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How to Make a Research Paper Title with Examples
What is a research paper title and why does it matter?
A research paper title summarizes the aim and purpose of your research study. Making a title for your research is one of the most important decisions when writing an article to publish in journals. The research title is the first thing that journal editors and reviewers see when they look at your paper and the only piece of information that fellow researchers will see in a database or search engine query. Good titles that are concise and contain all the relevant terms have been shown to increase citation counts and Altmetric scores .
Therefore, when you title research work, make sure it captures all of the relevant aspects of your study, including the specific topic and problem being investigated. It also should present these elements in a way that is accessible and will captivate readers. Follow these steps to learn how to make a good research title for your work.
How to Make a Research Paper Title in 5 Steps
You might wonder how you are supposed to pick a title from all the content that your manuscript contains—how are you supposed to choose? What will make your research paper title come up in search engines and what will make the people in your field read it?
In a nutshell, your research title should accurately capture what you have done, it should sound interesting to the people who work on the same or a similar topic, and it should contain the important title keywords that other researchers use when looking for literature in databases. To make the title writing process as simple as possible, we have broken it down into 5 simple steps.
Step 1: Answer some key questions about your research paper
What does your paper seek to answer and what does it accomplish? Try to answer these questions as briefly as possible. You can create these questions by going through each section of your paper and finding the MOST relevant information to make a research title.
Step 2: Identify research study keywords
Now that you have answers to your research questions, find the most important parts of these responses and make these your study keywords. Note that you should only choose the most important terms for your keywords–journals usually request anywhere from 3 to 8 keywords maximum.
Step 3: Research title writing: use these keywords
“We employed a case study of 60 liver transplant patients around the US aged 20-50 years to assess how waiting list volume affects the outcomes of liver transplantation in patients; results indicate a positive correlation between increased waiting list volume and negative prognosis after the transplant procedure.”
The sentence above is clearly much too long for a research paper title. This is why you will trim and polish your title in the next two steps.
Step 4: Create a working research paper title
To create a working title, remove elements that make it a complete “sentence” but keep everything that is important to what the study is about. Delete all unnecessary and redundant words that are not central to the study or that researchers would most likely not use in a database search.
“ We employed a case study of 60 liver transplant patients around the US aged 20-50 years to assess how the waiting list volume affects the outcome of liver transplantation in patients ; results indicate a positive correlation between increased waiting list volume and a negative prognosis after transplant procedure ”
Now shift some words around for proper syntax and rephrase it a bit to shorten the length and make it leaner and more natural. What you are left with is:
“A case study of 60 liver transplant patients around the US aged 20-50 years assessing the impact of waiting list volume on outcome of transplantation and showing a positive correlation between increased waiting list volume and a negative prognosis” (Word Count: 38)
This text is getting closer to what we want in a research title, which is just the most important information. But note that the word count for this working title is still 38 words, whereas the average length of published journal article titles is 16 words or fewer. Therefore, we should eliminate some words and phrases that are not essential to this title.
Step 5: Remove any nonessential words and phrases from your title
Because the number of patients studied and the exact outcome are not the most essential parts of this paper, remove these elements first:
“A case study of 60 liver transplant patients around the US aged 20-50 years assessing the impact of waiting list volume on outcomes of transplantation and showing a positive correlation between increased waiting list volume and a negative prognosis” (Word Count: 19)
In addition, the methods used in a study are not usually the most searched-for keywords in databases and represent additional details that you may want to remove to make your title leaner. So what is left is:
“Assessing the impact of waiting list volume on outcome and prognosis in liver transplantation patients” (Word Count: 15)
In this final version of the title, one can immediately recognize the subject and what objectives the study aims to achieve. Note that the most important terms appear at the beginning and end of the title: “Assessing,” which is the main action of the study, is placed at the beginning; and “liver transplantation patients,” the specific subject of the study, is placed at the end.
This will aid significantly in your research paper title being found in search engines and database queries, which means that a lot more researchers will be able to locate your article once it is published. In fact, a 2014 review of more than 150,000 papers submitted to the UK’s Research Excellence Framework (REF) database found the style of a paper’s title impacted the number of citations it would typically receive. In most disciplines, articles with shorter, more concise titles yielded more citations.
Adding a Research Paper Subtitle
If your title might require a subtitle to provide more immediate details about your methodology or sample, you can do this by adding this information after a colon:
“ : a case study of US adult patients ages 20-25”
If we abide strictly by our word count rule this may not be necessary or recommended. But every journal has its own standard formatting and style guidelines for research paper titles, so it is a good idea to be aware of the specific journal author instructions , not just when you write the manuscript but also to decide how to create a good title for it.
Research Paper Title Examples
The title examples in the following table illustrate how a title can be interesting but incomplete, complete by uninteresting, complete and interesting but too informal in tone, or some other combination of these. A good research paper title should meet all the requirements in the four columns below.
Tips on Formulating a Good Research Paper Title
In addition to the steps given above, there are a few other important things you want to keep in mind when it comes to how to write a research paper title, regarding formatting, word count, and content:
- Write the title after you’ve written your paper and abstract
- Include all of the essential terms in your paper
- Keep it short and to the point (~16 words or fewer)
- Avoid unnecessary jargon and abbreviations
- Use keywords that capture the content of your paper
- Never include a period at the end—your title is NOT a sentence
Research Paper Writing Resources
We hope this article has been helpful in teaching you how to craft your research paper title. But you might still want to dig deeper into different journal title formats and categories that might be more suitable for specific article types or need help with writing a cover letter for your manuscript submission.
In addition to getting English proofreading services , including paper editing services , before submission to journals, be sure to visit our academic resources papers. Here you can find dozens of articles on manuscript writing, from drafting an outline to finding a target journal to submit to.
6 Important Tips on Writing a Research Paper Title
When you are searching for a research study on a particular topic, you probably notice that articles with interesting, descriptive research titles draw you in. By contrast, research paper titles that are not descriptive are usually passed over, even though you may write a good research paper with interesting contents. This shows the importance of coming up with a good title for your research paper when drafting your own manuscript.
Why do Research Titles Matter?
Before we look at how to title a research paper, let’s look at a research title example that illustrates why a good research paper should have a strong title.
Imagine that you are researching meditation and nursing, and you want to find out if any studies have shown that meditation makes nurses better communicators. You conduct a keyword search using the keywords “nursing”, “communication”, and “meditation.” You come up with results that have the following titles:
- Benefits of Meditation for the Nursing Profession: A Quantitative Investigation
- Why Mindful Nurses Make the Best Communicators
- Meditation Gurus
- Nurses on the Move: A Quantitative Report on How Meditation Can Improve Nurse Performance
All four of these titles may describe very similar studies—they could even be titles for the same study! As you can see, they give very different impressions.
- Title 1 describes the topic and the method of the study but is not particularly catchy.
- Title 2 partly describes the topic, but does not give any information about the method of the study—it could simply be a theoretical or opinion piece.
- Title 3 is somewhat catchier but gives almost no information at all about the article.
- Title 4 begins with a catchy main title and is followed by a subtitle that gives information about the content and method of the study.
As we will see, Title 4 has all the characteristics of a good research title.
Characteristics of a Good Research Title
According to rhetoric scholars Hairston and Keene, making a good title for a paper involves ensuring that the title of the research accomplishes four goals as mentioned below:
- It should predict the content of the research paper .
- It should be interesting to the reader .
- It should reflect the tone of the writing .
- It should contain important keywords that will make it easier to be located during a keyword search.
Let’s return to the examples in the previous section to see if they meet these four criteria.
As you can see in the table above, only one of the four example titles fulfills all of the criteria of a suitable research paper title.
Related: You’ve chosen your study topic, but having trouble deciding where to publish it? Here’s a comprehensive course to help you identify the right journal .
Tips for Writing an Effective Research Paper Title
When writing a research title , you can use the four criteria listed above as a guide. Here are a few other tips you can use to make sure your title will be part of the recipe for an effective research paper :
- Make sure your research title describes (a) the topic, (b) the method, (c) the sample, and (d) the results of your study. You can use the following formula:
[ Result ]: A [ method ] study of [ topic ] among [ sample ] Example : Meditation makes nurses perform better: a qualitative study of mindfulness meditation among German nursing students
- Avoid unnecessary words and jargons. Keep the title statement as concise as possible. You want a title that will be comprehensible even to people who are not experts in your field. Check our article for a detailed list of things to avoid when writing an effective research title .
- Make sure your title is between 5 and 15 words in length.
- If you are writing a title for a university assignment or for a particular academic journal, verify that your title conforms to the standards and requirements for that outlet. For example, many journals require that titles fall under a character limit, including spaces. Many universities require that titles take a very specific form, limiting your creativity.
- Use a descriptive phrase to convey the purpose of your research efficiently.
- Most importantly, use critical keywords in the title to increase the discoverability of your article.
Resources for Further Reading
In addition to the tips above, there are many resources online that you can use to help write your research title. Here is a list of links that you may find useful as you work on creating an excellent research title:
- The University of Southern California has a guide specific to social science research papers: http://libguides.usc.edu/writingguide/title
- The Journal of European Psychology Students has a blog article focusing on APA-compliant research paper titles: http://blog.efpsa.org/2012/09/01/how-to-write-a-good-title-for-journal-articles/
- This article by Kristen Hamlin contains a step-by-step approach to writing titles: http://classroom.synonym.com/choose-title-research-paper-4332.html
Are there any tips or tricks you find useful in crafting research titles? Which tip did you find most useful in this article? Leave a comment to let us know!
- Hairston, M., & Keene, M. 2003. Successful writing . 5th ed. New York: Norton.
- University of Southern California. 2017. Organizing your social sciences research paper: choosing a title . [Online] Available at: http://libguides.usc.edu/writingguide/title
Thank you so much:) Have a nice day!
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Thank you for the excellent article and tips for creating a research work, because I always forget about such an essential element as the keywords when forming topics. In particular, I have found a rapid help with the formation of informative and sound titles that also conforms to the standards and requirements.
I am doing a research work on sales girls or shop girls using qualititative method. Basicly I am from Pakistan and writing on the scenario of mycountry. I am really confused about my research title can you kindly give some suggestions and give me an approperaite tilte
Hi Zubair, Thank you for your question. However, the information you have provided is insufficient for drafting an appropriate title. Information on what exactly you intend to study would be needed in order to draft a meaningful title. Meanwhile, you can try drafting your own title after going through the following articles our website: https://www.enago.com/academy/top-10-tips-on-choosing-an-attractive-research-title/ , https://www.enago.com/academy/writing-a-good-research-title-things-to-avoid/ , https://www.enago.com/academy/write-irresistible-research-paper-title/ We would be happy to give you feedback and suggest changes if required. Did you get a chance to install our free Mobile App? https://www.enago.com/academy/mobile-app/ . Make sure you subscribe to our weekly newsletter https://www.enago.com/academy/subscribe-now/ .
thanks for helping me like this!!
Thank you for this. It helped me improve my research title. I just want to verify to you the title I have just made. “Ensuring the safety: A Quantitative Study of Radio Frequency Identification system among the selected students of ( school’s name ).
(I need your reply asap coz we will be doing the chap. 1 tomorrow. Thank u in advance. 🙂 )
I am actually doing a research paper title. I want to know more further in doing research title. Can you give me some tips on doing a research paper?
Hi Joan, Thank you for your question. We are glad to know that you found our resources useful. Your feedback is very valuable to us. You can try drafting your own title after going through the following articles on our website: https://www.enago.com/academy/top-10-tips-on-choosing-an-attractive-research-title/ , https://www.enago.com/academy/writing-a-good-research-title-things-to-avoid/ , https://www.enago.com/academy/write-irresistible-research-paper-title/
We would be happy to give you feedback and suggest changes if required. Did you get a chance to install our free Mobile App? https://www.enago.com/academy/mobile-app/ . Make sure you subscribe to our weekly newsletter https://www.enago.com/academy/subscribe-now/ .
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Thanks for sharing this tips. Title matters a lot for any article because it contents Keywords of article. It should be eye-catchy. Your article is helpful to select title of any article.
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i’m found in selecting my ma thesis title ,so i’m going to do my final research after the proposal approved. Your post help me find good title.
I need help. I need a research title for my study about early mobilization of the mechanically ventilated patients in the ICU. Any suggestions would be highly appreciated.
Thank you for posting your query on the website. When writing manuscripts, too many scholars neglect the research title. This phrase, along with the abstract, is what people will mostly see and read online. Title research of publications shows that the research paper title does matter a lot. Both bibliometrics and altmetrics tracking of citations are now, for better or worse, used to gauge a paper’s “success” for its author(s) and the journal publishing it. Interesting research topics coupled with good or clever yet accurate research titles can draw more attention to your work from peers and the public alike. You can check through the following search results for titles on similar topics: https://www.google.com/search?q=early+mobilization+of+the+mechanically+ventilated+patients+in+the+icu&rlz=1C1GCEU_enIN907IN907&oq=&aqs=chrome.0.69i59.4920093j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8 .
