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 academic research papers have several characteristics that reflect general principles.
- 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.
Subtitles are frequently used in social science research papers. Examples of why you may include a subtitle:
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]
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; 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.
When your task is about writing a research paper or any other academic paper, there is nothing worse than coming up with the title for your masterpiece. Some of you may think it is an easy task to get the title for your research paper, but you should not be too optimistic in this case. This task requires a great effort from a writer as the title is some kind of a face of your essay. So, if you don't know how to title an essay effectively, here are few suggestions and tips for you to deal with.
Writing Your Essay Title from Scratch
Most of students and beginner writers ignore one aspect that is extremely important at the very beginning of the writing process. The title is not a joke, and you should be very serious about it.
The rule that most of the tutors give to their students says that most readers judge a book by its cover.
Yes, even academic essays suffer from this awful trend of ignoring great essays with poor titles. The title of your essay acts as a trigger for a reader that makes him or her make decisions very quickly. And it is the only essay title that can make your audience to start reading your essay, especially in the case when they don't need to.
Most readers just give an essay one chance to make it happen, and you as an author should make a lucky strike with the title right away. And that is what you should be prepared to. You should start thinking how to title an essay before even starting it. The blank page may seem a nightmare for you, but a blank page even without title should make you scare your pants off.
Three aspects of a good essay title
Here you have three main aspects that make a title to look like a crown on a king's head (in case your paper is really worth of reading it):
- Main topic summary
- Hook to capture reader's attention
- Makes your essay to stand out from the crowd
Three Tips on How to Title an Essay
Let's start with three useful tips that will help you to title your essay effectively.
Keep it simple
Just try to be brief and accurate. Any essay title has its primary function of naming a paper. It means you don't need to go overseas and tell the entire story right in the beginning. Just make a summary with few words. It should be clear and brief like a header in your favorite newspaper or slogan to a blockbuster. Just use few words that will get your reader right to the point, and that's it.
Use appropriate words
While some of you don't know where to start, other ones just don't know where to stop. An effective name will not contain too fancy word structures with no use. Just get to the point and do not waste your time. Use few main keywords as triggers that will hook your reader and make him continue reading.
Avoid abbreviations and jargon
You're trying to serious, aren't you? So why do you try to use those slope jargon words in your science work? Do you want to look smarter than you are? Well, it is not necessary to use those less-known abbreviations in your essay's title. You can use those that are connected to the main topic but don't try to impress your audience with those cheap tricks. It doesn't work, but just scares your reader and makes him go further to the next work on the table.
20 Tips on How to Title an Essay
- Take out just one sentence from your draft and make it serve as a title.
- Come up with something different than your draft contains.
- Use famous What, Who, When, or Where question to start your paper.
- How and Why questions also in the game.
- Any other question trick also makes sense.
- Get an image that will attract your audience.
- Get a surprising image that has nothing in common with your topic.
- Those names with - ing words always work.
- Those names with On word are also interesting.
- Make your header lie about your main topic.
- Describe your main topic with just one word. Is it possible? If yes, you have your title.
- Or if there is no obvious word, you can try to get some mystery around with another not too obvious word.
- Any two-word title.
- Any three-word title.
- Any four-word title.
- Any five-word title.
- Steal or rewrite any famous book, movie, album title that fits your essay.
- Did you get something too obvious and simple? Pretend you're Yoda and twist the words.
- Pretend you're Yoda repeating any famous book, movie, album title that fits your essay.
- Join two simple titles in a double one.
Our company doesn't want to say that the head of your essay plays the main role in its success. No. We just want to say that it matters and matters a lot. It is up to you to decide where the border of this "a lot" ends. Just keep in mind these four simple rules about title functions:
- Content prediction
- Attention grabbing
- Tone reflection
- Keywords keeping.
While keeping these four tips in your mind, you get a better view of the entire role of the header.
Title-writing is not just a task for a few minutes. It is a process, and you should treat it like that. While writing your essay, you're working as a painter who is creating his masterpiece, the process of title-writing makes you feel more like an archivist or compressor. You need to compress the entire message and topic into just one simple, brief, but a clear and catchy phrase. Take your time and do not rush, of course, if your deadline allows you. If you still have any questions or want to get professional help, just fill in our simple order form, and we will help you out.
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