. We do not have much time.”

He asked me how much cash I thought I would need to support myself for a year if necessary. My assets could be frozen for up to two years if the investigation dragged on, he added. There could be a trial; I might need to testify. These things take time. “I don’t know, $50,000?” I said. I wondered how I would receive paychecks without a bank account. Would I have to take time off from work? I did some mental calculations of how much my husband could float us and for how long.

“Okay,” he said. “You need to go to the bank and get that cash out now. You cannot tell them what it is for. In one of my last cases, the identity thief was someone who worked at the bank.”

Michael told me to keep the phone on speaker so we would remain in contact. “It’s important that I monitor where this money goes from now on. Remember, all of your assets are part of this investigation,” he said. Then he told me that one of his colleagues would meet me at my apartment at 5 p.m. to guide me through the next steps.

“You can’t send a complete stranger to my home,” I said, my voice rising. “My 2-year-old son will be here.”

“Let me worry about that,” he said. “It’s my job. But if you don’t cooperate, I cannot keep you safe. It is your choice.”

It’s impossible to explain why I accepted this logic. But I had been given marching orders and a deadline. My son would be home soon, and I had to fix this mess. I put on sneakers in case I needed to run. I brought a backpack for the cash. I felt both terrified and absurd.

It was jarring to see trick-or-treaters in my Brooklyn neighborhood, people going about their lives. The air was crisp, and dead leaves swirled on the ground. I was on high alert for anyone who might be following me. At one point, a man in sunglasses and a hoodie trailed me for a few blocks. At Michael’s suggestion, I ducked into a parking garage until he passed.

When I reached the bank, I told the guard I needed to make a large cash withdrawal and she sent me upstairs. Michael was on speakerphone in my pocket. I asked the teller for $50,000. The woman behind the thick glass window raised her eyebrows, disappeared into a back room, came back with a large metal box of $100 bills, and counted them out with a machine. Then she pushed the stacks of bills through the slot along with a sheet of paper warning me against scams. I thanked her and left.

Michael was bursting with praise. “You did a great job,” he said. “I have to go for a moment to see about the details of your case; I’m going to have you speak to my colleague if you have any questions.” He put a woman on the line. She was younger, with an accent I couldn’t identify. She told me to go home and await further instructions.

As I walked back to my apartment, something jolted me out of my trance, and I became furious. No government agency would establish this as “protocol.” It was preposterous. “I need to speak with Michael,” I told the woman on the phone. He got on right away. “I don’t even believe that you’re a CIA agent,” I said. “What you’re asking me to do is completely unreasonable.”

He sighed. “I’m sending you a photo of my badge right now,” he said. “I don’t know what else to tell you. You can trust me, and I will help you. Or you can hang up and put yourself and your family in danger. Do you really want to take that risk with a young child?”

My Two Cents

How to protect yourself against scams, what charlotte cowles wishes she’d known..

I waited for a stoplight at a busy intersection. I could see my apartment window from where I stood. My son was playing inside with a neighbor’s daughter and their nanny. A picture of Michael’s badge appeared on my phone. I had no way of verifying it; it could easily have been Photoshopped. “I don’t trust you at all,” I said to Michael. “But it doesn’t seem like I have any other choice.”

When I got home, Michael told me to get a box, put the cash in it, take a picture of it, then tape it shut. I found a floral-printed shoe box that had once contained a pair of slippers I’d bought for myself — a frivolous purchase that now seemed mortifying. Michael told me to label it with my name, my case number, my address, a locker number he read to me, and my signature. Then he directed me to take another picture of the labeled box and text it to him.

“My colleague will be there soon. He is an undercover CIA agent, and he will secure the money for you,” he said. What exactly would that entail? I asked. “Tonight, we will close down your Social Security number, and you will lose access to your bank accounts,” he explained. “Tomorrow, you’ll need to go to the Social Security office and get a new Social Security number. We’ll secure this money for you in a government locker and hand-deliver a Treasury check for the same amount. You can cash the check and use it for your expenses until the investigation is over.”

“Why can’t I just use this cash?” I asked. “Why do you have to take it and give me a check?”

“Because all of your assets under your current identity are part of the investigation,” he said. “You are being charged with money laundering. If we secure this cash and then issue you a government check under your new Social Security number, that will be considered clean money.”

“I’ll need to see your colleague’s badge,” I said. “I’m not just going to give $50,000 of my money to someone I don’t know.”

“Undercover agents don’t carry badges,” he said, as if I’d asked the CIA to bring me a Happy Meal. “They’re undercover. Remember, you are probably being watched. The criminals cannot know that a CIA agent is there.”

