Titles for Passages

Sometimes you will be asked to provide a title for a passage. You can only do this if you can assume the role of the author and what the author felt or wanted to convey in the writing. You must read the passage carefully and pick up on the key words. Begin by finding the main idea of the passage. Look at the introduction sentence and concluding sentence to see if there is a similar message.


The main idea can be found in the beginning middle or end of a paragraph.

Look for different words and phrases that are repeated and choose an appropriate title.

The video below gives and example of how to determine an appropriate title for a passage.


Read the passage carefully then answer the following questions.

When I was small and teachable my mother was compelled to much travel and change of scene by the illness of my elder sister; and as she liked
to have me more or less within reach, I changed schools as a place-hunter changes his politics. The first school I went to was at Mrs. Arthur’s–at Brighton. I remember very little about the lessons, because I was only seven years old, but I remember–to my inmost fibre I remember the play. There was a yard behind the house–no garden and there I used to play with
another small child whose name I have forgotten. But I know that she wore a Stuart plaid frock, and that I detested her.

On the first day of my arrival we were sent into the “playground” with
our toys. Stuart plaid, as I must call her, having no other name, had a
battered doll and three scallop-shells. I had a very complete little set
of pewter tea-things in a cardboard box.

“Let’s change for a bit,” said Stuart plaid.

Mingled politeness and shyness compelled my acquiescence. She took my
new tea-things, and I disconsolately nursed the battered torso of her
doll. But this grew very wearisome, and I, feeling satisfied that the
claims of courtesy had been fully met, protested mildly.

“Now then,” said Stuart plaid, looking up from the tea-things, “don’t
be so selfish; besides, they’re horrid little stupid tin things. I
wouldn’t give twopence for them.”

“But I don’t want you to give twopence for them; I want them

“Oh, no you don’t!”

“Yes I do,” said I, roused by her depreciation of my property-, “and
I’ll have them too, so there!”

I advanced towards her–I am afraid with some half-formed
determination of pulling her hair.

“All right,” she said, “you stand there and I’ll put them in the box
and give them to you.”


“Yes, if you don’t move.”

She turned her back on me. It took her a very long time to put them in
the box. I stood tingling with indignation, and a growing desire to slap her face. Presently she turned.

“You would have them back,” she said, grinning unpleasantly, “and here
they are.”

She put them into my hands. She had bitten every single cup, saucer,
and plate into a formless lump!

While I stood speechless with anger and misery, she came close to me
and said tauntingly

“There, now! aren’t you sorry you didn’t let me have them?”

“I’ll go home,” I said, struggling between pride and tears.

“Oh, no you won’t,” said Stuart plaid, thrusting her mocking face
close to mine; “and if you say a word about it I’ll say you did it and
pinched me as well. And Mrs. Arthur’ll believe me, because I’m not a new
girl, and you are!”