Your paper’s title determines the fate of the paper. On the one hand, it determines if people will be interested in reading the research paper. On the other hand, it dictates whether publishers will approve your paper for publication or not. A lot of research papers have been rejected because their titles were, well, not it.
Thus, you want to accord a similar level of importance given to the actual research to choosing a title. Below are tips, information, and guides for choosing a strong and captivating title for your academic paper.
Definition of Academic Paper Title
The title of an academic paper refers to a short string of words that cover or summarize the paper’s main idea. A good research paper title should be as short as possible and should introduce the study in a way. That is, your paper title should give readers an idea of what the entire study is about even before reading the paper. The title words, though short, should effectively describe the content and, maybe, the purpose of the paper.
Why Choosing a Good Heading for Academic Paper is Important
An academic paper heading is the first thing readers will read. More so, it is the most read part of a paper. Thus, an academic paper title is the most important element defining a study. A good academic paper title should have a proper length – not too short and not too long. For instance, if the title is too long, that means there are many superfluous words – like “study of” or “analysis of.’
Meanwhile, if the title is too short, that means you’ve used words that are too broad and aren’t telling readers what the paper is about. Academic writing is formal; therefore, you want to avoid clever or humorous phrasing styles like “amazing” or “effortless” in your title.
Tips on How to Title an Academic Paper
There are general criteria for choosing a good title for a research paper. According to experts, to choose a good research paper title, you want to ensure the title:
- Predicts the paper’s content
- Appeals to the readers
- Reflects the paper’s writing tone
- Contains important keywords for easy keyword search
So, before you decide on the final title for your paper, you want to see if it fulfills these criteria. Meanwhile, below are tips for choosing an attention-grabbing academic paper title.
- Choose a title that describes the topic, method, sample, and results of your research work.
- The title statement should be as concise as possible without being hard to comprehend, especially for people who are inexperienced in your field.
- The title should be between five and fifteen words long.
- Ensure the title conforms to the publication outlet’s requirements and standards. The outlets include the university and academic journals.
- Include vital keywords in your paper title to increase its discoverability on the web.
Guide on How to Title a Research Paper
You will likely choose more than one title in the course of your research. The final paper title you submit will be the one you chose after several hours, or days, of research. The final title will be one that perfectly captures what your research is about.
To start with, you’ll want to develop a working title to anchor the focus of the study – like a research problem. The working title helps you reorient yourself to the main study purpose when you start to stray. Your final title should have the following characteristics:
- Accurate indication of the study’s scope;
- Free of abbreviations and acronyms, unless everyone knows them;
- Devoid of redundant phrasing;
- Is not too long or too short – between five to fifteen words;
- Takes a declarative statement or question form;
- Has no exclamation mark, but may include question mark.
Meanwhile, you may want to include subtitles in your academic paper. Subtitles provide additional context, add substance to the title, and qualify the study’s geographic scope. Subtitles also qualify the study’s temporal scope and identify the methodology used.
In conclusion, a good title for academic paper should interest readers enough to make them want to download and read your paper. Thus, you want to choose your words carefully; focus on piquing readers’ curiosity and capturing the subject of the study. Meanwhile, you can use an academic paper title generator to a strong heading for your paper.