We hope this would be helpful in drafting an attractive title for your research paper.
Please let us know in case of any other queries.
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In case the topic is new research before you’re writing. And then to stand out, you end up being different.and be inclined to highlight yourself.
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Home » Research Paper Title – Writing Guide and Example
Research Paper Title – Writing Guide and Example
Table of Contents
Research Paper Title
Research Paper Title is the name or heading that summarizes the main theme or topic of a research paper . It serves as the first point of contact between the reader and the paper, providing an initial impression of the content, purpose, and scope of the research . A well-crafted research paper title should be concise, informative, and engaging, accurately reflecting the key elements of the study while also capturing the reader’s attention and interest. The title should be clear and easy to understand, and it should accurately convey the main focus and scope of the research paper.
Examples of Research Paper Title
Here are some Good Examples of Research Paper Title:
- “Investigating the Relationship Between Sleep Duration and Academic Performance Among College Students”
- “The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Employment: A Systematic Review”
- “The Effectiveness of Mindfulness-Based Interventions for Anxiety: A Meta-Analysis”
- “Exploring the Effects of Social Support on Mental Health in Patients with Chronic Illness”
- “Assessing the Effectiveness of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Depression: A Randomized Controlled Trial”
- “The Impact of Social Media Influencers on Consumer Behavior: A Systematic Review”
- “Investigating the Link Between Personality Traits and Leadership Effectiveness”
- “The Effect of Parental Incarceration on Child Development: A Longitudinal Study”
- “Exploring the Relationship Between Cultural Intelligence and Cross-Cultural Adaptation: A Meta-Analysis”
- “Assessing the Effectiveness of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for Chronic Pain Management”.
- “The Effects of Social Media on Mental Health: A Meta-Analysis”
- “The Impact of Climate Change on Global Crop Yields: A Longitudinal Study”
- “Exploring the Relationship between Parental Involvement and Academic Achievement in Elementary School Students”
- “The Ethics of Genetic Editing: A Review of Current Research and Implications for Society”
- “Understanding the Role of Gender in Leadership: A Comparative Study of Male and Female CEOs”
- “The Effect of Exercise on Cognitive Function in Older Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial”
- “The Impacts of COVID-19 on Mental Health: A Cross-Cultural Comparison”
- “Assessing the Effectiveness of Online Learning Platforms: A Case Study of Coursera”
- “Exploring the Link between Employee Engagement and Organizational Performance”
- “The Effects of Income Inequality on Social Mobility: A Comparative Analysis of OECD Countries”
- “Exploring the Relationship Between Social Media Use and Mental Health in Adolescents”
- “The Impact of Climate Change on Crop Yield: A Case Study of Maize Production in Sub-Saharan Africa”
- “Examining the Effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety Disorders: A Meta-Analysis”
- “An Analysis of the Relationship Between Employee Job Satisfaction and Organizational Commitment”
- “Assessing the Impacts of Wilderness Areas on Local Economies: A Case Study of Yellowstone National Park”
- “The Role of Parental Involvement in Early Childhood Education: A Review of the Literature”
- “Investigating the Effects of Technology on Learning in Higher Education”
- “The Use of Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare: Opportunities and Challenges”
- “A Study of the Relationship Between Personality Traits and Leadership Styles in Business Organizations”.
How to choose Research Paper Title
Choosing a research paper title is an important step in the research process. A good title can attract readers and convey the essence of your research in a concise and clear manner. Here are some tips on how to choose a research paper title:
- Be clear and concise: A good title should convey the main idea of your research in a clear and concise manner. Avoid using jargon or technical language that may be confusing to readers.
- Use keywords: Including keywords in your title can help readers find your paper when searching for related topics. Use specific, descriptive terms that accurately describe your research.
- Be descriptive: A descriptive title can help readers understand what your research is about. Use adjectives and adverbs to convey the main ideas of your research.
- Consider the audience : Think about the audience for your paper and choose a title that will appeal to them. If your paper is aimed at a specialized audience, you may want to use technical terms or jargon in your title.
- Avoid being too general or too specific : A title that is too general may not convey the specific focus of your research, while a title that is too specific may not be of interest to a broader audience. Strive for a title that accurately reflects the focus of your research without being too narrow or too broad.
- Make it interesting : A title that is interesting or provocative can capture the attention of readers and draw them into your research. Use humor, wordplay, or other creative techniques to make your title stand out.
- Seek feedback: Ask colleagues or advisors for feedback on your title. They may be able to offer suggestions or identify potential problems that you hadn’t considered.
Purpose of Research Paper Title
The research paper title serves several important purposes, including:
- Identifying the subject matter : The title of a research paper should clearly and accurately identify the topic or subject matter that the paper addresses. This helps readers quickly understand what the paper is about.
- Catching the reader’s attention : A well-crafted title can grab the reader’s attention and make them interested in reading the paper. This is particularly important in academic settings where there may be many papers on the same topic.
- Providing context: The title can provide important context for the research paper by indicating the specific area of study, the research methods used, or the key findings.
- Communicating the scope of the paper: A good title can give readers an idea of the scope and depth of the research paper. This can help them decide if the paper is relevant to their interests or research.
- Indicating the research question or hypothesis : The title can often indicate the research question or hypothesis that the paper addresses, which can help readers understand the focus of the research and the main argument or conclusion of the paper.
Advantages of Research Paper Title
The title of a research paper is an important component that can have several advantages, including:
- Capturing the reader’s attention : A well-crafted research paper title can grab the reader’s attention and encourage them to read further. A captivating title can also increase the visibility of the paper and attract more readers.
- Providing a clear indication of the paper’s focus: A well-written research paper title should clearly convey the main focus and purpose of the study. This helps potential readers quickly determine whether the paper is relevant to their interests.
- Improving discoverability: A descriptive title that includes relevant keywords can improve the discoverability of the research paper in search engines and academic databases, making it easier for other researchers to find and cite.
- Enhancing credibility : A clear and concise title can enhance the credibility of the research and the author. A title that accurately reflects the content of the paper can increase the confidence readers have in the research findings.
- Facilitating communication: A well-written research paper title can facilitate communication among researchers, enabling them to quickly and easily identify relevant studies and engage in discussions related to the topic.
- Making the paper easier to remember : An engaging and memorable research paper title can help readers remember the paper and its findings. This can be especially important in fields where researchers are constantly inundated with new information and need to quickly recall important studies.
- Setting expectations: A good research paper title can set expectations for the reader and help them understand what the paper will cover. This can be especially important for readers who are unfamiliar with the topic or the research area.
- Guiding research: A well-crafted research paper title can also guide future research by highlighting gaps in the current literature or suggesting new areas for investigation.
- Demonstrating creativity: A creative research paper title can demonstrate the author’s creativity and originality, which can be appealing to readers and other researchers.
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The title summarizes the main idea or ideas of your study. A good title contains the fewest possible words needed to adequately describe the content and/or purpose of your research paper.
Importance of Choosing a Good Title
The title is the part of a paper that is read the most, and it is usually read first . It is, therefore, the most important element that defines the research study. With this in mind, avoid the following when creating a title:
- If the title is too long, this usually indicates there are too many unnecessary words. Avoid language, such as, "A Study to Investigate the...," or "An Examination of the...." These phrases are obvious and generally superfluous unless they are necessary to covey the scope, intent, or type of a study.
- On the other hand, a title which is too short often uses words which are too broad and, thus, does not tell the reader what is being studied. For example, a paper with the title, "African Politics" is so non-specific the title could be the title of a book and so ambiguous that it could refer to anything associated with politics in Africa. A good title should provide information about the focus and/or scope of your research study.
- In academic writing, catchy phrases or non-specific language may be used, but only if it's within the context of the study [e.g., "Fair and Impartial Jury--Catch as Catch Can"]. However, in most cases, you should avoid including words or phrases that do not help the reader understand the purpose of your paper.
- Academic writing is a serious and deliberate endeavor. Avoid using humorous or clever journalistic styles of phrasing when creating the title to your paper. Journalistic headlines often use emotional adjectives [e.g., incredible, amazing, effortless] to highlight a problem experienced by the reader or use "trigger words" or interrogative words like how, what, when, or why to persuade people to read the article or click on a link. These approaches are viewed as counter-productive in academic writing. A reader does not need clever or humorous titles to catch their attention because the act of reading research is assumed to be deliberate based on a desire to learn and improve understanding of the problem. In addition, a humorous title can merely detract from the seriousness and authority of your research.
- Unlike everywhere else in a college-level social sciences research paper [except when using direct quotes in the text], titles do not have to adhere to rigid grammatical or stylistic standards. For example, it could be appropriate to begin a title with a coordinating conjunction [i.e., and, but, or, nor, for, so, yet] if it makes sense to do so and does not detract from the purpose of the study [e.g., "Yet Another Look at Mutual Fund Tournaments"] or beginning the title with an inflected form of a verb such as those ending in -ing [e.g., "Assessing the Political Landscape: Structure, Cognition, and Power in Organizations"].
Appiah, Kingsley Richard et al. “Structural Organisation of Research Article Titles: A Comparative Study of Titles of Business, Gynaecology and Law.” Advances in Language and Literary Studies 10 (2019); Hartley James. “To Attract or to Inform: What are Titles for?” Journal of Technical Writing and Communication 35 (2005): 203-213; Jaakkola, Maarit. “Journalistic Writing and Style.” In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Communication . Jon F. Nussbaum, editor. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018): https://oxfordre.com/communication.
Structure and Writing Style
The following parameters can be used to help you formulate a suitable research paper title:
- The purpose of the research
- The scope of the research
- The narrative tone of the paper [typically defined by the type of the research]
- The methods used to study the problem
The initial aim of a title is to capture the reader’s attention and to highlight the research problem under investigation.
Create a Working Title Typically, the final title you submit to your professor is created after the research is complete so that the title accurately captures what has been done . The working title should be developed early in the research process because it can help anchor the focus of the study in much the same way the research problem does. Referring back to the working title can help you reorient yourself back to the main purpose of the study if you find yourself drifting off on a tangent while writing. The Final Title Effective titles in research papers have several characteristics that reflect general principles of academic writing.
- Indicate accurately the subject and scope of the study,
- Rarely use abbreviations or acronyms unless they are commonly known,
- Use words that create a positive impression and stimulate reader interest,
- Use current nomenclature from the field of study,
- Identify key variables, both dependent and independent,
- Reveal how the paper will be organized,
- Suggest a relationship between variables which supports the major hypothesis,
- Is limited to 5 to 15 substantive words,
- Does not include redundant phrasing, such as, "A Study of," "An Analysis of" or similar constructions,
- Takes the form of a question or declarative statement,
- If you use a quote as part of the title, the source of the quote is cited [usually using an asterisk and footnote],
- Use correct grammar and capitalization with all first words and last words capitalized, including the first word of a subtitle. All nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs that appear between the first and last words of the title are also capitalized, and
- Rarely uses an exclamation mark at the end of the title.
The Subtitle Subtitles are frequently used in social sciences research papers because it helps the reader understand the scope of the study in relation to how it was designed to address the research problem. Think about what type of subtitle listed below reflects the overall approach to your study and whether you believe a subtitle is needed to emphasize the investigative parameters of your research.
1. Explains or provides additional context , e.g., "Linguistic Ethnography and the Study of Welfare Institutions as a Flow of Social Practices: The Case of Residential Child Care Institutions as Paradoxical Institutions." [Palomares, Manuel and David Poveda. Text & Talk: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Language, Discourse and Communication Studies 30 (January 2010): 193-212]
2. Adds substance to a literary, provocative, or imaginative title or quote , e.g., "Listen to What I Say, Not How I Vote": Congressional Support for the President in Washington and at Home." [Grose, Christian R. and Keesha M. Middlemass. Social Science Quarterly 91 (March 2010): 143-167]
3. Qualifies the geographic scope of the research , e.g., "The Geopolitics of the Eastern Border of the European Union: The Case of Romania-Moldova-Ukraine." [Marcu, Silvia. Geopolitics 14 (August 2009): 409-432]
4. Qualifies the temporal scope of the research , e.g., "A Comparison of the Progressive Era and the Depression Years: Societal Influences on Predictions of the Future of the Library, 1895-1940." [Grossman, Hal B. Libraries & the Cultural Record 46 (2011): 102-128]
5. Focuses on investigating the ideas, theories, or work of a particular individual , e.g., "A Deliberative Conception of Politics: How Francesco Saverio Merlino Related Anarchy and Democracy." [La Torre, Massimo. Sociologia del Diritto 28 (January 2001): 75 - 98]
6. Identifies the methodology used , e.g. "Student Activism of the 1960s Revisited: A Multivariate Analysis Research Note." [Aron, William S. Social Forces 52 (March 1974): 408-414]
7. Defines the overarching technique for analyzing the research problem , e.g., "Explaining Territorial Change in Federal Democracies: A Comparative Historical Institutionalist Approach." [ Tillin, Louise. Political Studies 63 (August 2015): 626-641.
