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Writing Titles to Engage the Reader's Interest

September 05, 2013 |   By a practitioner in China

(Minghui.org) In Zhuan Falun, when talking about Monk Jigong eating meat, Master said, “The more shocking the subject, the more interested readers will be. Literary works are based on life and then go beyond it.” This passage is worth practitioner writers thinking about and putting into practice in their literary works.

There is an ordinary saying: “Look at the cover of the book before reading it; Read the title of the article before reading it. The title of an article is an advertisement for the article.” A good title can quickly attract the reader's attention, so journalists put a lot of effort into choosing the right titles for their articles.

A Western reporter once said, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink. When you give a copy of the newspaper to your reader, you encounter a similar problem: You can't force him to read it, but there is a way to arouse his interest in reading the article -- the title.”

Choosing a good title requires a lot of thought and skill. Below are some different types of titles for your reference.

1. Titles That Highlight Facts

A. By Using Numbers

211 Falun Gong Practitioners Died in Hunan
(Cops Misappropriate Practitioners' Funds)

Two Pieces of Bloody Clothing and a Confidential Document

B. With Repetition and Parallels

Dad Is Gone, Mom Is Gone, Where Should I Go? (repetition)
I'll Kill You, Hurt You, and Bankrupt You (parallel)

C. With Short Phrases

Jiang Zemin Sued at The International Tribunal
Found $20,000 in Cash But Didn't Keep a Penny

D. Describing Vivid Scenes

Stripped, Doused with Cold Water, and Parked in Front of an Open Window--Is This a “Harmonious Society?"
Judge Drops His Head, Prosecutor Stares at the Ceiling—A Trial or Pantomime?

E. Presenting Facts and Findings

Could You Possibly Be Sun Fengjie? (Hard to recognize due to persecution)
You Lost 40 Lbs in a Month? What Did They Do to You?

F. Direct Quotes

“What's a Great Defender That Lawyer from Beijing Is”
“I Have Access to 28 Kinds of Torture”

“Those Practitioners Didn't Break the Law--They Are Telling the Truth”

G. Condensed Background Information

Recently Released from Eight Years of Forced Labor, Zhang Li Again Arrested
Once a Hero, Now Attacked

I. Creating a Contrast

A Beautiful Umbrella Brings Back Painful Memories
White-clothed Angels Make Dark Deals

A US Governor and a Chinese Peasant

2. Titles That Highlight Reason

A. Using Satire

“There's Going to Be a Party Meeting, That's Why They Must Make Some Arrests”
Why Is the Judge Afraid of Seeing a Lawyer?

B. By Revealing Hidden Truth

The Real Crime Is Committed When the Judge Announces the Verdict
Found Guilty for Downloading Official News

3. Literary Titles

A. Story-oriented

14 Years, Worries from Thousands of Miles Away
A Vietnam-war Veteran's Cultivation Story
A Spectacular Predestined Relationship
Those Who Survive Will Commemorate Falun Gong Practitioners Who Lost Their Lives or Their Faith

Buying a Treasured Book for $12
There's Indeed a Big Boss Behind The Courthouse

A Ghostly Organization—the 610 Office

B. Referring to Poems, Songs, Legends, Sayings, Stories, Nicknames, Buzzwords, Pop Music, Advertising Terms, Dialect, Rhymes, Jingles, Homophones

Judge Plays “Hide and Seek”
From “Don't Bother” to “I'm Sorry”

[Editor's note: Examples that make sense only in Mandarin or that are culturally specific to China have been omitted.]