Writing Exercise Titles

Write the exercise title. This should be

  1. Written in sentence case: only the first word and proper nouns are capitalized.
  2. In American English.
  3. Less than 50 characters.
  4. Informative as to the exercise's contents.


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.


Can I have a funny title?

One or two funny titles per chapter is good; more than that is not.

Good ideas

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

Newspaper headlines 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.

These ideas are equally applicable to exercise titles.

Common problems and their solutions


Exercise titles should be unique throughout the course.

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