With these examples in mind, think about what type of subtitle reflects the overall approach to your study. This will help the reader understand the scope of the study in relation to how it was designed to address the research problem.
Anstey, A. “Writing Style: What's in a Title?” British Journal of Dermatology 170 (May 2014): 1003-1004; Balch, Tucker. How to Compose a Title for Your Research Paper. Augmented Trader blog. School of Interactive Computing, Georgia Tech University; Bavdekar, Sandeep B. “Formulating the Right Title for a Research Article.” Journal of Association of Physicians of India 64 (February 2016); Choosing the Proper Research Paper Titles. AplusReports.com, 2007-2012; Eva, Kevin W. “Titles, Abstracts, and Authors.” In How to Write a Paper . George M. Hall, editor. 5th edition. (Oxford: John Wiley and Sons, 2013), pp. 33-41; Hartley James. “To Attract or to Inform: What are Titles for?” Journal of Technical Writing and Communication 35 (2005): 203-213; General Format. The Writing Lab and The OWL. Purdue University; Kerkut G.A. “Choosing a Title for a Paper.” Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Physiology 74 (1983): 1; “Tempting Titles.” In Stylish Academic Writing . Helen Sword, editor. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2012), pp. 63-75; Nundy, Samiran, et al. “How to Choose a Title?” In How to Practice Academic Medicine and Publish from Developing Countries? A Practical Guide . Edited by Samiran Nundy, Atul Kakar, and Zulfiqar A. Bhutta. (Springer Singapore, 2022), pp. 185-192.
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- How to Write a Great Title
Maximize search-ability and engage your readers from the very beginning
Your title is the first thing anyone who reads your article is going to see, and for many it will be where they stop reading. Learn how to write a title that helps readers find your article, draws your audience in and sets the stage for your research!
How your title impacts the success of your article
Researchers are busy and there will always be more articles to read than time to read them. Good titles help readers find your research, and decide whether to keep reading. Search engines use titles to retrieve relevant articles based on users’ keyword searches. Once readers find your article, they’ll use the title as the first filter to decide whether your research is what they’re looking for. A strong and specific title is the first step toward citations, inclusion in meta-analyses, and influencing your field.
What to include in a title
Include the most important information that will signal to your target audience that they should keep reading.
Key information about the study design
What you discovered
Getting the title right can be more difficult than it seems, and researchers refine their writing skills throughout their career. Some journals even help editors to re-write their titles during the publication process!
- Keep it concise and informative What’s appropriate for titles varies greatly across disciplines. Take a look at some articles published in your field, and check the journal guidelines for character limits. Aim for fewer than 12 words, and check for journal specific word limits.
- Write for your audience Consider who your primary audience is: are they specialists in your specific field, are they cross-disciplinary, are they non-specialists?
- Entice the reader Find a way to pique your readers’ interest, give them enough information to keep them reading.
- Incorporate important keywords Consider what about your article will be most interesting to your audience: Most readers come to an article from a search engine, so take some time and include the important ones in your title!
- Write in sentence case In scientific writing, titles are given in sentence case. Capitalize only the first word of the text, proper nouns, and genus names. See our examples below.
- Write your title as a question In most cases, you shouldn’t need to frame your title as a question. You have the answers, you know what you found. Writing your title as a question might draw your readers in, but it’s more likely to put them off.
- Sensationalize your research Be honest with yourself about what you truly discovered. A sensationalized or dramatic title might make a few extra people read a bit further into your article, but you don’t want them disappointed when they get to the results.
Format: Prevalence of [disease] in [population] in [location]
Example: Prevalence of tuberculosis in homeless women in San Francisco
Format: Risk factors for [condition] among [population] in [location]
Example: Risk factors for preterm births among low-income women in Mexico City
Format (systematic review/meta-analysis): Effectiveness of [treatment] for [disease] in [population] for [outcome] : A systematic review and meta-analysis
Example: Effectiveness of Hepatitis B treatment in HIV-infected adolescents in the prevention of liver disease: A systematic review and meta-analysis
Format (clinical trial): [Intervention] improved [symptoms] of [disease] in [population] : A randomized controlled clinical trial
Example: Using a sleep app lessened insomnia in post-menopausal women in southwest United States: A randomized controlled clinical trial
Format (general molecular studies): Characterization/identification/evaluation of [molecule name] in/from [organism/tissue] (b y [specific biological methods] )
Example: Identification of putative Type-I sex pheromone biosynthesis-related genes expressed in the female pheromone gland of Streltzoviella insularis
Format (general molecular studies): [specific methods/analysis] of organism/tissue reveal insights into [function/role] of [molecule name] in [biological process]
Example: Transcriptome landscape of Rafflesia cantleyi floral buds reveals insights into the roles of transcription factors and phytohormones in flower development
Format (software/method papers): [tool/method/software] for [what purpose] in [what research area]
Example: CRISPR-based tools for targeted transcriptional and epigenetic regulation in plants
Tip: How to edit your work
Editing is challenging, especially if you are acting as both a writer and an editor. Read our guidelines for advice on how to refine your work, including useful tips for setting your intentions, re-review, and consultation with colleagues.
- How to Write an Abstract
- How to Write Your Methods
- How to Report Statistics
- How to Write Discussions and Conclusions
- How to Edit Your Work
The contents of the Peer Review Center are also available as a live, interactive training session, complete with slides, talking points, and activities. …
The contents of the Writing Center are also available as a live, interactive training session, complete with slides, talking points, and activities. …
There’s a lot to consider when deciding where to submit your work. Learn how to choose a journal that will help your study reach its audience, while reflecting your values as a researcher…
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How to Write a Good Research Paper Title
11 Jan 2022
While working on a scientific academic paper, writing a good research paper title is probably the least of your concerns. However, it becomes an “issue” down the drain when it comes to combining all the necessary elements of a great-sounding title in one heading.
The PapersOwl team wanted to help you figure it out, so we’ve created this guide on writing a catchy, topic-relevant title. Here’s what you’ll learn after going through this guide:
- We will delve into the essential attributes that make a research paper title effective and attention-grabbing, helping you understand what constitutes a good title.
- Give you practical tips on how to optimize your research paper heading in alignment with established academic guidelines.
- We will walk you through a process outlining the steps you should take to create a heading.
- Real-world examples of research paper headings will show how you can successfully encapsulate the essence of their respective papers.
- Here, you will find strategies and considerations for phrasing your paper title to resonate with a specific research discipline.
Let’s take it one step at a time, so we’ll dive into the elements of a great heading to show you what your heading should sound like first.
Characteristics of a Good Title
To write a perfect research paper title, you’ll need to know about the different types of headings first:
- Humorous or colloquial
The key point for all these types is to make a catchy title that captures the tone and the essence of the topic with relevant keywords . If you decide to name a research paper with the interrogative approach, you can use the phrasing of a question-type heading to entice the readers to look for an answer.
Suggestive headings are a bit different as they indicate that a reader will have to keep reading to get an answer to the outlined thesis, only without phrasing it as a question. This is where things get interesting and start depending on the topic more because a humorous or colloquial title can’t always be used.
You should use these only if the title of the research topic allows it to be phrased in a common language and colloquial. Finally, the combined approach takes something from all these types and often makes the best option for general topics. You can take a look at our list to see what we mean by these characteristics:
Tips for Crafting the Perfect Title
If you are wondering about how to write a title for a research paper, you’ll find a lot of common knowledge tips for writing research paper titles. You may hear that it needs to be on-point, short, yet catchy and that it has to be interesting enough without compromising on keywords.
We also recommend that you keep in mind the formatting guidelines, including the APA format or another requested format. Still, we think it’s better to give you a more detailed set of tips to follow, so here’s our list of the most useful steps to take:
Start with a Working Title
The first tip we’ll give you is not to waste too much time wondering how to title a research paper. You should start with a working title that can be edited, revised and changed afterward.
Make sure to finish writing your paper first, and only then can you truly dedicate your time to creating a perfect title. By that time, you’ll already get a few ideas along the way, so try to think about how each new chapter may contribute as inspiration for the final title of the research project.
Prioritize Important Terms
It’s no secret that good research paper tiles simply need to include important and relevant terms in the paper. Since you won’t be able to make it a mile-long heading, it’s important to start with those terms first and try to build the rest around them.
We recommend writing down a few key terms for your research and topic in the heading first and then brainstorming ideas on how to make it sound catchy and fill up the gaps afterward.
Use Active Verbs
If you look at the good research paper title examples, you’ll notice a common denominator. Most of these headings have active verbs, which means you shouldn’t use verbs like “Study on” or “Analysis of”.
Instead, you can use active verbs like “Evaluating”, “Examining”, “Establishing”, “Interpreting”, and so on.
Avoid Clickbait Techniques
One of the most important things is not to make the title of the research paper sound like clickbait. Sure, it’s important to make it sound catchy and enticing, but avoid using the same format as clickbait news or journals.
The biggest difference between these two types of headings is that clickbait often doesn’t contain that much information on what seems to be the key thesis of the topic. It only serves to attract more readers and clicks.
However, your scientific paper’s title has to be on point with relevant topic keywords.
Keep It Short But Informative
This one is worth its weight in gold since there’s usually a certain word count limit for the research paper title. It may not be enforced strictly, but it’s still important to make the title short and concise to avoid topic confusion for the readers.
You can aim for around 10 to 12 words, just like with our example of a good title listed in the table above. Make sure to use a few relevant terms about your research first, and then fill in the gaps to create a title.
Limit Vague Statements
As we dive into the research paper title format more and more, you’ll notice that some titles feature vague statements. These are among the worst mistakes you can make, even though it initially may seem like vague titles are more enticing.
In reality, these are not news articles, so you’ll have to make a title catchy in another way and keep the heading specifically related to your research.
Mention the Study Design
If you have enough room in your title, you can also mention the study design. This means you can lay out a few details about the nature of your research methodology or variables used to explain certain scientific occurrences.
There’s no need to overdo it; you can simply create a catchy title and add something like “Using the (method name) method”, so it reveals something topic-related and represents your research.
When coming up with the research paper name, it’s crucial to avoid abbreviations. Of course, this doesn’t reflect on the measurement units or similar pieces of data, but it’s better to steer away from these titles for research papers altogether.
Things can get a bit complex here since abbreviations may not be considered wrong if previously defined, but that would also consume too much space. So, make it simple and avoid using any acronyms or abbreviations within the title itself, but rather in the content sections.
Check for Similiar Titles
Sadly, this happens a lot more often than you would imagine, especially if you are a student working on research that’s commonly used as a subject. You may run into a problem if previous generations of students have used too similar or possibly even the same titles.
So, it’s best to check all this beforehand, and it goes the same way for scientific studies outside the academic frame. Also, when looking for custom research papers for sale , it’s important to make sure that the headings aren’t copied in any way.
Don’t Be Too Technical and Forgetting Your Audience
Finally, we have to encourage you to always keep in mind the tone of your research when naming a research paper. If the tone allows, you can get into the technical details, but make sure not to overdo it if that doesn’t suit the tone of the paper.
Try to think about the audience and who will read the research. This is the best way to not only create catchy research paper titles but also to ensure the use of the right voice. It’s also important to use the right style, depending on whether you are required to use the MLA guidelines or another format.
Examples of Research Paper Titles
After going through the technicalities, it’s time to give you a sample of title headings to show you what we mean in practice. We’ll also be giving you good and bad research title examples with a focus on the mentioned tips and steps for crafting a great title.
Good and Bad Titles for a Research Paper
We know it’s difficult to come up with a title for a research paper at first, but looking at the examples might help differentiate between good titles for research papers and bad ones. For instance, differentiating between vague and solid titles gets easier when you look at these few examples:
Vague: “A Study On Birds”
Improved: “Analyzing Migration Patterns of North American Sparrows”
Here’s another example of a vague title - “A Study on Facebook,” so you can see it’s pretty vague and short. An improved version would be “The Effects of Social Media on Psychological Health and Well-Being.”
It also comes in handy to differentiate between overly technical titles and acceptable titles with a glimpse of technical details. For example, the title “The Effect of 2,4-Dinitrophenol on ATP Synthase Activity in Mitochondria” can be simplified for wider audiences if needed.
You can use something like “Understanding the Impact of 2,4-Dinitrophenol on Cellular Energy Production” to make the title a bit catchier and acceptable for a wider audience.