In a twisted way, this made some amount of sense to me. Or maybe I had lost my grip on reality so completely that I was willing to resign myself to this new version of it. Most important, I didn’t know what else to do. Even if Michael wasn’t working for the CIA (which struck me as more and more likely), he was sending a man to our address. I felt a sickening dread that he might ask to come inside. If giving him this money would make him go away, I was ready to do it. I’d been on the phone for nearly five hours. I wanted to take my son trick-or-treating. I was exhausted.

Michael seemed to sense that I was flagging and asked if I’d had lunch. I hadn’t. He told me to eat something but keep him on the line; his agent was on the way to my address but running late. “You can meet him outside if that would make you more comfortable,” Michael said, and I felt relieved. While I gnawed on a granola bar at my desk, he got chatty and asked about my job. I told him I was going to Washington, D.C., later that week. “Oh, great. You could come to my office in Langley,” he said. “Where are you staying?”

A little after 6 p.m., Michael told me to go downstairs. His colleague was arriving. My husband had just come home from work and was reading to our son. “What’s going on? Is everything okay?” he asked as I put my coat on. I motioned to the phone and shushed him. Then I whispered, “I have to go downstairs and meet a guy who’s helping with the identity-theft case. I’ll explain more later.” He frowned and silently mouthed, “What?” I told him I had to go.

I met the SUV at the curb and put the money in the back seat. It was 6:06 p.m. Even if I’d tried to see who was driving, the windows were tinted and it was dusk. He maybe wore a baseball cap. When I turned around, I could see the backlit faces of my husband and son watching from our apartment nine stories above.

As I walked back inside, Michael texted me a photo of a Treasury check made out to me for $50,000 and told me a hard copy would be hand-delivered to me in the morning. He was working on setting up my appointment with the Social Security office. “You will receive a confirmation text shortly,” he said. “Stay on the line until you do.” I felt oddly comforted by this. An appointment would give me something legitimate, an actual connection to a government agency.

I took my son trick-or-treating, my phone on speaker in my pocket. I felt numb, almost in a fugue state, smiling and chatting with my neighbors and their kids. At one point, I checked to see if Michael was still there; his female colleague answered and said he’d be back soon. Then, when we got home and I checked again, the line was dead. I panicked and called back. The woman answered. “Michael is busy,” she said. “He’ll call you in the morning.”

I was confused. Did this mean I didn’t have a Social Security number at all anymore? I pictured myself floating, identity-less. “Do I have an appointment at the Social Security office?” I asked.

“Michael will call you tomorrow,” she repeated. “He hasn’t been able to secure your appointment yet. The Social Security office is closed now.”

I went into my bedroom and shut the door, feeling my face grow hot. I had a physical sensation of scales falling from my eyes; the room shimmered around me, spots raining from the ceiling. I saw the whole day peel away, like the layers of an onion — Michael, the FTC officer, the Amazon call — revealing my real life, raw and exposed, at the center. “Oh my God,” I said, my hands tingling. “You are lying to me. Michael was lying. You just took my money and I’m never getting it back.” That wasn’t true, the woman said. She understood that I was upset. She was sorry. Everything would be fine. “You’re a fucking liar,” I hissed, and hung up.

Through choking sobs, I told my husband what had happened. “Why didn’t you tell me?” he asked, incredulous. “I would have stopped you.” That I’d been trying to protect him suddenly seemed so idiotic I couldn’t even say it out loud. Our son looked on, confused. “Mama’s sad,” he announced, clinging to my leg. We put him to bed and then I called my parents and my brother. At their urging, I called 911. Around 10:30 p.m., three police officers came over and took my statement. I struggled to recount what I’d done; it seemed like a bad dream. I felt like a fool.

“No government agency will ever ask you for money,” one cop informed me, as if I’d never heard it before. I wanted to scream, “I know. ” Instead, I said, “It didn’t really feel like he was asking.”

The police told me not to worry; the scammers wouldn’t be back. “They got what they wanted,” another officer said, as though it would reassure me. I gave them the photos and recordings I had. They promised to check traffic cameras for the car that had taken the money.

When I woke up the next morning, a few seconds passed before I remembered the previous day. I was my old self, in my old bed, milky dawn light on the walls. Then it all came crashing back, a fresh humiliation, and I curled into the fetal position. I felt violated, unreliable; I couldn’t trust myself. Were my tendencies toward people-pleasing, rule following, and conflict aversion far worse than I’d ever thought, even pathological? I imagined other people’s reactions. She’s always been a little careless. She seems unhinged. I considered keeping the whole thing a secret. I worried it would harm my professional reputation. I still do.

