Tuesday, May 1, 2012

What is the title of the last thing you read?

I posted the same blog post on two different blogs ...the same blog post, but I put a different title with each of them.

When I write blog posts, I generally don't give them a title until I am done writing ....

But when I read blog posts, the title is the first thing I read (or see posted with a link) ...

Reading titles provides me with an idea of the focus of the information that is to follow. (I can also be persuaded to read an article or even to shy away from reading an article based on my impression of the title). I want titles to be interesting and not tell me exactly what I am going to read but just hint at it and encourage me to think about what the topic could be ....

Once I read and think about the title, I read the blog post or article using a lens or filter with the focus of the title in my mind .... I guess I am trying to say that it influences my understanding of and inferences made while I am reading.

Think about the last blog posts or articles you read ...

How much attention did you pay to the titles of them?

Did the title have anything to do with whether or not you chose to read the information?

Many times book title and cover illustrations are the ways our children choose book to read or to have read to them.

I know you are not supposed to judge a book by its cover .... but that happens a lot.

So what do you think the title of this blog post should be?


After I wrote this blog, I came across a lesson on ReadWriteThink that goes along with this idea perfectly:

This lesson asks students to examine two sets of stories that author Raymond Carver renamed in revision: “Popular Mechanics,” which he renamed “Little Things,” and “Everything Stuck to Him,” which he renamed “Distance.” 

After predicting what the stories “Popular Mechanics” and “Little Things” will be about based only on their titles, the class is divided in half, with each half reading one of the stories. Students discuss the significance of the titles in the two stories, unaware at first that the stories are the same. Next, students read “Everything Stuck to Him” and “Distance,” focusing on the significance of the two titles to determine how each title affects the reader’s perception and understanding of the story. After reading and discussing the four stories, students write a reflective essay in which they defend their choice of a title for one of the two sets of Carver stories.

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