How to Title Research Paper in Your Field
If you are still having some doubts even after going through all these tips, we completely get you. It’s not so easy to form a title for a research paper in practice, so we’ll put some of our skills to use to give you a few creative examples to lean on when figuring out your heading:
Titles for psychology research papers :
- Natural Methods For Fighting Stress Quickly and Effectively
- How to Make People Do What You Want: 5 Most Effective Methods
- A Full Guide on How Not to Be Influenced by Society
- Correlation Between Aggressive Adult Behaviour And An Unhappy Childhood
- How to Change Your Attitude to Life: Natural Methods That Really Work
Education and related topics:
- How to Get As and Work at the Same Time: Time-Management Tips for Students
- A Guide on How to Craft a Good Essay if You Have Only 1 Hour
- You Mean Nothing to Society if You Don’t Have a Degree
- Steps that Should be Taken to Improve the System of Education
- Great Tricks for Motivating Students
Heading examples for business papers:
- How to Start Your Own Business Without a Large Investment
- Benefits of Being Self-Employed You Have Never Thought Of
- 10 Great Business Ideas for Those Who Have No Money
- The Most Common Mistakes Beginning Businessmen Do
- The Secret Behind a Successful Business
Ideas for papers from the technology sphere:
- The Greatest Innovations in Technology in the Last 5 Years
- The Most Useful Technologies in Medicine
- Original Technologies that Will Change the Future
- The Role of Information Technology in Everyday Life
- The Benefits of Living in a Highly-Technological World
You can also rely on a research paper proofreading service to help out with some minor details that could make a change both for the title and the paper itself.
If you are facing issues with the research paper title ideas, we recommend that you save it for last and finish your work first before crafting a title.
This usually helps as you’ll have more inspiration after you’ve gone in-depth with the topic, and the heading may come naturally to you. If not, you can always refer to the PapersOwl team and have it crafted by our experts.
Our Take on Crafting Research Paper Titles
To summarize, everyone can tell you how it is to make a title for a research paper by making it sound catchy and topic-relevant. However, we have outlined all the necessary details in-depth through this guide so you can truly craft an admirable title for a research project.
The key is to know your audience, avoid vague titles and short word forms, and keep an active voice with a focus on relevant terms. So, we hope that this guide will serve as a pathway toward a perfect scientific title for your project.
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Prof. Linda Mia
I’ve worked for the past eight years as a content editor, creative writer, and professional essay writer. Every day, I work hard to make sure my clients are satisfied with the projects and papers I write for them. My areas of expertise are wide, ranging from Psychology and Sociology to Political Science and World History.
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Organizing Academic Research Papers: Choosing a Title
- Purpose of Guide
- Design Flaws to Avoid
- Glossary of Research Terms
- Narrowing a Topic Idea
- Broadening a Topic Idea
- Extending the Timeliness of a Topic Idea
- Academic Writing Style
- Choosing a Title
- Making an Outline
- Paragraph Development
- Executive Summary
- Background Information
- The Research Problem/Question
- Theoretical Framework
- Citation Tracking
- Content Alert Services
- Evaluating Sources
- Primary Sources
- Secondary Sources
- Tertiary Sources
- What Is Scholarly vs. Popular?
- Qualitative Methods
- Quantitative Methods
- Using Non-Textual Elements
- Limitations of the Study
- Common Grammar Mistakes
- Avoiding Plagiarism
- Footnotes or Endnotes?
- Further Readings
- Annotated Bibliography
- Dealing with Nervousness
- Using Visual Aids
- Grading Someone Else's Paper
- How to Manage Group Projects
- Multiple Book Review Essay
- Reviewing Collected Essays
- About Informed Consent
- Writing Field Notes
- Writing a Policy Memo
- Writing a Research Proposal
The title summarizes the main idea or ideas of your study. A good title contains the fewest possible words that adequately describe the contents and/or purpose of your research paper.
The title is without doubt the part of a paper that is read the most, and it is usually read first . If the title is too long it usually contains too many unnecessary words, e.g., "A Study to Investigate the...." On the other hand, a title which is too short often uses words which are too general. For example, "African Politics" could be the title of a book, but it does not provide any information on the focus of a research paper.
Structure and Writing Style
The following parameters can be used to help you formulate a suitable research paper title:
- The purpose of the research
- The narrative tone of the paper [typically defined by the type of the research]
- The methods used
The initial aim of a title is to capture the reader’s attention and to draw his or her attention to the research problem being investigated.
Create a Working Title Typically, the final title you submit to your professor is created after the research is complete so that the title accurately captures what was done . The working title should be developed early in the research process because it can help anchor the focus of the study in much the same way the research problem does. Referring back to the working title can help you reorient yourself back to the main purpose of the study if you feel yourself drifting off on a tangent while writing. The Final Title Effective titles in academic research papers have several characteristics.
- Indicate accurately the subject and scope of the study.
- Avoid using abbreviations.
- Use words that create a positive impression and stimulate reader interest.
- Use current nomenclature from the field of study.
- Identify key variables, both dependent and independent.
- May reveal how the paper will be organized.
- Suggest a relationship between variables which supports the major hypothesis.
- Is limited to 10 to 15 substantive words.
- Do not include "study of," "analysis of" or similar constructions.
- Titles are usually in the form of a phrase, but can also be in the form of a question.
- Use correct grammar and capitalization with all first words and last words capitalized, including the first word of a subtitle. All nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs that appear between the first and last words of the title are also capitalized.
- In academic papers, rarely is a title followed by an exclamation mark. However, a title or subtitle can be in the form of a question.
The Subtitle Subtitles are quite common in social science research papers. Examples of why you may include a subtitle:
- Explains or provides additional context , e.g., "Linguistic Ethnography and the Study of Welfare Institutions as a Flow of Social Practices: The Case of Residential Child Care Institutions as Paradoxical Institutions."
- Adds substance to a literary, provocative, or imaginative title , e.g., "Listen to What I Say, Not How I Vote: Congressional Support for the President in Washington and at Home."
- Qualifies the geographic scope of the research , e.g., "The Geopolitics of the Eastern Border of the European Union: The Case of Romania-Moldova-Ukraine."
- Qualifies the temporal scope of the research , e.g., "A Comparison of the Progressive Era and the Depression Years: Societal Influences on Predictions of the Future of the Library, 1895-1940."
- Focuses on investigating the ideas, theories, or work of a particular individual , e.g., "A Deliberative Conception of Politics: How Francesco Saverio Merlino Related Anarchy and Democracy."
Balch, Tucker. How to Compose a Title for Your Research Paper . Augmented Trader blog. School of Interactive Computing, Georgia Tech University; Choosing the Proper Research Paper Titles . AplusReports.com, 2007-2012; General Format. The Writing Lab and The OWL. Purdue University.
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Email this link
Writing a scientific paper.
- Writing a lab report
What is a "good" title?
"title checklist" from: how to write a good scientific paper. chris a. mack. spie. 2018., other hints for writing a title.
- LITERATURE CITED
- Bibliography of guides to scientific writing and presenting
- Peer Review
- Lab Report Writing Guides on the Web
The title will be read by many people. Only a few will read the entire paper, therefore all words in the title should be chosen with care. Too short a title is not helpful to the potential reader. However too long a title can sometimes be even less meaningful. Remember a title is not an abstract. Also a title is not a sentence.
Goals: • Fewest possible words that describe the contents of the paper. • Avoid waste words like "Studies on", or "Investigations on" • Use specific terms rather than general • Watch your word order and syntax • Avoid abbreviations and jargon
The title should be clear and informative, and should reflect the aim and approach of the work.
The title should be as specific as possible while still describing the full range of the work. Does the title, seen in isolation, give a full yet concise and specific indication of the work reported?
Do not mention results or conclusions in the title.
Avoid: overly clever or punny titles that will not fare well with search engines or international audiences; titles that are too short to be descriptive or too long to be read; jargon, acronyms, or trademarked terms.
- Whenever possible, use a declarative rather than a neutral title
- Don't end your title with a question mark?
- Begin with the keywords
- Use verbs instead of abstract nouns
- Avoid abbrev. in the title
From: How to Write and Illustrate a Scientific Paper (2008)
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How to write a good research paper title
“Unread science is lost science .”
Credit: Mykyta Dolmatov/Getty
“Unread science is lost science.”
28 July 2020
With the influx of publications brought on by the pandemic, it’s become more challenging than ever for researchers to attract attention to their work.
Understanding which elements of a title will attract readers – or turn them away – has been proven to increase a paper’s citations and Altmetric score .
“In the era of information overload, most students and researchers do not have time to browse the entire text of a paper,” says Patrick Pu , a librarian at the National University of Singapore.
“The title of a paper, together with its abstract, become very important to capture and sustain the attention of readers.”
1. A good title avoids technical language
Since the primary audience of a paper is likely to be researchers working in the same field, using technical language in the title seems to make sense.
But this alienates the wider lay audience, which can bring valuable attention to your work . It can also alienate inexperienced researchers, or those who have recently entered the field.
“A good title does not use unnecessary jargon,” says Elisa De Ranieri , editor-in-chief at the Nature Communications journal (published by Springer Nature, which also publishes Nature Index.) “It communicates the main results in the study in a way that is clear and accessible, ideally to non-specialists or researchers new to the field.”
How-to: When crafting a title, says De Ranieri, write down the main result of the manuscript in a short paragraph. Shorten the text to make it more concise, while still remaining descriptive. Repeat this process until you have a title of fewer than 15 words.
2. A good title is easily searchable
Most readers today are accessing e-journals, which are indexed in scholarly databases such as Scopus and Google Scholar.
“Although these databases usually index the full text of papers, retrieval weightage for ‘Title’ is usually higher than other fields, such as ‘Results’,” Pu explains.
At the National University of Singapore, Pu and his colleagues run information literacy programmes for editors and authors. They give advice for publishing best practice, such as how to identify the most commonly used keywords in literature searches in a given field.
“A professor once told us how he discovered that industry experts were using a different term or keyword to describe his research area,” says Pu.
“He had written a seminal paper that did not include this ‘industry keyword’. He believes his paper, which was highly cited by academics, would have a higher citation count if he had included this keyword in the title. As librarians, we try to highlight this example to our students so that they will consider all possible keywords to use in their searches and paper titles.”
How-to: Authors should speak to an academic librarian at their institution to gain an understanding of keyword and search trends in their field of research. This should inform how the paper title is written.
3. A good title is substantiated by data
Authors should be cautious to not make any claims in the title that can’t be backed up by evidence.
“For instance, if you make a discovery with potential therapeutic relevance, the title should specify whether it was tested or studied in animals or humans/human samples,” says Irene Jarchum , senior editor at the journal Nature Biotechnology (also published by Springer Nature, which publishes the Nature Index.)
Jarchum adds that titles can be contentious because different authors have different views on the use of specific words, such as acronyms, or more fundamentally, what the main message of the title should be.
Some authors may over-interpret the significance of their preliminary findings, and want to reflect this in the title.
How-to: If you know your paper will be contentious within the scientific community, have the data ready to defend your decisions .
4. A good title sparks curiosity
A one-liner that sparks a reader’s interest can be very effective.
“A title has to pique the interest of the person searching for literature in a split-second – enough that they click on the title to read the abstract. Unread science is lost science,” says Christine Mayer , editor-in-chief of the journal Advanced Therapeutics .
Paper titles such as, "White and wonderful? Microplastics prevail in snow from the Alps to the Arctic" ( 2019 Science ), and “Kids these days: Why the youth of today seem lacking” ( 2019 Science Advances ) are good examples of this principle. Both papers have high Altmetric Attention scores, indicating that they have been widely read and discussed online.
How-to: Take note of the characteristics of paper titles that spark your own interest. Keep a record of these and apply the same principles to your own paper titles.
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Title, Abstract and Keywords
The importance of titles.
The title of your manuscript is usually the first introduction readers (and reviewers) have to your work. Therefore, you must select a title that grabs attention, accurately describes the contents of your manuscript, and makes people want to read further.
An effective title should:
- Convey the main topics of the study
- Highlight the importance of the research
- Be concise
- Attract readers
Writing a good title for your manuscript can be challenging. First, list the topics covered by the manuscript. Try to put all of the topics together in the title using as few words as possible. A title that is too long will seem clumsy, annoy readers, and probably not meet journal requirements.
Does Vaccinating Children and Adolescents with Inactivated Influenza Virus Inhibit the Spread of Influenza in Unimmunized Residents of Rural Communities?
This title has too many unnecessary words.
Influenza Vaccination of Children: A Randomized Trial
This title doesn’t give enough information about what makes the manuscript interesting.
Effect of Child Influenza Vaccination on Infection Rates in Rural Communities: A Randomized Trial This is an effective title. It is short, easy to understand, and conveys the important aspects of the research.
Think about why your research will be of interest to other scientists. This should be related to the reason you decided to study the topic. If your title makes this clear, it will likely attract more readers to your manuscript. TIP: Write down a few possible titles, and then select the best to refine further. Ask your colleagues their opinion. Spending the time needed to do this will result in a better title.