In the days that followed, I kept revisiting the fake world of that afternoon, slipping through a portal into an alternate life. I would get paranoid that someone was reading my texts, watching me as I took my son to school, or using my Social Security number to wire money and rent cars. It was a relief that I wasn’t actually in trouble with the law, but then again — I’d lost $50,000 and I wasn’t getting it back. I checked my accounts and credit cards obsessively. I called my bank. They gave me instructions to freeze my credit, file reports with the FBI and FTC, and run anti-virus software on my laptop to check for malware, which I did. I cried a lot. My husband felt helpless; he still doesn’t like to talk about it. Instead, he researched new locks for our doors and looked into security cameras. One night I shook him awake, convinced that someone was trying to break in. “It’s only the wind,” he said. “We’re safe.”

Fifty thousand dollars is a lot of money. It took me years to save, stashing away a few thousand every time I got paid for a big project. Part of it was money I had received from my grandfather, an inheritance he took great pains to set up for his grandchildren before his death. Sometimes I imagine how I would have spent it if I had to get rid of it in a day. I could have paid for over a year’s worth of child care up front. I could have put it toward the master’s degree I’ve always wanted. I could have housed multiple families for months. Perhaps, inadvertently, I am; I occasionally wonder what the scammers did with it.

Because I had set it aside for emergencies and taxes, it was money I tried to pretend I didn’t have — it wasn’t for spending. Initially, I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to afford my taxes this year, but then my accountant told me I could write off losses due to theft. So from a financial standpoint, I’ll survive, as long as I don’t have another emergency — a real one — anytime soon.

When I did tell friends what had happened, it seemed like everyone had a horror story. One friend’s dad, a criminal-defense attorney, had been scammed out of $1.2 million. Another person I know, a real-estate developer, was duped into wiring $450,000 to someone posing as one of his contractors. Someone else knew a Wall Street executive who had been conned into draining her 401(k) by some guy she met at a bar.

I felt a guilty sense of consolation whenever I heard about a scam involving someone I respected. If this could happen to them, maybe I wasn’t such a moron. As a journalist, it’s my instinct to research and talk to experts, so I dove into books and podcasts about scams, desperate to make sense of my own. I had known that fraud was on the rise but was shocked to learn the numbers — financial losses ballooned by more than 30 percent in 2022. I read that self-laceration is typical; half of victims blame themselves for being gullible, and most experience serious anxiety, depression, or other stress-related health problems afterward. I heard about victim support groups. I went to therapy.

When I discovered that Katie Gatti Tassin, a personal-finance expert who writes the popular Money With Katie newsletter, lost $8,000 five years ago to a grandmotherly-sounding woman pretending to call from Tassin’s credit union, I called her to ask how she’d coped. “Everyone was so patronizing,” she told me. “The response was basically ‘It’s your fault that this happened.’”

If I had to pinpoint a moment that made me think my scammers were legitimate, it was probably when they read me my Social Security number. Now I know that all kinds of personal information — your email address, your kids’ names and birthdays, even your pets’ names — are commonly sold on the dark web. Of course, the scammers could also have learned about my son from a 30-second perusal of my Instagram feed.

It was my brother, the lawyer, who pointed out that what I had experienced sounded a lot like a coerced confession. “I read enough transcripts of bad interrogations in law school to understand that anyone can be convinced that they have a very narrow set of terrible options,” he said. When I posed this theory to Saul Kassin, a psychology professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice who studies coerced confessions, he agreed. “If someone is trying to get you to be compliant, they do it incrementally, in a series of small steps that take you farther and farther from what you know to be true,” he said. “It’s not about breaking the will. They were altering the sense of reality.” And when you haven’t done anything wrong, the risk of cooperating feels minimal, he added. An innocent person thinks everything will get sorted out. It also mattered that I was kept on the phone for so long. People start to break down cognitively after a few hours of interrogation. “At that point, they’re not thinking straight. They feel the need to put an end to the situation at all costs,” Kassin said.

I wondered how often scammers are caught and about the guy who’d driven the car to my apartment. But when I asked experts, they doubted he’d be a meaningful lead. One pointed out that he might have been a courier who was told to come pick up a box.

I still don’t believe that what happened to me could happen to anyone, but I’m starting to realize that I’m not uniquely fallible. Several friends felt strongly that if the scammers hadn’t mentioned my son, I would never have fallen for this. They’re right that I’d be willing to do — or pay — anything to protect him. Either way, I have to accept that someone waged psychological warfare on me, and I lost. For now, I just don’t answer my phone.

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Kansas City Chiefs 2024 NFL offseason primer: Champs retooling for run at third straight Super Bowl title

Kansas City Chiefs ' 2023 season: 11-6, won AFC West, won Super Bowl

Overview: Once again, the Chiefs are Super Bowl champions , but they should have an active offseason ahead. As everyone saw, they could absolutely use some upgrades on their roster, particularly at wide receiver. They also have a few key players hitting free agency that may create needs for them as the offseason progresses.

The Chiefs roster in 2024 could be looking very different from the team that just won its third Super Bowl in the last five seasons. But Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid are in place, which gives them a leg up on everyone else.

