Choosing Appropriate Title for an RC Passage in CAT
A common question seen in MBA entrance exams in the Reading Comprehension section is the choice of an appropriate title from the given options. What are the things to be kept in mind before you choose the best title among the given options?
- First, remember that you have been asked to choose the “most appropriate” title among the given options, not what you may consider to be the “best” or “perfect” title for the passage. What this also indicates is that if you can eliminate some options as inappropriate for one reason or another, you could possibly arrive at the correct answer. So, you should use the ‘elimination technique’ to your advantage, to narrow down to the correct option.
- Next, remember that the title must not only cover the core idea (the content) of the passage, but should also express the author’s tone. The tone refers to the sentiment, emotion or feeling of the author towards the subject. For example, consider a title that says “The dismal state of Indian hockey”. From this, you immediately not only realize that the passage will talk about the sport of hockey, but also know what the author’s feelings or tone would be towards the current state of affairs. This is due to the usage of the adjective “dismal”.
- The title you mark as the correct option should be neither too broad nor too narrow in scope. Too ‘narrow’ titles may focus on only a couple of paragraphs of the passage and not the passage as a whole. Remember that a title is like a common theme that runs through the passage i.e. it integrates the various ideas or issues discussed.
- Do not choose a title on the parameter that it appears catchy, interesting, funky, or creative. One of the reasons why this must be avoided is that all these are somewhat subjective concepts. What you consider as catchy or funky might appear silly to others.
- Another important point: a title is not a conclusion. This is a mistake that students commonly make. The title is not meant to reflect the conclusion that could possibly be drawn by a reader on the basis of what the author has said. Rather, a title summarizes the author’s ideas or points succinctly. What this means is that a title should not be an inference or it should not extrapolate a judgement on the basis of what the author has written; instead, it must come from what is directly stated in the passage.
The author of this piece is an MBA from IIM Calcutta and has been involved with MBA coaching for over eight years. He is an English, GD-PI and Business Awareness expert at MBAGuru.
Back to the Blog