Abstract and Keywords
The Abstract is:
- A summary of the content of the journal manuscript
- A time-saving shortcut for busy researchers
- A guide to the most important parts of your manuscript’s written content
Many readers will only read the Abstract of your manuscript. Therefore, it has to be able to stand alone . In most cases the abstract is the only part of your article that appears in indexing databases such as Web of Science or PubMed and so will be the most accessed part of your article; making a good impression will encourage researchers to read your full paper.
A well written abstract can also help speed up the peer-review process. During peer review, referees are usually only sent the abstract when invited to review the paper. Therefore, the abstract needs to contain enough information about the paper to allow referees to make a judgement as to whether they have enough expertise to review the paper and be engaging enough for them to want to review it.
Your Abstract should answer these questions about your manuscript:
- What was done?
- Why did you do it?
- What did you find?
- Why are these findings useful and important?
Answering these questions lets readers know the most important points about your study, and helps them decide whether they want to read the rest of the paper. Make sure you follow the proper journal manuscript formatting guidelines when preparing your abstract.
TIP: Journals often set a maximum word count for Abstracts, often 250 words, and no citations. This is to ensure that the full Abstract appears in indexing services.
Keywords are a tool to help indexers and search engines find relevant papers. If database search engines can find your journal manuscript, readers will be able to find it too. This will increase the number of people reading your manuscript, and likely lead to more citations.
However, to be effective, Keywords must be chosen carefully. They should:
- Represent the content of your manuscript
- Be specific to your field or sub-field
Manuscript title: Direct observation of nonlinear optics in an isolated carbon nanotube
Poor keywords: molecule, optics, lasers, energy lifetime
Better keywords: single-molecule interaction, Kerr effect, carbon nanotubes, energy level structure
Manuscript title: Region-specific neuronal degeneration after okadaic acid administration Poor keywords: neuron, brain, OA (an abbreviation), regional-specific neuronal degeneration, signaling
Better keywords: neurodegenerative diseases; CA1 region, hippocampal; okadaic acid; neurotoxins; MAP kinase signaling system; cell death
Manuscript title: Increases in levels of sediment transport at former glacial-interglacial transitions
Poor keywords: climate change, erosion, plant effects Better keywords: quaternary climate change, soil erosion, bioturbation
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How to Write a Research Paper | A Beginner's Guide
A research paper is a piece of academic writing that provides analysis, interpretation, and argument based on in-depth independent research.
Research papers are similar to academic essays , but they are usually longer and more detailed assignments, designed to assess not only your writing skills but also your skills in scholarly research. Writing a research paper requires you to demonstrate a strong knowledge of your topic, engage with a variety of sources, and make an original contribution to the debate.
This step-by-step guide takes you through the entire writing process, from understanding your assignment to proofreading your final draft.
Table of contents
Understand the assignment, choose a research paper topic, conduct preliminary research, develop a thesis statement, create a research paper outline, write a first draft of the research paper, write the introduction, write a compelling body of text, write the conclusion, the second draft, the revision process, research paper checklist, free lecture slides.
Completing a research paper successfully means accomplishing the specific tasks set out for you. Before you start, make sure you thoroughly understanding the assignment task sheet:
- Read it carefully, looking for anything confusing you might need to clarify with your professor.
- Identify the assignment goal, deadline, length specifications, formatting, and submission method.
- Make a bulleted list of the key points, then go back and cross completed items off as you’re writing.
Carefully consider your timeframe and word limit: be realistic, and plan enough time to research, write, and edit.
Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.
There are many ways to generate an idea for a research paper, from brainstorming with pen and paper to talking it through with a fellow student or professor.
You can try free writing, which involves taking a broad topic and writing continuously for two or three minutes to identify absolutely anything relevant that could be interesting.
You can also gain inspiration from other research. The discussion or recommendations sections of research papers often include ideas for other specific topics that require further examination.
Once you have a broad subject area, narrow it down to choose a topic that interests you, m eets the criteria of your assignment, and i s possible to research. Aim for ideas that are both original and specific:
- A paper following the chronology of World War II would not be original or specific enough.
- A paper on the experience of Danish citizens living close to the German border during World War II would be specific and could be original enough.
Note any discussions that seem important to the topic, and try to find an issue that you can focus your paper around. Use a variety of sources , including journals, books, and reliable websites, to ensure you do not miss anything glaring.
Do not only verify the ideas you have in mind, but look for sources that contradict your point of view.
- Is there anything people seem to overlook in the sources you research?
- Are there any heated debates you can address?
- Do you have a unique take on your topic?
- Have there been some recent developments that build on the extant research?
In this stage, you might find it helpful to formulate some research questions to help guide you. To write research questions, try to finish the following sentence: “I want to know how/what/why…”
A thesis statement is a statement of your central argument — it establishes the purpose and position of your paper. If you started with a research question, the thesis statement should answer it. It should also show what evidence and reasoning you’ll use to support that answer.
The thesis statement should be concise, contentious, and coherent. That means it should briefly summarize your argument in a sentence or two, make a claim that requires further evidence or analysis, and make a coherent point that relates to every part of the paper.
You will probably revise and refine the thesis statement as you do more research, but it can serve as a guide throughout the writing process. Every paragraph should aim to support and develop this central claim.
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A research paper outline is essentially a list of the key topics, arguments, and evidence you want to include, divided into sections with headings so that you know roughly what the paper will look like before you start writing.
A structure outline can help make the writing process much more efficient, so it’s worth dedicating some time to create one.
Your first draft won’t be perfect — you can polish later on. Your priorities at this stage are as follows:
- Maintaining forward momentum — write now, perfect later.
- Paying attention to clear organization and logical ordering of paragraphs and sentences, which will help when you come to the second draft.
- Expressing your ideas as clearly as possible, so you know what you were trying to say when you come back to the text.
You do not need to start by writing the introduction. Begin where it feels most natural for you — some prefer to finish the most difficult sections first, while others choose to start with the easiest part. If you created an outline, use it as a map while you work.
Do not delete large sections of text. If you begin to dislike something you have written or find it doesn’t quite fit, move it to a different document, but don’t lose it completely — you never know if it might come in useful later.
Paragraphs are the basic building blocks of research papers. Each one should focus on a single claim or idea that helps to establish the overall argument or purpose of the paper.
George Orwell’s 1946 essay “Politics and the English Language” has had an enduring impact on thought about the relationship between politics and language. This impact is particularly obvious in light of the various critical review articles that have recently referenced the essay. For example, consider Mark Falcoff’s 2009 article in The National Review Online, “The Perversion of Language; or, Orwell Revisited,” in which he analyzes several common words (“activist,” “civil-rights leader,” “diversity,” and more). Falcoff’s close analysis of the ambiguity built into political language intentionally mirrors Orwell’s own point-by-point analysis of the political language of his day. Even 63 years after its publication, Orwell’s essay is emulated by contemporary thinkers.
It’s also important to keep track of citations at this stage to avoid accidental plagiarism . Each time you use a source, make sure to take note of where the information came from.
You can use our free citation generators to automatically create citations and save your reference list as you go.
APA Citation Generator MLA Citation Generator
The research paper introduction should address three questions: What, why, and how? After finishing the introduction, the reader should know what the paper is about, why it is worth reading, and how you’ll build your arguments.
What? Be specific about the topic of the paper, introduce the background, and define key terms or concepts.
Why? This is the most important, but also the most difficult, part of the introduction. Try to provide brief answers to the following questions: What new material or insight are you offering? What important issues does your essay help define or answer?
How? To let the reader know what to expect from the rest of the paper, the introduction should include a “map” of what will be discussed, briefly presenting the key elements of the paper in chronological order.
The major struggle faced by most writers is how to organize the information presented in the paper, which is one reason an outline is so useful. However, remember that the outline is only a guide and, when writing, you can be flexible with the order in which the information and arguments are presented.
One way to stay on track is to use your thesis statement and topic sentences . Check:
- topic sentences against the thesis statement;
- topic sentences against each other, for similarities and logical ordering;
- and each sentence against the topic sentence of that paragraph.
Be aware of paragraphs that seem to cover the same things. If two paragraphs discuss something similar, they must approach that topic in different ways. Aim to create smooth transitions between sentences, paragraphs, and sections.
The research paper conclusion is designed to help your reader out of the paper’s argument, giving them a sense of finality.
Trace the course of the paper, emphasizing how it all comes together to prove your thesis statement. Give the paper a sense of finality by making sure the reader understands how you’ve settled the issues raised in the introduction.
You might also discuss the more general consequences of the argument, outline what the paper offers to future students of the topic, and suggest any questions the paper’s argument raises but cannot or does not try to answer.
You should not :
- Offer new arguments or essential information
- Take up any more space than necessary
- Begin with stock phrases that signal you are ending the paper (e.g. “In conclusion”)
There are four main considerations when it comes to the second draft.
- Check how your vision of the paper lines up with the first draft and, more importantly, that your paper still answers the assignment.
- Identify any assumptions that might require (more substantial) justification, keeping your reader’s perspective foremost in mind. Remove these points if you cannot substantiate them further.
- Be open to rearranging your ideas. Check whether any sections feel out of place and whether your ideas could be better organized.
- If you find that old ideas do not fit as well as you anticipated, you should cut them out or condense them. You might also find that new and well-suited ideas occurred to you during the writing of the first draft — now is the time to make them part of the paper.
The goal during the revision and proofreading process is to ensure you have completed all the necessary tasks and that the paper is as well-articulated as possible.
- Confirm that your paper completes every task specified in your assignment sheet.
- Check for logical organization and flow of paragraphs.
- Check paragraphs against the introduction and thesis statement.
Check the content of each paragraph, making sure that:
- each sentence helps support the topic sentence.
- no unnecessary or irrelevant information is present.
- all technical terms your audience might not know are identified.
Next, think about sentence structure , grammatical errors, and formatting . Check that you have correctly used transition words and phrases to show the connections between your ideas. Look for typos, cut unnecessary words, and check for consistency in aspects such as heading formatting and spellings .
Finally, you need to make sure your paper is correctly formatted according to the rules of the citation style you are using. For example, you might need to include an MLA heading or create an APA title page .
Scribbr’s professional editors can help with the revision process with our award-winning proofreading services.
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Checklist: Research paper
I have followed all instructions in the assignment sheet.
My introduction presents my topic in an engaging way and provides necessary background information.
My introduction presents a clear, focused research problem and/or thesis statement .
My paper is logically organized using paragraphs and (if relevant) section headings .
Each paragraph is clearly focused on one central idea, expressed in a clear topic sentence .
Each paragraph is relevant to my research problem or thesis statement.
I have used appropriate transitions to clarify the connections between sections, paragraphs, and sentences.
My conclusion provides a concise answer to the research question or emphasizes how the thesis has been supported.
My conclusion shows how my research has contributed to knowledge or understanding of my topic.
My conclusion does not present any new points or information essential to my argument.
I have provided an in-text citation every time I refer to ideas or information from a source.
I have included a reference list at the end of my paper, consistently formatted according to a specific citation style .
I have thoroughly revised my paper and addressed any feedback from my professor or supervisor.
I have followed all formatting guidelines (page numbers, headers, spacing, etc.).
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The title and abstract are critical elements to your paper. They will be used by readers to decide whether or not to read the rest of your paper; and, even before publication, they will be used by journal editors to decide whether or not your paper should be sent for peer review evaluation, and by peer reviewers to decide if they want to review your paper.
Here are some quick tips to help you to write a good, descriptive title for your paper:
1. Consider the journal
Before you write your title, read the Notes for Contributors for your target journal to be sure that you follow their recommendations, and that your article is relevant to the aims and scope of the journal.
2. Look at examples of published papers in your target journal(s) to help you consider the format and length, and type of keywords used
Look also at your reference list and articles you yourself searched for when conducting your research.
3. Be specific and descriptive
Think about what is the most important aspect of your paper – what does it help to demonstrate or add to understanding in your field? Focus on its impact .
Don’t use abbreviations unless they are very common in multidisciplinary contexts (like WHO, AIDS): readers could misunderstand or misinterpret them, even if they know the discipline.
Write out chemical names or disease names, microbial names etc. in full, rather than using formulae or abbreviations (unless your chosen journal specifically states different policies).
Include brief, specific description of the study group, organism or population
What is new or important about your study? Focus on the results and conclusions and what they show, but don’t overstate these unless you can confidently back up your statements with evidence.
Use words like ‘reduces’, or ‘accelerates’ rather than ‘affects’ – i.e. be descriptive about the nature of the affect you are showing.
Avoid using humor or hyperbole as these could show bias or be misinterpreted.
Avoid posing questions in titles unless a specific concept is being questioned.
Avoid using Roman numerals as these can be misinterpreted (e.g. Factor 3 vs Factor III).
