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How to write better title for research papers?

The first thing that reviewers and editors will see upon receiving your research paper is the title and it will immediately form a view on what they should expect in your research paper. It is therefore imperative that you write clear, persuasive title that leads readers to know more about your research.

The title is a critical component of your manuscript; even if the rest of your manuscript is perfectly written, a weak or poorly written title can affect the impressions of journal reviewers and can lose its importance.

An effective title should convey the main topics of the study and highlight the importance of the research. The title should be attractive to readers and also need to be concise because a title that is too long will seem clumsy, annoy readers and probably not meet journal requirements.

A good research paper title should summarize the paper’s content in few words to get the readers’ attention.

According to rhetoric scholars Hairston and Keene, making a good title involves ensuring these four goals. First, a good title predicts the content of the research paper. Second, a good title should be interesting to the reader. Third, it should reflect the tone of the writing. Fourth and finally, it should contain the important keywords that will make it easier to be located during a keyword search.

Steps for writing a better title:

Ask yourself the questions and make note of the answers to these questions:

  1. What is my paper about?

  2. What designs/techniques were used?

  3. Who/What is studied?

  4. What were the results?

Use your answers to list keywords.

Create a sentence using the keywords and this would be the best title for your paper.

The title “Don’ts”:

  • Don’t let your title become too long.

  • Don’t use wordy filter phrases like “the effects of” and “a study on” as these phrases add bulk without much meaning.

  • Don’t be too vague or broad.

  • Don’t use many abbreviations on your title.


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