Professors live an extremely busy life. Piles of assignments submitted by numerous students across various streams within a single college make it a harder job for the professors to pay equal attention to each of the projects. You have to think out of the box to gain his concentration, if you really want your hard work to pay off. This is where your headline may make all the difference.
Decline in attention span:
Researchers claim that out of 10 overall readers, only 2 of them will end up reading your entire content. The rest of the 8 will go through your headline only, given that most of the people are in midst of extreme busy schedule. Besides, according to a research conducted by Statistic Brain, the average attention span of human beings have witnessed a record decline as it fell to 8.25 seconds in 2015 as compared to 12 seconds in 2000. Interestingly, the attention span of a gold fish is more than that of the humans, as the former’s concentration period lasts for 9 seconds on an average. Thus, you must emphasise on your effort for making the headline of your story as compelling as possible in order to attract your professors to keep on reading your assignments without losing even a slight of interest.
But what makes a good headline? Use the following insights to make an essay more compelling.
The 4 U’s of an excellent headline:
1) It must be USEFUL for the reader: A headline dictates what the reader is about to read for the next few minutes. If your content is useful that will inform the reader about something that will add value to his wisdom or improve one’s life or business, it is likely to earn better marks than those who use general topics for their assignments. But in most cases, readers do not get the opportunity to read even the bests of essays just because the awful headlines bore them off. Your headline must also be as useful as the content itself. Let your professor know about the benefits he shall achieve on reading your article. Always remember that proper information is the key to engage others in a conversation.
2) It should be ULTRA-SPECIFIC: If you are talking about the impact of Apple iPod on the international music industry, make sure that the headline mentions that in advance. Otherwise, it will seem like the writer is unable to maintain the flow even if his article is outstanding. Avoid using vague sentences like ‘Apple revolutionises the music industry’ to avoid confusion. Rather you can use ‘Music systems are portable now: Thanks to Apple’, which gives a clue on what actually changed because of Apple Inc.
3) A headline must be UNIQUE: At a business school, a student is treated more like a future manager than a traditional student. This means you have to be versatile and flexible enough to stand out of the crowd. How can you expect better marks if you copy the exact headline that appeared in the best selling edition of Forbes? Create your own headline, which must reflect your style of writing and not somebody else’s. As they say, it is hard to stay original when we are bombarded with millions of content on the internet every day, but it is originality that earns you recognition.
4) It must reflect a sense of URGENCY: Why would the professor read your article over the others. Give him a reason to grab your paper before any other document catches his attention. The level of urgency in a headline attracts a reader to continue reading your work. Both ‘Avoid these mistakes to gain trust of your business partners’ and ‘Why you are losing money in business: cut down costs using these principles’ are thought evoking headlines, because both of them points out an universal problem for specific target audience and promises a remedy. As a result, the reader will want to read the document. Similarly, if you are working on the effects of globalisation on the fashion industry, try to discuss the whereabouts of the topic and more importantly, ask the reader to decide any particular matter. This will also evoke a sense of involvement in the mind of the reader, which motivates him to continue reading to gain more information.
Marketers spend more on headlines:
One of the legendary content marketers of all time, UK born David Ogilvy, who is also referred as the ‘Father of Advertising’ had stated that one must spend 50% of the total time they use for creating a content, for writing a headline. He continued to say that once you have written your headline, you have spent 80 dollars of your total 100, which displays the importance of a well-written headline. The most interesting fact is that Mr. Ogilvy’s wisdom, which is as old as 50 years, is still relevant to the modern marketing principles.
You can walk the path shown above to get the best value for the effort and time you put in to complete your essay. Let your write up appeals the professor to take it seriously. Last but not the least, use as much information as possible for writing an essay. It is likely that your professor is looking for something valuable and not a kindergarten guide to political science.