4. Consider word choice and title length
There is no set rule about the ideal title length, and this can differ between disciplines, and even between journal and article types. However, there is some evidence that shorter titles which focus on results and conclusions have the greatest influence on readership, downloads and citations: see for example Paiva et al .: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22666797 .
Use the ‘passive voice’ as a way to help reduce word count, e.g. consider rewording ‘X is reduced by Y’ to ‘Y reduces X’, which also helps put the emphasis on the agent causing the action.
As mentioned above, it is better to write out names and abbreviations in full, so consider how to use these within the title.
Consider using a thesaurus to help with word count reduction and using words that are better in a scientific context (e.g. ‘accelerates’ is preferable to ‘speeds up’; ‘demonstrates’ is preferable to ‘shows’; ‘efficacy’ is preferable to ‘effectiveness’, particularly in clinical and pharmacological contexts).
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Writing the title and abstract for a research paper: Being concise, precise, and meticulous is the key
Milind s. tullu.
Department of Pediatrics, Seth G.S. Medical College and KEM Hospital, Parel, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
This article deals with formulating a suitable title and an appropriate abstract for an original research paper. The “title” and the “abstract” are the “initial impressions” of a research article, and hence they need to be drafted correctly, accurately, carefully, and meticulously. Often both of these are drafted after the full manuscript is ready. Most readers read only the title and the abstract of a research paper and very few will go on to read the full paper. The title and the abstract are the most important parts of a research paper and should be pleasant to read. The “title” should be descriptive, direct, accurate, appropriate, interesting, concise, precise, unique, and should not be misleading. The “abstract” needs to be simple, specific, clear, unbiased, honest, concise, precise, stand-alone, complete, scholarly, (preferably) structured, and should not be misrepresentative. The abstract should be consistent with the main text of the paper, especially after a revision is made to the paper and should include the key message prominently. It is very important to include the most important words and terms (the “keywords”) in the title and the abstract for appropriate indexing purpose and for retrieval from the search engines and scientific databases. Such keywords should be listed after the abstract. One must adhere to the instructions laid down by the target journal with regard to the style and number of words permitted for the title and the abstract.
This article deals with drafting a suitable “title” and an appropriate “abstract” for an original research paper. Because the “title” and the “abstract” are the “initial impressions” or the “face” of a research article, they need to be drafted correctly, accurately, carefully, meticulously, and consume time and energy.[ 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 , 8 , 9 , 10 ] Often, these are drafted after the complete manuscript draft is ready.[ 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 9 , 10 , 11 ] Most readers will read only the title and the abstract of a published research paper, and very few “interested ones” (especially, if the paper is of use to them) will go on to read the full paper.[ 1 , 2 ] One must remember to adhere to the instructions laid down by the “target journal” (the journal for which the author is writing) regarding the style and number of words permitted for the title and the abstract.[ 2 , 4 , 5 , 7 , 8 , 9 , 12 ] Both the title and the abstract are the most important parts of a research paper – for editors (to decide whether to process the paper for further review), for reviewers (to get an initial impression of the paper), and for the readers (as these may be the only parts of the paper available freely and hence, read widely).[ 4 , 8 , 12 ] It may be worth for the novice author to browse through titles and abstracts of several prominent journals (and their target journal as well) to learn more about the wording and styles of the titles and abstracts, as well as the aims and scope of the particular journal.[ 5 , 7 , 9 , 13 ]
The details of the title are discussed under the subheadings of importance, types, drafting, and checklist.
Importance of the title
When a reader browses through the table of contents of a journal issue (hard copy or on website), the title is the “ first detail” or “face” of the paper that is read.[ 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 13 ] Hence, it needs to be simple, direct, accurate, appropriate, specific, functional, interesting, attractive/appealing, concise/brief, precise/focused, unambiguous, memorable, captivating, informative (enough to encourage the reader to read further), unique, catchy, and it should not be misleading.[ 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 9 , 12 ] It should have “just enough details” to arouse the interest and curiosity of the reader so that the reader then goes ahead with studying the abstract and then (if still interested) the full paper.[ 1 , 2 , 4 , 13 ] Journal websites, electronic databases, and search engines use the words in the title and abstract (the “keywords”) to retrieve a particular paper during a search; hence, the importance of these words in accessing the paper by the readers has been emphasized.[ 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 12 , 14 ] Such important words (or keywords) should be arranged in appropriate order of importance as per the context of the paper and should be placed at the beginning of the title (rather than the later part of the title, as some search engines like Google may just display only the first six to seven words of the title).[ 3 , 5 , 12 ] Whimsical, amusing, or clever titles, though initially appealing, may be missed or misread by the busy reader and very short titles may miss the essential scientific words (the “keywords”) used by the indexing agencies to catch and categorize the paper.[ 1 , 3 , 4 , 9 ] Also, amusing or hilarious titles may be taken less seriously by the readers and may be cited less often.[ 4 , 15 ] An excessively long or complicated title may put off the readers.[ 3 , 9 ] It may be a good idea to draft the title after the main body of the text and the abstract are drafted.[ 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 ]
Types of titles
Titles can be descriptive, declarative, or interrogative. They can also be classified as nominal, compound, or full-sentence titles.
Descriptive or neutral title
This has the essential elements of the research theme, that is, the patients/subjects, design, interventions, comparisons/control, and outcome, but does not reveal the main result or the conclusion.[ 3 , 4 , 12 , 16 ] Such a title allows the reader to interpret the findings of the research paper in an impartial manner and with an open mind.[ 3 ] These titles also give complete information about the contents of the article, have several keywords (thus increasing the visibility of the article in search engines), and have increased chances of being read and (then) being cited as well.[ 4 ] Hence, such descriptive titles giving a glimpse of the paper are generally preferred.[ 4 , 16 ]
This title states the main finding of the study in the title itself; it reduces the curiosity of the reader, may point toward a bias on the part of the author, and hence is best avoided.[ 3 , 4 , 12 , 16 ]
This is the one which has a query or the research question in the title.[ 3 , 4 , 16 ] Though a query in the title has the ability to sensationalize the topic, and has more downloads (but less citations), it can be distracting to the reader and is again best avoided for a research article (but can, at times, be used for a review article).[ 3 , 6 , 16 , 17 ]
From a sentence construct point of view, titles may be nominal (capturing only the main theme of the study), compound (with subtitles to provide additional relevant information such as context, design, location/country, temporal aspect, sample size, importance, and a provocative or a literary; for example, see the title of this review), or full-sentence titles (which are longer and indicate an added degree of certainty of the results).[ 4 , 6 , 9 , 16 ] Any of these constructs may be used depending on the type of article, the key message, and the author's preference or judgement.[ 4 ]
Drafting a suitable title
A stepwise process can be followed to draft the appropriate title. The author should describe the paper in about three sentences, avoiding the results and ensuring that these sentences contain important scientific words/keywords that describe the main contents and subject of the paper.[ 1 , 4 , 6 , 12 ] Then the author should join the sentences to form a single sentence, shorten the length (by removing redundant words or adjectives or phrases), and finally edit the title (thus drafted) to make it more accurate, concise (about 10–15 words), and precise.[ 1 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 9 ] Some journals require that the study design be included in the title, and this may be placed (using a colon) after the primary title.[ 2 , 3 , 4 , 14 ] The title should try to incorporate the Patients, Interventions, Comparisons and Outcome (PICO).[ 3 ] The place of the study may be included in the title (if absolutely necessary), that is, if the patient characteristics (such as study population, socioeconomic conditions, or cultural practices) are expected to vary as per the country (or the place of the study) and have a bearing on the possible outcomes.[ 3 , 6 ] Lengthy titles can be boring and appear unfocused, whereas very short titles may not be representative of the contents of the article; hence, optimum length is required to ensure that the title explains the main theme and content of the manuscript.[ 4 , 5 , 9 ] Abbreviations (except the standard or commonly interpreted ones such as HIV, AIDS, DNA, RNA, CDC, FDA, ECG, and EEG) or acronyms should be avoided in the title, as a reader not familiar with them may skip such an article and nonstandard abbreviations may create problems in indexing the article.[ 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 9 , 12 ] Also, too much of technical jargon or chemical formulas in the title may confuse the readers and the article may be skipped by them.[ 4 , 9 ] Numerical values of various parameters (stating study period or sample size) should also be avoided in the titles (unless deemed extremely essential).[ 4 ] It may be worthwhile to take an opinion from a impartial colleague before finalizing the title.[ 4 , 5 , 6 ] Thus, multiple factors (which are, at times, a bit conflicting or contrasting) need to be considered while formulating a title, and hence this should not be done in a hurry.[ 4 , 6 ] Many journals ask the authors to draft a “short title” or “running head” or “running title” for printing in the header or footer of the printed paper.[ 3 , 12 ] This is an abridged version of the main title of up to 40–50 characters, may have standard abbreviations, and helps the reader to navigate through the paper.[ 3 , 12 , 14 ]
Checklist for a good title
Table 1 gives a checklist/useful tips for drafting a good title for a research paper.[ 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 12 ] Table 2 presents some of the titles used by the author of this article in his earlier research papers, and the appropriateness of the titles has been commented upon. As an individual exercise, the reader may try to improvise upon the titles (further) after reading the corresponding abstract and full paper.
Checklist/useful tips for drafting a good title for a research paper
Some titles used by author of this article in his earlier publications and remark/comment on their appropriateness
The details of the abstract are discussed under the subheadings of importance, types, drafting, and checklist.
Importance of the abstract
The abstract is a summary or synopsis of the full research paper and also needs to have similar characteristics like the title. It needs to be simple, direct, specific, functional, clear, unbiased, honest, concise, precise, self-sufficient, complete, comprehensive, scholarly, balanced, and should not be misleading.[ 1 , 2 , 3 , 7 , 8 , 9 , 10 , 11 , 13 , 17 ] Writing an abstract is to extract and summarize (AB – absolutely, STR – straightforward, ACT – actual data presentation and interpretation).[ 17 ] The title and abstracts are the only sections of the research paper that are often freely available to the readers on the journal websites, search engines, and in many abstracting agencies/databases, whereas the full paper may attract a payment per view or a fee for downloading the pdf copy.[ 1 , 2 , 3 , 7 , 8 , 10 , 11 , 13 , 14 ] The abstract is an independent and stand-alone (that is, well understood without reading the full paper) section of the manuscript and is used by the editor to decide the fate of the article and to choose appropriate reviewers.[ 2 , 7 , 10 , 12 , 13 ] Even the reviewers are initially supplied only with the title and the abstract before they agree to review the full manuscript.[ 7 , 13 ] This is the second most commonly read part of the manuscript, and therefore it should reflect the contents of the main text of the paper accurately and thus act as a “real trailer” of the full article.[ 2 , 7 , 11 ] The readers will go through the full paper only if they find the abstract interesting and relevant to their practice; else they may skip the paper if the abstract is unimpressive.[ 7 , 8 , 9 , 10 , 13 ] The abstract needs to highlight the selling point of the manuscript and succeed in luring the reader to read the complete paper.[ 3 , 7 ] The title and the abstract should be constructed using keywords (key terms/important words) from all the sections of the main text.[ 12 ] Abstracts are also used for submitting research papers to a conference for consideration for presentation (as oral paper or poster).[ 9 , 13 , 17 ] Grammatical and typographic errors reflect poorly on the quality of the abstract, may indicate carelessness/casual attitude on part of the author, and hence should be avoided at all times.[ 9 ]
Types of abstracts
The abstracts can be structured or unstructured. They can also be classified as descriptive or informative abstracts.
