You have finished your paper. You edited it, proofread it, and made all the last remarks in the text. It is done. Congratulations! But wait. There is one last thing remaining. You have to decide on how to write a good title for a paper that you just finished. Now, this last bit is crucial. You have to know how to name a research paper, so it captures people's attention. Your readers should feel intrigued and interested in your work. You want to make them feel good about reading the text before they have even started.
Of course, it is not the easiest job of all. Even famous writers often hate naming their works. However, there is a way to master this science. Here are five tips on how to come up with a title for a research paper. Let’s get to it!
Choose a topic and thesis statement
Before torturing yourself with questions like how to title a research paper, you have to start and, maybe, even finish your work first. The key to that question lies in the theme and purpose of your work. Hence, you can’t fully know it before you finish a paper, or, at least, an outline, right? Students often have so many issues when it comes to coming up with a title for a paper because they can’t put the finger on what they are writing about in their works.
That’s where you have to start. You won’t have to torture yourself with thinking about how to come up with a paper title when you know exactly what you want to tell in your work. Thus, you need to make sure your research paper is written with consideration of all the rules, techniques, and proper outline. You can’t name your work before you know what it is about and what its goal is. Don’t speak about everything at once. Pick a theme. Pick a topic. Figure out a thesis statement. A thesis statement should serve you as a guide throughout your whole process. You’ll see that naming a research paper will become so much easier once you manage to narrow down the area of your research.
Make it brief but informative
Whenever you think about how to title a research proposal, think about what goal you want to pursue there. Do you want to intrigue your audience? Do you want to give away your findings at the very start? Perhaps, you want to outline the thesis of your work briefly. These are all good options to go with when it comes to how to title research paper. Still, you have to follow one simple rule. Your title has to be informative. It has to prepare your readers for what they are about to see on those pages.
If you go with a controversial or unpopular opinion, you better hint at it in the beginning, so your readers would know what they are getting into and won’t be confused halfway through your text.
A good title for research paper should perfectly capture the nature of your research. These are a few examples of good research papers’ namings. See how well they can reflect the nature of the study.
- The evolution of rap music as the result of socio-economic changes in society
- Uganda as the “fragile state” - the consequences of the dictatorship regime
- The mental trauma among women as the aftermath of China’s “one-child policy”
- The role of the Cold War in American military interference in North Korea in 1950
- The negative impact of gender stereotypes on male’s psychological state
So, the next time you worry about how to make a good title for a research paper, look at those examples and see how you can mimic them to fit into your work.
Make it interesting
Good titles for research papers must be interesting. Many students neglect this crucial function of the paper’s name. They are wrong. The name of your paper has to speak to your readers. Yes, it is academic work. Yes, it was an assignment full of complex data and heavy information. Of course, it is very serious and rigorous work. Sure. Still, it doesn’t mean it can’t be interesting! Your potential readers must look at your first page and think, “Ha, that’s something that may be worth my time.”
To make it interesting, though, you should also be interested in the whole process. If it wasn’t fun to make it for you, it wouldn’t be fun to read for others. Once again, the topic of your discussion plays the key role here. You have to pick something so fun for you to work on that it will show even in the very first lines of your paper.
Include the keywords
If you are talking about the economic benefits of pan-Africanism, the words pan-Africanism and economy must appear in the title. These are the main keywords of your text, and they are very important. First of all, they serve as the predicament of what your work is about, so readers know what to expect. These are the words that indicate the main theme of the paper.
What’s more, the keywords are there to ease the search for the next scholars. If you upload your work to any library, students and scholars may come across it and use it in their future works. However, to do so, they need to find it first, right? This is where the keywords come into play. Keywords make the search so much easier. Thus, if a person writes an essay about the economy in Africa, your research can be very handy to them. The keywords in your heading will surely help them find your work with no problem.
It should represent your tone
Understanding the tone of a text before reading it is important. Your tone should be clear from the very start. This way, your readers get on the same page with you (no pun intended) and have the right expectation of your work’s overall mood.
The fact that it is an academic paper doesn’t mean you can have a personalized tone. Yes, you still can’t include any first-person pronouns. Though, what you can do is show your thinking, beliefs, and attitude through the tone of your work. You still can be slightly sarcastic and ironic. You can show your disbelief, anxiety, approval or disapproval attitude, and much more. However, coming up with a title for a paper, you have to show that tone in the heading. It shows your confidence in the theme of your work and demonstrates your voice and approach towards the raised issues.A tone in the name can give the whole nature and mood of the text right away. It is a great tool to deliver emotion to the reader and prepare them for your writing approach. Overall, instead of just thinking “how to come up with a good title for a paper?” change to “how to demonstrate the tone of my work in this heading?” This way, you are more specific with your goal.