Does anyone know if there's a term that describes the device of titling chapters in a work of fiction? That is, chapters not simply called "Chapter 1", "Chapter 2", etc., but chapters with unique names that describe their contents, such as the chapter called "The Potions Master" in the first Harry Potter book.

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    You said it yourself, "titling". Are you looking for something fancier? – JeffSahol Apr 24 '12 at 16:57
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    writersSE is the place to ask. I agree with Mark. – Kris Apr 24 '12 at 17:01
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    Agreed with @Kris et al. This question is better suited to WritersSE or possibly LiteratureSE. Seems like a closer match for WritersSE though. – Ellie Kesselman Apr 24 '12 at 17:54
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    Please, don't send this to writers. Identifying words is not what we do and this will be closed if migrated there. (I am a mod on Writers.) – Neil Fein Apr 25 '12 at 4:22
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    @Neil: Fine, then. You can help by answering here. You are the ones supposed to know the answer. – Kris Apr 25 '12 at 21:28

It is a chapter whether it is titled or numbered; there's no term exclusively for a chapter with a title. If you really need to distinguish between them, you might call them titled chapters.

NOAD: a main division of a book, typically with a number or title.

Random House Dictionary (via Dictionary.com): a main division of a book, treatise, or the like, usually bearing a number or title.

Collins English Dictionary (via Dictionary.com): a division of a written work, esp a narrative, usually titled or numbered

The American Heritage Dictionary (via TheFreeDictionary.com): One of the main divisions of a relatively lengthy piece of writing, such as a book, that is usually numbered or titled.

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    Downvoter, please consider adding a comment stating how my answer can be improved or how this post is egregiously sloppy, shows no effort expended, or is clearly and perhaps dangerously incorrect. – zpletan Apr 24 '12 at 18:30
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    I'm neither the downvoter nor the person who will downvote, but 'titled chapters' does not seem to fit the OP question. How about 'rubricating'? Yes, I know, 'rubricate' does not mean 'device of titlied chapters', but I suppose that in techinical terms this word can be accepted whit only a little exstension. – Elberich Schneider Apr 24 '12 at 20:08
  • My point was that it's a chapter; I was not suggesting an alternate term. I'll edit to make it clearer. – zpletan Apr 24 '12 at 20:14
  • Is my clarification to the first sentence in-line with your intent? – Neil Fein Apr 26 '12 at 0:14

I believe you are asking if there is a literary term for the use of named chapter titles, the way there is, for example, the term "unreliable narrator" for the use of a narrator whose statements cannot be trusted to be true within the world of the story.

As far as I know, there is no jargon that covers this, you would simply refer to using chapter titles. "J. K. Rowling used chapter titles to build suspense in the first Harry Potter book."

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