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Exercise titles: best practices
Exercise titles: best practices

Tips for writing clear and concise titles for your exercises.

Amy Peterson avatar
Written by Amy Peterson
Updated over a week ago

Exercise titles are one of the first things that potential students see on your course landing page. Students can read this to get an overview of your course and see whether the contents interest them. To make sure your course outline is clear, write the exercise titles with the following in mind:

  1. Written in sentence case: only the first word and proper nouns are capitalized.

  2. In American English.

  3. Use 50 characters or less.

  4. Informative as to the exercise's contents.

Read below for some tips on writing effective exercise titles.

Can I have a funny title?

You can have one or two funny titles per chapter if you feel it will engage potential students, but remember that your exercise title should inform the student what the exercise is about.

Include important keywords in the title

The student ought to be able to get a rough idea of the course's flow by looking at the list of exercise titles on the contents page. That means that keywords should be included in the title.

Pretend it's a newspaper headline

Write your exercise titles as if they are newspaper headlines, which are chosen with two criteria in mind:

  • They should provide the reader with some idea of what the story is about.

  • They should entice the reader to actually read the story.


Every exercise title must be unique throughout the course. Remember that this includes video exercises as well.


Introduction to Spark in R using sparkly mostly contains sensible, informative exercise titles. However, the course uses the Million Song Dataset, so a small number of exercises have pun titles, where they are named after songs. For example, an exercise on "select helper functions" is called "Mother's Little Helper" after the Rolling Stones hit.

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