Key free agents

CB L’Jarius Sneed DL Chris Jones OT Donovan Smith WR Mecole Hardman EDGE Michael Danna LB Drue Tranquill P Tommy Townsend

Who's in/out: Sneed and Jones are the priorities here for the Chiefs. Those are their two best players on defense, but there’s a chance that neither will return next season, despite Jones telling the crowd at the Super Bowl parade "I ain't going nowhere" this week. Both would take up a huge chunk of their available cap space with a franchise tag , but they may be able to get flexible and creative with extensions.

Key free agent needs

Wide receiver Offensive tackle Defensive line

Why the holes? The Chiefs have tried to supply Patrick Mahomes with talent at wide receiver, but outside of Rashee Rice they don’t look to have many long-term hopes at that spot. Left tackle Donovan Smith is slated to become a free agent, but they could upgrade the level of play they received there. And with Chris Jones possibly leaving in free agency and pass rusher Charles Omenihu coming off a torn ACL in the Super Bowl, defensive line is an area the Chiefs will want to look at too.

Do they have the money?

The Chiefs are in good shape, projecting to enter the offseason with $28.3 million in cap space. They have a lot of needs to cover with potential key free agents leaving, but they can create some room to keep their top-shelf talent in town.

Potential notable cuts

WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling S Justin Reid WR Kadarius Toney

Why they might be gone: Toney is an obvious one . He has clashed with the organization and didn’t play at all in the playoffs during their Super Bowl run. Valdes-Scantling’s release would clear up roughly $11 million in cap space and Justin Reid ($14.2 million hit, but lowers to $3.5 million if cut) could be another cap casualty as the Chiefs try to increase an already solid cap space situation.

Draft picks

1st round: No. 32 2nd round: No. 64 3rd round: No. 95 4th round 5th round (from Cowboys)

Good draft fit

Xavier Worthy , WR, Texas

Why him? The Chiefs need speed and competency at wide receiver. Worthy is a lighter receiver, but he’s competent and can absolutely fly. He would be an upgrade over the fast but unpolished corps the Chiefs just dragged to another Super Bowl title.

What can move the fantasy football needle this offseason?

Travis Kelce , Rashee Rice and Isiah Pacheco are all in line to be high-round fantasy football selections. There aren’t too many moves that would change that, but if Kansas City takes a big swing at their near-barren outside receiver position or brings in a big-name veteran running back to beef up the depth behind Pacheco, that will shake up the workload projections. At the same time, the entire offense would get a boost from a legitimate outside receiver who is both reliable and a vertical threat. So I wouldn’t overcorrect and push players like Rice too far down, given what we saw them do in the frustrating 2023 offense. It’s just worth noting that wide receiver remains such a clear and pressing need going into the offseason, so the target tree is bound to get upended. — Matt Harmon

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San Francisco 49ers 2024 NFL offseason primer: Most everybody should be back for another run at Super Bowl

Here's a look at what's ahead this offseason for the 49ers, who bring basically everybody back for another Super Bowl run — but aren't without a few areas of need.

New Orleans Saints 2024 NFL offseason primer: League's worst cap situation is major challenge

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Detroit Lions 2024 NFL offseason primer: A good spring with cap space and few key needs could mean Super Bowl

Dan Campbell's Lions have several key pieces already in place. Can they make the right roster tweaks to build on last season's trip to the NFC championship game?

Miami Dolphins 2024 NFL offseason primer: Questions include Tua's contract, bad cap situation, O-line

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Arizona Cardinals 2024 NFL offseason primer: Good vibes around team despite few wins

Here's a look at what's ahead this offseason for the Cardinals, who found wins scarce but promise plentiful in 2023.

Pittsburgh Steelers 2024 NFL offseason primer: What do they do at QB?

While the Steelers snuck into the playoffs last season, this is a team that needs a lot of work to become a true contender. Can they get it done in an offseason with limited cap space?

New England Patriots 2024 NFL offseason primer: Post-Belichick era starts with No. 3 overall pick, big cap space

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Atlanta Falcons 2024 NFL offseason primer: All eyes turn to QB as Desmond Ridder doesn't seem to be the answer

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Houston Texans 2024 NFL offseason primer: Things looking up thanks to C.J. Stroud, AFC South title

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2024 NFL offseason primer: Run it back after surprise NFC South title?

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Dallas Cowboys 2024 NFL offseason primer: 'All-in' season ahead, per Jerry Jones

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2024 NFL offseason: Draft, free agency and other key dates and events

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Four Verts: Which NFL teams can break up the reign of Chiefs in AFC and 49ers in NFC?

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IMAGES

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  26. Kansas City Chiefs 2024 NFL offseason primer: Champs retooling for run

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