Structured and unstructured abstracts
Structured abstracts are followed by most journals, are more informative, and include specific subheadings/subsections under which the abstract needs to be composed.[ 1 , 7 , 8 , 9 , 10 , 11 , 13 , 17 , 18 ] These subheadings usually include context/background, objectives, design, setting, participants, interventions, main outcome measures, results, and conclusions.[ 1 ] Some journals stick to the standard IMRAD format for the structure of the abstracts, and the subheadings would include Introduction/Background, Methods, Results, And (instead of Discussion) the Conclusion/s.[ 1 , 2 , 7 , 8 , 9 , 10 , 11 , 12 , 13 , 17 , 18 ] Structured abstracts are more elaborate, informative, easy to read, recall, and peer-review, and hence are preferred; however, they consume more space and can have same limitations as an unstructured abstract.[ 7 , 9 , 18 ] The structured abstracts are (possibly) better understood by the reviewers and readers. Anyway, the choice of the type of the abstract and the subheadings of a structured abstract depend on the particular journal style and is not left to the author's wish.[ 7 , 10 , 12 ] Separate subheadings may be necessary for reporting meta-analysis, educational research, quality improvement work, review, or case study.[ 1 ] Clinical trial abstracts need to include the essential items mentioned in the CONSORT (Consolidated Standards Of Reporting Trials) guidelines.[ 7 , 9 , 14 , 19 ] Similar guidelines exist for various other types of studies, including observational studies and for studies of diagnostic accuracy.[ 20 , 21 ] A useful resource for the above guidelines is available at www.equator-network.org (Enhancing the QUAlity and Transparency Of health Research). Unstructured (or non-structured) abstracts are free-flowing, do not have predefined subheadings, and are commonly used for papers that (usually) do not describe original research.[ 1 , 7 , 9 , 10 ]
The four-point structured abstract: This has the following elements which need to be properly balanced with regard to the content/matter under each subheading:[ 9 ]
Background and/or Objectives: This states why the work was undertaken and is usually written in just a couple of sentences.[ 3 , 7 , 8 , 9 , 10 , 12 , 13 ] The hypothesis/study question and the major objectives are also stated under this subheading.[ 3 , 7 , 8 , 9 , 10 , 12 , 13 ]
Methods: This subsection is the longest, states what was done, and gives essential details of the study design, setting, participants, blinding, sample size, sampling method, intervention/s, duration and follow-up, research instruments, main outcome measures, parameters evaluated, and how the outcomes were assessed or analyzed.[ 3 , 7 , 8 , 9 , 10 , 12 , 13 , 14 , 17 ]
Results/Observations/Findings: This subheading states what was found, is longer, is difficult to draft, and needs to mention important details including the number of study participants, results of analysis (of primary and secondary objectives), and include actual data (numbers, mean, median, standard deviation, “P” values, 95% confidence intervals, effect sizes, relative risks, odds ratio, etc.).[ 3 , 7 , 8 , 9 , 10 , 12 , 13 , 14 , 17 ]
Conclusions: The take-home message (the “so what” of the paper) and other significant/important findings should be stated here, considering the interpretation of the research question/hypothesis and results put together (without overinterpreting the findings) and may also include the author's views on the implications of the study.[ 3 , 7 , 8 , 9 , 10 , 12 , 13 , 14 , 17 ]
The eight-point structured abstract: This has the following eight subheadings – Objectives, Study Design, Study Setting, Participants/Patients, Methods/Intervention, Outcome Measures, Results, and Conclusions.[ 3 , 9 , 18 ] The instructions to authors given by the particular journal state whether they use the four- or eight-point abstract or variants thereof.[ 3 , 14 ]
Descriptive and Informative abstracts
Descriptive abstracts are short (75–150 words), only portray what the paper contains without providing any more details; the reader has to read the full paper to know about its contents and are rarely used for original research papers.[ 7 , 10 ] These are used for case reports, reviews, opinions, and so on.[ 7 , 10 ] Informative abstracts (which may be structured or unstructured as described above) give a complete detailed summary of the article contents and truly reflect the actual research done.[ 7 , 10 ]
Drafting a suitable abstract
It is important to religiously stick to the instructions to authors (format, word limit, font size/style, and subheadings) provided by the journal for which the abstract and the paper are being written.[ 7 , 8 , 9 , 10 , 13 ] Most journals allow 200–300 words for formulating the abstract and it is wise to restrict oneself to this word limit.[ 1 , 2 , 3 , 7 , 8 , 9 , 10 , 11 , 12 , 13 , 22 ] Though some authors prefer to draft the abstract initially, followed by the main text of the paper, it is recommended to draft the abstract in the end to maintain accuracy and conformity with the main text of the paper (thus maintaining an easy linkage/alignment with title, on one hand, and the introduction section of the main text, on the other hand).[ 2 , 7 , 9 , 10 , 11 ] The authors should check the subheadings (of the structured abstract) permitted by the target journal, use phrases rather than sentences to draft the content of the abstract, and avoid passive voice.[ 1 , 7 , 9 , 12 ] Next, the authors need to get rid of redundant words and edit the abstract (extensively) to the correct word count permitted (every word in the abstract “counts”!).[ 7 , 8 , 9 , 10 , 13 ] It is important to ensure that the key message, focus, and novelty of the paper are not compromised; the rationale of the study and the basis of the conclusions are clear; and that the abstract is consistent with the main text of the paper.[ 1 , 2 , 3 , 7 , 9 , 11 , 12 , 13 , 14 , 17 , 22 ] This is especially important while submitting a revision of the paper (modified after addressing the reviewer's comments), as the changes made in the main (revised) text of the paper need to be reflected in the (revised) abstract as well.[ 2 , 10 , 12 , 14 , 22 ] Abbreviations should be avoided in an abstract, unless they are conventionally accepted or standard; references, tables, or figures should not be cited in the abstract.[ 7 , 9 , 10 , 11 , 13 ] It may be worthwhile not to rush with the abstract and to get an opinion by an impartial colleague on the content of the abstract; and if possible, the full paper (an “informal” peer-review).[ 1 , 7 , 8 , 9 , 11 , 17 ] Appropriate “Keywords” (three to ten words or phrases) should follow the abstract and should be preferably chosen from the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) list of the U.S. National Library of Medicine ( https://meshb.nlm.nih.gov/search ) and are used for indexing purposes.[ 2 , 3 , 11 , 12 ] These keywords need to be different from the words in the main title (the title words are automatically used for indexing the article) and can be variants of the terms/phrases used in the title, or words from the abstract and the main text.[ 3 , 12 ] The ICMJE (International Committee of Medical Journal Editors; http://www.icmje.org/ ) also recommends publishing the clinical trial registration number at the end of the abstract.[ 7 , 14 ]
Checklist for a good abstract
Table 3 gives a checklist/useful tips for formulating a good abstract for a research paper.[ 1 , 2 , 3 , 7 , 8 , 9 , 10 , 11 , 12 , 13 , 14 , 17 , 22 ]
Checklist/useful tips for formulating a good abstract for a research paper
This review article has given a detailed account of the importance and types of titles and abstracts. It has also attempted to give useful hints for drafting an appropriate title and a complete abstract for a research paper. It is hoped that this review will help the authors in their career in medical writing.
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Conflicts of interest.
There are no conflicts of interest.
The author thanks Dr. Hemant Deshmukh - Dean, Seth G.S. Medical College & KEM Hospital, for granting permission to publish this manuscript.
- Title, Abstract & keywords
Q: How should I choose the title for my research paper?
I do have a few topics in mind for my research, especially in education, but I am facing a challenge in modifying the topic into a workable research title.
Asked on 26 May, 2019
Before you think of a title for your research paper, you need to first finalize a topic and choose a research question based on it. Once you have chosen the research question, you can come up with a study design and conduct your research. After you have completed your experiments and gathered the necessary data, you can begin writing your manuscript. You can create a working title as you start writing your manuscript, but it is best to create the final title once you have completed the entire article. Only once you have written the complete manuscript, will you be able to decide what will be the best title for it.
While framing your title, remember that the title of an article summarizes the main ideas of your study. The aim of the title is to emphasize the research problem that is being investigated or studied. Your title must be clear, concise, and attractive. Avoid using acronyms, abbreviations, and jargons as not all readers may be familiar with them. Additionally, you can use keywords and phrases from your paper so that the title indicates what your research is about. But make sure your title is neither too long nor too short.
- 3 Basic tips on writing a good research paper title
- How do I know if the title of my paper is appropriate?
- 5 Simple steps to write a good research paper title
Answered by Editage Insights on 30 May, 2019
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How to Practice Academic Medicine and Publish from Developing Countries? pp 185–192 Cite as
How to Choose a Title?
- Samiran Nundy 4 ,
- Atul Kakar 5 &
- Zulfiqar A. Bhutta 6
- Open Access
- First Online: 24 October 2021
‘What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet’ is a famous quote from Shakespeare’s play ‘Romeo and Juliet’. However, in biomedical research, the title or name of the article is without any reservation the most important part of the paper and the most read part in the journal. The title is the face of the research and it should sum up the main notion of the experiment/research in such a way that in the fewest possible words one can summarize the facts of the paper and attract the reader as well. ‘Being concise, precise, and meticulous is the key’ for planning a title .
A title should predict the content of a paper, should be interesting, reflect the tone of writing, and contain important keywords so that it can be easily located.
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1 Why is the Title So Important in Biomedical Research?
‘What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet’ is a famous quote from Shakespeare’s play ‘Romeo and Juliet’. However, in biomedical research, the title or name of the article is without any reservation the most important part of the paper and the most read part in the journal. The title is the face of the research and it should sum up the main notion of the experiment/research in such a way that in the fewest possible words one can summarize the facts of the paper and attract the reader as well. ‘Being concise, precise, and meticulous is the key’ for planning a title [ 1 ].
The title should not be very lengthy and also it should not contain several unnecessary words, e.g., ‘A Study to Investigate the safety and efficacy of Hydroxychloroquine in subjects who are infected with COVID-19 during the pandemic’ contains many extra words and could be easily replaced by ‘Safety and efficacy of Hydroxychloroquine during the COVID-19 pandemic’. Besides this, a title that is too petite or brief would not convey what the paper is all about. For example, ‘COVID depression’ does not provide the necessary information to the readers of the paper.
The title thus has two functions, first to help the scientific sites to index the academic paper, and second, it acts like a billboard or advertisement to sell the paper.
2 What Parameters Help to Formulate a Suitable Research Paper Title?
Time should be spent in planning the title. Editors often reject an article based on its title [ 2 ]. Typically, principal investigators and their coinvestigators should select the title accurately so that it captures the central ideal of the research. Devoting time to the title can help writers to relook at the main purpose of the study and also reconsider if ‘they are drifting off on a tangent while writing’. There are many adjectives to describe the title of a medical paper and these include ‘simple, direct, accurate, appropriate, specific, functional, interesting, attractive/appealing, concise/brief, precise/focused, unambiguous, memorable, captivating and informative’ [ 2 , 3 , 4 ]. The following information is important while designing the title.
The aim of the research project.
The type of the study.
The methodology used in the project.
PICOT: population/problem, intervention (test, drug or surgery), control/comparison and time.
3 How to Plan Effective Titles in Academic Research Papers?
Although the title appears on the top of the article, it should be written only after the abstract has been written and finalized. There are five basic steps for writing the title. After doing this exercise, one should jot down two or three options and then choose wisely which is the best for your paper. Titles are typically arranged to form a phrase, but can also be in the form of a question. The grammar should be correct and one should capitalize all the first words. In academic papers, a title is rarely followed by an exclamation mark. Ideally, the ‘title’ should be ‘descriptive, direct, accurate, appropriate, interesting, concise, precise and unique’ [ 1 ].
Step 1: Write scope of the study and the major hypothesis in a point format.
Step 2: Use current nomenclature from the manuscript or keywords and dependent and independent variables.
Step 3: Break down the study into the various components of PICOT.
Step 4: Frame phrases that give a positive impression and stimulate reader interest.
Step 5: Finally organize and then reorganize the title (Fig. 16.1 ).
Steps to frame title
4 What Things Should Be Avoided in the Title?
One should avoid the following.
Avoid using abbreviations and symbols in the title.
Limit the word count to 10–15.
Do not include ‘study of’, ‘analysis of’, or a similar assembly of words.
Avoid using unfamiliar jargon not used in the text.
The title should not be misleading.
Amusing titles may be taken less seriously by readers and maybe cited less often [ 2 , 5 ].
5 What are the Types of Titles for an Academic Paper?
Classically three types of titles have been described in the literature, i.e., descriptive, declarative, or interrogative. The fourth category which is Creative is also called the combined type. The details are given in Fig. 16.2 .
Type of title for an Academic paper
5.1 Descriptive or Neutral Title?
This has the vital components of the research paper, i.e., information on the subjects, study design, the interventions used, comparisons/control, and the outcome. It is the PICOT style of a title but does not disclose the observations, results, or conclusions [ 4 , 6 ]. The descriptive title is based on multiple keywords and provides an opportunity for the reader to decide about the results in an unbiased matter. This type of title is usually preferred in original articles and is also more read and cited as compared to the other types [ 6 , 7 ]. Examples are given in Table 16.1 .
5.2 Declarative Title
The title provides the main results of the study and decreases inquisitiveness and thus should be avoided. A few examples are cited in Table 16.2 .
5.3 Interrogative Title
In this, the title ends with a question mark which increases the reads and the downloads. When the title is in the form of a query it dramatizes the subject and the readers become inquisitive. A few examples are cited in Table 16.3 .
5.4 Creative Phrase/Combined Type of Title
This title is used for editorials or viewpoints. Sometimes it can be used in original articles but in such cases, there is the clubbing of an informative with a creative phrase. Usually, the informative part is the main and the creative is the minor part of the title. The latter gives a punch. Both can be separated by a colon or hyphen (Table 16.4 ).
6 What is a Short-running Title?
Many journals will ask for a short running title that is published on the top of each page. The requirements for this, e.g., the word count should be checked with the journal.
The title provides the most important information which helps in indexing and also attracts readers.
The word count for the title should be less than 16.
