I have always had a difficult time naming things - whether it is an essay for a class, a character in a story, or even a simple file or folder on my computer. There are so many possible names, and it can feel overwhelming trying to make sure I choose the best name.
Fortunately, there are three principles for naming files that can make coming up with the right name considerably easier.
Files are stored on computers, so they should be named in ways that the computer can understand.
Avoiding spaces might seem difficult, but there are two excellent ways to have effective multi-word titles without spaces.
There is really only one primary requirement for a file to be human readable: The name should provide information about the file contents, the more specific (without being ridiculous long) the better.
If you are writing the first draft of a research paper, for example, the most uninformative name you could choose would be something like untitled.txt. Only slightly better are names like paper.txt or first-draft.txt. The best name would include some kind of version information, perhaps the date you wrote it, as well as information about the actual contents of the paper that would differentiate it from any other paper you have written or might write in the future. So if you started work on this particular draft on January 1 2020 and the paper is about why libraries are great, an excellent title might be _why-libraries-are-great2020-01-01.txt or _2020-01-01why-libraries-are-great.txt.
Mostly this comes down to letting the system order your files logically based on numbers - for example, sorting your essay drafts based on date. There are a lot of different ways you might do this depending on what exactly you want, but there are two things to keep in mind when using numbers and dates to order files.
There are many advantages to following file naming conventions or best practices. For more information on these advantages, as well as the practices themselves, read the Data Carpentry lesson File Organization: Naming. The Carpentries teaches foundational coding and data science skills through Data Carpentry, Software Carpentry, and Library Carpentry lessons. Check out their website or take a look at the schedule for workshops offered by OU Libraries.