There are four types of title descriptive, declarative, interrogative, and creative. The majority of original articles have a descriptive title.
There are five basic steps that you need to follow when designing a title. They start with writing the hypothesis and finish with a phrase that can hold the attention of the reader.
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Department of Surgical Gastroenterology and Liver Transplantation, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi, India
Department of Internal Medicine, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi, India
Institute for Global Health and Development, The Aga Khan University, South Central Asia, East Africa and United Kingdom, Karachi, Pakistan
Zulfiqar A. Bhutta
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Nundy, S., Kakar, A., Bhutta, Z.A. (2022). How to Choose a Title?. In: How to Practice Academic Medicine and Publish from Developing Countries?. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-16-5248-6_16
DOI : https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-16-5248-6_16
Published : 24 October 2021
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Appropriate Steps to Choosing Title for Research Paper
Table of Contents
When searching for a particular research study, you may find that papers with descriptive, intriguing titles are more likely to attract your attention.
In contrast, research paper titles that are not descriptive are typically overlooked, even if the paper itself is well-written and contains intriguing information.
This demonstrates the significance of selecting an appropriate title for your research paper when writing your work.
What Is a Research Paper?
The purpose of a research paper is to expand one’s knowledge, comprehension, and appreciation of a certain subject.
A research paper typically includes a research proposal, a theory or hypothesis, and data/sources.
- A proposal is an outline for the research paper that provides a direction for the researcher, usually followed by the researcher’s conclusion.
- Research theory is a hypothesis based on an understanding of what the research topic is about. A research hypothesis or theory is a statement of the relationship between a subject or phenomenon and a proposition.
- Research data/sources are a collection of material relevant to the research proposal.
Characteristics of a Good Research Title
Making a decent title for a paper entails ensuring that the title of the research achieves four goals, as listed below:
- It should foreshadow the research paper’s substance .
- The reader should find it interesting.
- It should be consistent with the tone of the writing.
- It should include vital keywords that will help it to be found during a keyword search.
Tips for Choosing Title for Research Paper
When composing a research title, you can utilize the four criteria mentioned above as a reference. Here are a few other guidelines for ensuring that your title will be an integral part of a successful research paper:
Ensure that your study’s title describes the topic, the method, the sample, and the outcomes . Here are other tips to employ:
- Avoid using superfluous words and jargon.
- Maintain the title as succinctly as feasible. You want a title that is understandable to those who are not specialists in your field.
- Use a descriptive term to describe the goal of your research effectively.
- Utilize vital keywords in the title to improve the discoverability of your articles
- Make sure that your title has between 5 and 15 words.
- If you write a title for a university project or a specific literary magazine, ensure it adheres to the outlet’s criteria and requirements.
For example, many journals stipulate that titles cannot exceed a certain number of characters, including spaces. Numerous colleges need very particular title formats, restricting your inventiveness.
Choosing title for research paper requires more than just finding catchy words to fit your research topic. An exciting title grabs attention. Take the crown by using an attention-grabbing title to get your point across more effectively.
Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.
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This article was co-authored by Stephanie Wong Ken, MFA . Stephanie Wong Ken is a writer based in Canada. Stephanie's writing has appeared in Joyland, Catapult, Pithead Chapel, Cosmonaut's Avenue, and other publications. She holds an MFA in Fiction and Creative Writing from Portland State University. There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 1,061,770 times.
Coming up with an effective title can end up being the most difficult part of your essay. A catchy title can make your paper stand out from the pile and give your reader a sense of the content, slant, and perspective of your essay. To craft a strong title, you need to focus on the three elements of a standard title: the hook, the key terms, and the source or location. This structure applies specifically to academic essays, but you can also apply this structure to narrative essays.
Understanding the Structure of a Title
- The hook can be collection of keywords, an image, a play on words, or a quote from your essay.
- Keep in mind good titles never state the obvious or contain generic terms or phrases. Titles like “Paper on 1950s China” or “Report on Shakespeare” are too general and do not give the reader a sense of the content of your paper. Avoid general and non specific terms like “society” “culture” “the world” or “mankind” in your title.
- For example, a paper about Mao’s Great Leap Forward in Communist China in the late 1950s may have a title that has a hook (catchy phrase), one or two key terms, and the source or location (1950s Communist China). A possible title could be: “The Failure of One, the Fall of Many: Mao’s Great Leap Forward in 1950’s Communist China”.
Using Keywords or Images
- For example, the title of an essay about the Great Leap Forward might be something simple, professional, and clear, such as: "The Failure of the Great Leap Forward: China in the late 1950s". An essay about Shakespearean comedy may be more playful, such as: " Love's Labour Lost and Other Comedies."
- For example, an essay about the Great Leap Forward in 1950s China may focus on the failed use of industries like steel and farming by Mao’s government and the resulting mass famine in China. Three words that sum up the paper may be: steel, land, famine. A possible title of the essay could be: “Steel, Land, and Famine: The Failure of the Great Leap Forward”.
- Look for two to three keywords that are short, descriptive, and clear. Consider if the words fit together in some way, or how they are very different. For example, your introduction on 1950s China may have keywords like “industrialization” “collectivization” and “collapse”. A possible title for the essay could then be: “The Collapse of Collectivization in 1950s China”.
- In an essay on the conventions of Shakespearean comedy, the tone of the essay may be less serious or rigid, and you can look for keywords that are playful or humorous. For example, your conclusion may have keywords like “lovers” “obstacles” and “improbable” or “supernatural”. A possible title for the essay could then be: “Lovers in an Improbable Situation: The Conventions of Shakespearean Comedy.”
- For example, a paper about a volcano could have the title: “The Day the Earth Bled: The Eruption of Mount Vesuvius”.
Using a Quote or a Play on Words
- For example, an essay on Shakespearean comedy may quote A Midsummer Night’s Dream , where a character named Theseus professes his love to his betrothed, the Amazonian queen Hippolyta. “Hippolyta, I woo'd thee with my sword/ And won thy love doing thee injuries,/ But I will wed thee in another key,/With pomp, with triumph, and with reveling.”
- A possible title for the essay may then be: “With pomp, with triumph, and with reveling: The Conventions of Shakespearean Comedy”.
- Alternatively, you can look up a key quote or phrase that is not in your essay but reinforces central ideas or themes in your essay. Type keywords from your essay into a search engine, along with the word “quote” and see what comes up. You can then take a fragment of the quote and use it in your title.
- For example, for an essay on Mao’s Great Leap Forward, you may use quotes from propaganda posters for the Great Leap Forward made by the Mao government, which are available online. A propaganda quote like “Brave the wind and the waves, everything has remarkable abilities” could be shortened to a title like: “Brave the wind and the waves: False Promises by Mao’s The Great Leap Forward”.
- An essay on Shakespearean comedy could use the cliche “laughter is the best medicine” and change it into “laughter is thy best medicine.” A possible title could be: “Laughter is Thy Best Medicine: The Conventions of Shakespearean Comedy”.
- For example, an essay about missionaries in West Africa during the colonial period could have a title that plays on two key words, such as: “Prophets or profits: The European Colonial Invasion of West Africa”.
- There are also tools available online that can generate essay titles for you based on your topic. However, the effectiveness of these title generators vary and the quality of the titles may not be as high as if you take the time to create your own. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
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- ↑ https://www.grammarly.com/blog/how-to-write-a-hook/
- ↑ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6398294/
- ↑ http://canuwrite.com/article_titles.php
- ↑ https://writing.umn.edu/sws/assets/pdf/quicktips/titles.pdf
- ↑ https://www.grammarly.com/blog/essay-title/
- ↑ https://libguides.usc.edu/writingguide/title
- ↑ https://education.seattlepi.com/come-up-catchy-titles-college-essays-2131.html
About This Article
To find a catchy title for your paper or essay, start by thinking of 1 or 2 keywords or phrases to include in the title that applies to the topic of your essay and will hook your reader in. You can also try looking for a key quote or phrase and using part of it in your title. Alternatively, reword a cliche or familiar phrase so that it is specific to your essay. To give your title some punch, use a play on words or double entendre, like “Prophets or profits: The Colonial Invasion of West Africa,” which will show off your creativity. For more tips from our Writing reviewer, like where and how to find good keywords to use, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No
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Free Research Title Generator
Looking for a creative and catchy title for a research proposal, thesis, dissertation, essay, or other project? Try our research title maker! It is free, easy to use, and 100% online.
Welcome to our free online research title generator. You can get your title in 3 simple steps:
- Type your search term and choose one or more subjects from the list,
- Click on the “Search topic” button and choose among the ideas that the title generator has proposed,
- Refresh the list by clicking the button one more time if you need more options.
Please try again with some different keywords or subjects.
- ️✅ Research Title Generator: 4 Benefits
- ️👣 Making a Research Title in 3 Steps
- ️🔗 References
Creating a topic for the research is one of the most significant events in a researcher’s life. Whether it is a thesis, dissertation, research proposal , or term paper, all of these assignments are time-consuming and require a lot of effort.
It is essential to choose a topic that you like and are genuinely interested in because you will spend a lot of time working on it. Our research title generator can help you with this crucial task. By delegating this work to our research title maker, you can find the best title for your research.
✅ Research Title Generator: 4 Benefits
There are many different research title makers online, so what makes our thesis title generator stand out?
👣 How to Make a Research Title: 3 Simple Steps
Research can be the most stressful period in a student’s life. However, creating a title is not as hard as it may seem. You can choose a topic for your paper in three simple steps.
Step 1: Brainstorm
The first step to take before getting into your research is to brainstorm . To choose a good topic, you can do the following:
- Think of all your interests related to your field of study. What is the reason you've chosen this field? Think of the topics of your area that you like reading about in your free time.
- Go through your past papers and choose the ones you enjoyed writing. You can use some lingering issues from your previous work as a starting point for your research.
- Go through current events in your field to get an idea of what is going on. Whether you are writing a literary analysis , gender studies research, or any other kind of paper, you can always find tons of articles related to your field online. You can go through them to see what issue is getting more attention.
- Try to find any gaps in current researches in your field. Use only credible sources while searching. Try to add something new to your field with your research. However, do not choose a completely new issue.
- Discuss what topic is suitable for you with your professors. Professor knows a lot of information about current and previous researches, so try to discuss it with them.
- Discuss lingering issues with your classmates. Try to ask what questions do they have about your field.
- Think of your desired future work . Your research might serve as a starting point for your future career, so think of your desired job.
- Write down 5-10 topics that you might be interested in. Ph.D. or Master’s research should be specific, so write down all the appropriate topics that you came up with.
Step 2: Narrow It Down
As you are done brainstorming, you have a list of possible research topics. Now, it is time to narrow your list down.
Go through your list again and eliminate the topics that have already been well-researched before. Remember that you need to add something new to your field of study, so choose a topic that can contribute to it. However, try not to select a topic not researched at all, as it might be difficult.
Once you get a general idea of what your research will be about, choose a research supervisor. Think of a professor who is an expert in your desired area of research. Talk to them and tell them the reason why you want to work with them and why you chose this area of study.
As you eliminated some irrelevant topics and shortened your list to 1-3 topics, you can discuss them with your supervisor. Since your supervisor has a better insight into your field of study, they can recommend a topic that can be most suitable for you. Make sure to elaborate on each topic and the reason you chose it.
Step 3: Formulate a Research Question
The next step is to create a research question. This is probably the most important part of the process. Later you'll turn your research question into a thesis statement .
Learn as many materials as you can to figure out the type of questions you can ask for your research. Make use of any articles, journals, libraries, etc. Write notes as you learn, and highlight the essential parts.
First, make any questions you can think of. Choose the ones that you have an interest in and try to rewrite them. As you rewrite them, you can get a different perspective on each of the questions. An example of the potential question:
How did the economic situation in the 19th century affect literature?
Think of a question that you can answer and research best. To do it, think of the most convenient research process and available materials that you have access to. Do you need to do lab testing, quantitative analysis, or any kind of experiment? What skills do you have that can be useful?
Discuss the question that you came up with your supervisor. Get their feedback as they might have their own opinion on that topic and give you creative advice.
❓ Research Title Maker FAQ
❓ how to make a research title.
To make a research title:
- Brainstorm your field of study first.
- Think of the topics that you are interested in.
- Research current events in your study area and discuss your possible topics with your professors and classmates.
- Avoid random topics that are not well-researched.
❓ What is a working title for a research paper?
To make a good research paper title, analyze your area of study and all the related current events. Discuss your possible topics with your classmates and professors to get their opinion on them. You can also use our research title maker for free.
❓ What is the title page of a research paper?
The title page of the research paper is the first paper of your work. It includes your name, research type, and other essential information about your research.
❓ How to title a research proposal?
The research proposal title should be clear enough to showcase your research. Think of a statement that best describes your work and try to create a title that reflects it.
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- How to Pick a Masters Thesis Topic | by Peter Campbell